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Shannon Brady

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Level Two Day Four: the insidious nature of hiding

In the vortex with a yogi pal in Sedona!

In the vortex with a yogi pal in Sedona!

*This week I join a badass group of 120 Spiritual Warriors on the Baptiste Power Yoga path in Sedona, Arizona to work, seek, play, and grow in our teaching and in our lives. Here are my reflections:

“What are you hiding?” our leader asked. Every day. Several times a day. A big part of this training are the inquiry sessions. In between long sweaty yoga marathons and practice teaching, we spend time getting honest with ourselves and each other about what’s keeping us from living authentically. As challenging as it is to hold a 5-minute plank pose to better understand the intricacies of proper alignment (upper arm bones back, front of the pelvis lifts as the tailbone descends, outer shins hug in…); as hard as it is to go through round-robin teaching/feedback sessions in our small groups; settling into full-on inquiry is the toughest. The rawest. Figuring out what I’m hiding from my students, my family, my peers is hard work. I’ll sweat through another plank pose over this work any day.

It took me three days to really know what I was I hiding. It’s insidious! At first I was convinced it was fear of making mistakes. But that’s not it. I’ve f***ed up plenty of times and shrugged it off, or used it as an opportunity to show my students that I’m human too. Then I thought my hiding was feeling stupid…at age 5 I barely made it past kindergarten as my parents had divorced and my mom was struggling to get food on the table. But that wasn’t really it either. Hard work, tenacity, a college degree – I know I’m not stupid.

After much probing, sharing with other participants trying to get to the bottom of their hiding, I figured it out. I was hiding that some times I feel invisible. Insignificant. As though what I do doesn’t make a difference. And hiding that from everyone simply perpetuates the feeling.

Since returning from training, I’ve used this new understanding of my hiding to encourage students to recognize how unique and important they are in the universe – to everyone they come in contact with, whether they know it or not. And that comes from being honest and sharing that I feel invisible at times. This training helped me realize that coming out from hiding can open the door for deeper and more authentic connections with others. And for that I am grateful for these tough inquiry sessions.

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