I’m getting ready to get ready to get ready to leave for Asheville.
This is not like me. It’s kind of awesome.
This trip will be my third to North Carolina in fifteen months.
Preparing for the teaching: not a big deal.
Preparing for the traveling: something I’m learning to do.
I don’t generally have my ducks in a row. I don’t generally have my ducks (well, duck) do anything, except hang out in my handbag.
And when it comes to travel, I’m a whee let’s do this traveler. The last minute is my friend.
Not caring how and just making it happen is how I’ve moved countries three times.
So this is different. And interesting.
I’m looking at these three trips and taking apart the patterns.
The first trip was exploratory.
As in: What’s this going to be like?
I was there to teach a destuckification weekend. It was unbelievably fun. The people were amazing. The work we did was beautiful. Loved it.
Some of what didn’t work, travel-wise.
Flying out of PDX at dark-thirty in the morning. Just one day of prep once I got there.
And then a series of interesting and unexpected Things Going Weird (including a midnight trip to the airport to rescue our beloved Sanders) resulted in a lot of sleeplessness.
What I learned is that I totally thrive on chaos. And I can teach just fine on no sleep.
This can be a good thing. It’s certainly useful in situations where there is chaos anyway.
And making friends with chaos is one part of what we do in Shiva Nata.
But being able to cope well with challenges doesn’t mean I should have to. The next piece: not having to deal well with chaos because things work. Oil the machine.
The second trip was reactive.
As in: Oh god let’s not make any of the mistakes from last time.
The familiar heading into rough territory while trying to avoid repeating the first thing.
I was there for Barbara‘s retreat, and I did a variety of things ridiculously right.
Like scheduling a buffer period before and after. In a gorgeous hotel (thank you, Twitter bar for the recommendations).
And booking a massage the day of the flight. Both ways.
Like running away with Amna at every opportunity.
Like having a lovely lunch with Tara the blonde chicken, and making her give me a ride to the airport because she’s the sweetest person on the planet.
I learned some Useful Things. And there were other parts that were highly stressful that had never even occurred to me to prepare for.
The third trip — this one — is curious, playful, sovereign, silly…
The other quality I’m messing around with is spaciousness.
The toys for teaching yoga, the goody bags, the presents, the supplies we need …. everything has already been shipped to the hotel.
The flights were booked almost a year ago. A two day buffer on each end.
It’s two weeks away and I’ve set up the things I never think of. Like actually getting a haircut. Printing out the handouts. Packing the don’t-forget-these bits.
And Worried Me is okay with things. And Stop-turning-into-an-annoying-grownup Me isn’t being nearly as sarcastic as she usually is.
Because we’re actually kind of having fun with this. Not putting up. Not managing. Not reacting. Not what-if-ing.
Just asking questions about what is needed and what would make things easier. It’s interesting.
This is what I’m working with.
- Where do I resist spaciousness?
- What is comfortable and uncomfortable for me about preparing?
- What is my relationship to “comfortable”?
- Where is the playing?
- Does this need a costume?
- Does this need metaphor mouse?
- What’s the pattern?
- What makes this lighter?
EDIT! The idea that “you can’t prepare for everything”, while true, is not relevant here.
Both because yes, that’s obvious, and because we’re not trying to prepare for everything. We’re trying to learn about our relationship with preparation, which is different.
Okay. You know the drill.
I’m intentionally avoiding telling you what the point I have in mind is.
You can make your own point.
You can also play by asking yourself any or all of the questions I’m working with. Or invent your own.
Or share things you do to make traveling and arriving and recovering more …. grounded.
Blanket fort comment zen, as usual.
We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. Practicing.
We let people have their own experience. We don’t tell people what to do. We notice when and where our stuff comes up, and we work on it. Safe space.