Intro to Forever Marvel: Presence over Perfection
atha yoganushasanam, Y.S. I.1
"the experience of yoga happens now"
FM NEWSLETTER #1: ORIGINALLY SENT MAY 18, 2017
Confession. I have drafted and scrapped a couple dozen versions of this announcement email. I've scratched up hundreds of notebook pages with attempts to articulate what this project is all about. And in the margins and interludes you'll find FOREVER MARVEL doodled with more frequency and font variation than the name of a schoolgirl's daydream crush.
We can chock up the first year/year and half to my own good sense. I wanted to honor my ideas and my efforts with the appropriate time and space required for gestation. But at some point I crossed a subtle line. Respectful patience became fearful resistance. I kept getting arrested by a scary vision of the future. One where I presented imperfection and received rejection. Oof.
But here's a kind of counter-nightmare, one that might release us from the first: A very old woman named Aaron comes into focus. She is on her deathbed. A raspy, broken voice becomes audible. It is the very old woman promising her great-grandchildren (like she promised so many of you over the last year) that her new website would be up "later...this...month." [Coughing fit.] Finis.
Let's awaken from both of these silly dreams together. Allow your eyes move away from this screen for a moment and wander around, soaking up this world that is your home. Do they find anyone lovable? Do they discover anything incredible?
When I look around I see life. It is in turns, simple and complicated, strong and vulnerable, scary and ecstatic, strange and stunning. In moments when I let go of ideas of my own perfection and just give what I've got, I feel free and powerful. When I let go of ideas of some ideal world, and just receive what world there is, I become absolutely steeped in admiration, wonder and love.
Eyes back to the screen now. Even this conglomeration of technologies that we're interacting through right now make up a marvel. Though I don't totally comprehend how, they will connect my heart to yours if I press the write buttons and strike the right chords.
The world, the love, you, me, our connection--this is all happening at once! And it's happening NOW. (Not then. Or then. Or then.) This is what Patanjali tells us in the very first sutra of the Yoga Sutras, quoted in full above. NOW is the only time to really participate.
So NOW, without pretensions of perfection on my part or a need for any particular kind of reception on yours, I offer up the newborn FOREVER MARVEL. My intention is that this virtual environment will be the ideal home for my online offerings which will show up like this:
Support for your logical, emotional and creative self, this page will host my anecdotes, philosophical musings, and breakdowns of spiritual teachings. These will always include prompts for your own practice.
Support for mind and spirit. Here I will post audio of guided meditations and occasionally videos and written instruction.
Support for your energetic and physical self. Here I'll post yoga sequences and other exercises for honoring, aligning, cleansing and rejuvenating your body.
Often there will be a song or a playlist paired with the exercises.
Here you'll find my public teaching calendar and special events I have coming up.
So please go forth and explore and let me know what you find! I leave you with this quote from Anne Lamott on perfectionism:
"I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it."