Who Would Know?

Today I walked into Wegmans and the first thing I smelled was the coffee. It was a cold, raw day. I was tired. On the drive over I thought about stopping at The Soulful Cup for a latte.

In my mind I saw myself standing at the counter, ordering a latte, not to go, but in a big cup with a saucer.

Hot espresso

In my mind I took my cup to the back room, settled into a comfy chair among the books and the people working on their laptops.

And then taking a sip.

Mindfully.

Reverently.

Savoring the flavor, the aroma, the warmth of this heavenly elixir cradled in my cupped hands.

My naturopath Jennifer said last week: “Go 2 more weeks.” (without coffee)

This has been really hard. It has now been 32 days since I’ve had a cup. After the first 10 days, I thought I was through the worst of it.

And I am, really. On most days, I am really, totally O-Kay.

But not today. Today I felt like an addict.

I really needed something to perk me up and comfort me.

I told myself I was ridiculous. This was not cocaine, after all;  this was a freaking cup of coffee. Innocuous. Legal. And according to some research, really good for you. A health food, almost. Practically medicine.

I wanted a milky cup of warmth that would boost my energy and my mood. Hell, I would have settled for a nice Americano, I didn’t need the milk. But in my coffee fantasy, I saw the latte art, and it had me craving.

Who would know if I snuck into Soulful for a cup? I didn’t have to tell G or Jennifer. What would be so bad about having  a cup of coffee on a shitty cold day in April?

I did not make the right onto Market St and go to Soulful,  but went straight to Wegmans.

The coffee kiosk is right inside the front doors. And even though the coffee there is far inferior to Soulful, and the barista is a complete nitwit, and slow, and there is no inviting place to sit, so I would end up sipping as I shopped, still, I was sorely tempted.

As I tooled around the Nature’s Marketplace section picking up my spelt bread and my wild caught tuna fish, I almost cart crashed a couple holding big coffee cups.

Really. Who would know?

On my way out, I thought of the 30 minute ride home, the boring chore of unloading groceries, and felt no energy. I could get a cup to go and sip it as I drove home listening to my James Altucher podcast. By the time I pulled into my driveway I would be all perked up and ready for the tasks ahead.

Who would know?

Me. I would know.

2 more weeks. Good god. How am I ever going to make it?

*whimper*

The 1 Thing I Am Good At

Yesterday I completed Day 750 on 750words.com

Milestone, I think. No badge for that, but still, the symmetry pleases me.

The one thing I am good at is sticking to things. If I commit to it, I do it.  It’s the one thing my friends and students always say they wish they could do, too.

So lately I have been wondering what to offer at my studio in January. What can I offer that my students might want to learn? What can I teach them that I myself know how to do? Inversions? Arm balances? Hells no. I suck at those.

The big thing they always tell you in yoga teacher training is: Teach What You Know. So it’s unlikely that I will be teaching handstands in the middle of the room any time soon.

But when they tell you “teach what you know” they don’t clarify a few essential things, like: teach only those postures which you yourself have mastered? Or do they mean, only teach those postures that you know how to TEACH?

For example, I can’t do a handstand in the middle of the room, but if I have a super strong student who is kicking up freestyle and almost nailing it but not quite, I could go over and give that person some tips, or advise them to work at the wall a little longer so as not to injure themselves.

But should I just say, “No handstands in this room, please. That is not something I can allow you to do because I, myself do not practice handstand?”

Who knows.

But all that aside, what I do know how to do is practice consistently. My favorite Yoga Sutra goes something like this: A practice that is truly grounded is done incessantly, with reverence, for a long time.

I am good at “incessantly.” I am good at “for a long time.” (I am working on “with reverence.”)

Like 750 words. I have not missed a day for 750 days. That’s 25 months. That’s over 2 years.

I stayed with Holosync for 456 days, which was 15 months, well over a year.

I have been journaling in paper journals since I was 23 years old. Not every day, but consistently enough for me to have amassed an alarming quantity of notebooks in the basement. That’s 37 years of journaling.

I have completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu, a 500 hour yoga teacher at Kripalu, and just recently another 500 hour yoga teacher training at Pranakriya.

This year I completed National Novel Writing Month by writing over fifty thousand words in twenty-eight days.

I have completed the Clean Program, not once, but twice, going 21 days without sugar, alcohol, flour, caffeine and other assorted inflammatory foods.

I have gone on long yoga streaks of not missing a day of practice for hundreds of days. So I think have some street cred when it comes to doing things for a long time. I am good at making commitments and sticking to them. Most people cannot seem to do this, but if they could, they would gain a lot of self-confidence and self-satisfaction from which they could build a life where their projects moved from the “maybe some day” realm into the “I am making this happen” realm.

So what I am thinking of doing is offering to help my students do this for themselves. Because there are tricks to it, and certain mind games that I play to keep these streak things going, and I so I think I will hatch a scheme where I offer to help my students do this through a yoga practice and other little tricky things.

Because most people aren’t lazy or undisciplined, they just self-sabotage. They start too big, or they start too unrealistically. Little baby steps and accountability are what is needed.