by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat
I’m making video tomorrow, of me teaching, to you, a home yoga student who wants to be inspired in your practice.
I’ve done this before, a couple of years ago, when I started the Yoga Exploration Series. This is more of the same, yet different.
Then, I stopped filming because I didn’t have the audio quality necessary and was getting complaints from people about not being able to hear what I was saying. That project went on the back-burner while I focused on writing a book, and practicing and teaching more yoga.
Recently, a friend asked me why I wasn’t making videos. I mumbled an answer. Something about not being ready, not being good enough, not having the right equipment. That kind of thing. He didn’t even have to say anything in response… I could hear it all in my own voice. Excuses and avoidance right there.
So I decided to front up and make more video. Because I know that what I have to offer is different from other yoga videos out there. And I know these videos will support the hundreds of people who have bought my book and are developing a home yoga practice.
The plan was simple.
I’d borrow a video camera from a friend, make sure the in-camera mic was high quality, and ditch using music to avoid audio and copyright issues.
Somehow though, when I went over to borrow my friend’s camera, we got talking and she mentioned she’d been meaning to make video for her website for years too. One thing led to another and we decided to join forces and film together, combining resources. She knew a guy with lights she reckoned would come and set them up for us in return for a moderate sum of money.
A week later, one thing lead to another, and now we’re doing a professional video shoot at $100/hr plus $75/hr for post-production.
And I am freaking out.
I’m not in a great space. There’s shit going down internally and I haven’t got to the centre of it yet. I just know I feel bloody irritated and mad and angry and under that is likely tears. Which could all simply be intense PMS – something I never usually get, but given that I ate the weight of a small child in chocolate this week, the evidence is damning.
I test-drove the outfit I was meant to wear this morning, and while it looks awesome and I love it, it doesn’t move awesome. Forward bends reveal plumber’s crack and way too much cleavage. If I had a smaller butt, the pants would fit perfect, but instead, my butt greedily eats up all the material leaving nothing left over for the waist.
Fortunately, I had two outfits on hand and outfit #2 seems to stay put where it needs to stay put.
But still, I’m freaking out. I feel like a ball of vile irritation ready to explode and yet I also know it’s all hormonal and I may wake up tomorrow morning feeling totally blissed out.
I’m reminding myself… it’s all just storms, rolling in and rolling out. I can draw on my training as a yogi to connect to my breath and find the eye of the storm even as it rages all around me.
Fact is, I’m a good teacher and I teach intuitively from the heart with ease.
Fact is, I know this material inside out – I live and breath it on my own yoga mat and I’m passionate about sharing this way of practicing yoga with students.
Fact is, I’m good on camera. I’ve had plenty of practice and I enjoy it.
Fact is, I’m going to have two good friends with me while I’m doing this and they are both very supportive and encouraging.
Fact is, creating this video isn’t about projecting something or being something, it’s simply about letting myself be seen as I am. There’s nothing I can do to be a better me.
This is all true. But what’s also true is that I want the theme of tomorrow’s video shoot to be Playfulness. This is what I want to embody – this is what I want to be feeling in every cell, not Miss Bloody Irritable.
So therein lies my challenge – being able to transmute and shift emotional states on command, at will.
No more indulging or wallowing in feeling like crap and feeling irritable, but instead doing what cultivates a feeling of playfulness within, whatever that is.
This is mastering life – nothing more than mastering not only our own thoughts, but also our feeling states. Not denying, or repressing, or avoiding or suppressing… but transmuting and transforming.
Besides, what else am I going to do?
Cancel the shoot?
Show up and do a lousy job and feel like shit?
Or figure out what I need to do in order to do a great job?
I showed up, after a lousy night’s sleep disturbed by my son. Driving to the shoot, almost running late, but not, I pondered… what is this about?
Is this a subtle form of self-sabotage? Fear of showing up as myself and being seen? Is the cranky irritability a sulky child saying ‘No, I dont’ want to do it!’ and stomping her foot?
Or is it just hormones, and just the natural ups and downs of life? Sometimes we feel great. Sometimes we don’t feel great.
Life keeps coming at us though, and when we up the stakes, we have to show up regardless.
Upping the stakes can mean putting money into something – paying people to do jobs like take video. It can mean having people depend on us – signing up hundreds of people to an online seminar. It can mean thousands of people expecting to be entertained and inspired – showing up for a keynote speaking gig.
Every time we push our comfort zone and put ourselves out there in our chosen field, the stakes increase. There’s more to lose, more to fulfil,and higher expectations. But life still happens. We still get dumped, our children get sick, we feel depressed. We learn to show up regardless, and see what might unfold.
On set today I was completely relaxed. I felt like I was in my element, doing what I know and love best. Sure, I wasn’t 1000 watts bright and I don’t know if I hit Playfulness the way I wanted to. As always, the perfectionist in me knows I have so much more to give, that I could be so much better. But that is all an illusion. It’s pointless comparison to something that doesn’t exist – this perfect version of me.
Today I realised that’s what I’ve always held myself against. Not other people in all their perfection – but myself, in all my perfection. I know what I’m capable of and when I’m any less… I hate it. It’s me I can never measure up to. Me that I have to learn to fully love with her all flaws.
I thought I was already doing that.
Seems I have some more practice to do. Oh wait – life’s a process. There is no moment when we finally conquer it all, learn it all, know it all, deliver it all. There is only ever the dance.
In the meantime, here’s some out takes from the shoot today.