Will you sit with me?
Becoming a meditation teacher
If you had asked me five, seven, or ten years ago if I would ever (EVER!) become a meditation teacher—someone who would welcome extended periods of sitting and thinking—I would have laughed and thought there was more than just coffee in your cup. And now here I am, in 2017, enrolled in Charlie Knoles’ 200hr Master Meditation Teacher Training. I. AM. TERRIFIED.
How did I get here? Here’s some history to put things into perspective: I graduated from university in 2009 and started sessional teaching at a college immediately after, at age 21. To make ends meet, I also continued working at a local retail store, tutoring, coaching, and delivering mail at a cancer centre. I loved it—the challenge, the people, the full days. People would say it was too much; I would say it wasn’t enough.
I decided I missed school and that I would enrol in my Master’s on the side to fill the void. Fast forward two years of hard work, quite a few sacrifices, and the odd self-pity-fest, and I had secured my dream job as a full-time professor and my M.Ed. Goodbye odd jobs! Well, except for coaching track and field athletes and dryland training for hockey teams and tutoring that one student…and…does volunteering count here too? In fact, things hadn’t slowed that much.
This is where I found yoga—or it found me—somewhere between a hard breakup, my 23rd birthday, and yearning for authentic connection. After practicing on and off for awhile, I figured I would do what I always do and go all out: Yoga Teacher Training! And while we are on the topic of sequences, the natural progression from a Master’s degree is clearly a doctorate, so apply I did, and accepted I was! I also thought moving two times in the same amount of years was also needed, so I shifted around town packing and unpacking box after (endless) box.
From 2014-2016 I (still) worked as an English and Fitness professor, moonlighted as a yoga teacher, and studied full-time as a PhD student. And then this amazing idea came to me last year as I was journaling and planning my life: how cool would it be to start up a Stand Up Paddling (SUP) business to get people outside and connected to themselves, nature, and the community?! It can’t be that hard? Or that much work? (the naivety of these statements now astounds me!). So, add that to the CV: business owner!
I’ve long said being an over-involved, fast-paced, dreamer is a Libra trait, but I’m beginning to think it’s just a Meghan trait. A recent conversation sums up the exact moment when I was hit with reality, and it went something like this:
Her: “Sooooo you’re signing up for another thing?”
Her: “Don’t you have a lot on the go?”
Silence. Me averting my gaze.
Her: “Well, I support you if it’s what you want...”
Me (interrupting, as usual): Thank you.
Her (kindly): “…but when will it ever be enough?”
Ahhhh, the truth. When it lands, it lands. And this one landed hard. If you hadn’t already guessed, this is/has been my pattern: always adding more, relishing in the challenge of chaos and task management (“busy-ness”). But, somewhere in the last few months, I’ve realized I’ve had it with the imbalance and the feeling of never being caught up (let alone ahead!). I need to step back. Slow down. Come back to myself.
Call it New Year’s Resolutions or purely perfect timing, but I’ve been practicing yoga more, journaling frequently, meditating on my own, readying myself for something great…something BIG. And then just days ago, POOF…a friend mentioned this teacher training. Interesting. So, I told a yogi friend about it. Interest growing. And then told another. Hmmm, I may be on to something here. And soon I was convinced this is what I needed to be doing. So, I reached out and received the best gift of all: tuition payment from yet another friend. Reminder to self: I do have great friends. The old adage claims the universe always knows and the pieces will always fall into the needed places; okay, universe, I get it. I’m (half) ready.
So, I’m doing it. Learning to teach the world how to be quiet. Ughhh the butterflies…
The paradox of this undertaking can simply be captured by what my grandmother used to say to me as a child as I zoomed around the house, up stairs and down stairs and swinging off railings: “Walk, Meghan. Waaaaalk.”
20 years later and the new mantra: “Sit, Meghan, sit.”