Teachers Everywhere

Recently I had one of those days. One of those days where I felt squeezed up against a wall, tight inside myself, uncomfortable. Even though I could feel it all I didn't want to. I watched my self reach and grab for any and every distraction. (moments like these help you understand an addicts reality a little more clearly).

I had just come down a big hill after a long visit with my untamed father. Visits with him are a full spectrum mental-emotional workout. Even though I seem to be getting better at it they still squeeze my heart in a vice grip and push me into that tight place within myself where I vacillate between feeling and denying, crying and avoiding, opening and resisting. 

As I rolled down the hill I just wanted to feel good. I wanted to run away from the pain of his suffering, the pain of my own suffering. But I had a destination already plotted in my short timeline of this particular day. 

How could I feel good between here and there? While driving?

I was on the road. Far from home. On a longish drive to visit more family. 

Can you say ungrounded. Squared. 

Working with with circumstance and my emotional distress, I chose the quickest route to feel good. Something sweet. Milkshake entered my mind with the kind of hook that reels a fish in to its fate. 

Let me take a moment to point out that I am not much of a milkshaker, I'm more of a green juicer. Had I known where I was, or taken the time to find a place spacious enough to park and pause so I could feel my feet on the ground and let the emotions of the morning pass, I might have made a different choice. But milkshake it was and I had to have one. 

I start looking for a milkshake drive through. In my mind I pictured a place like coldstone creamery but for commuters on the go needing to suck their sweets from a straw rather than swipe from a spoon. That place unfortunately did not exist, at least not on my drive. What did show up was McDonald's. 

Ooooo… the conundrum of my soul in that moment. Be fulfilled by the sweetness of creamy frozen sugar and distracted from my own heartache or stand on my moral high ground and boycott the hideousness of the most disgusting fast-food giant. 

The milkshake won. Oh the shame of it. In my mind I was thinking at least no one knows me here, it'll be like it never happened (and yet, here I am, outing myself to you right now). 

Well I pulled in to that drive through. High and mighty all the way, believing McDonalds and the people who worked there, ate there, went there were beneath me (shameful for a yoga teacher to have such thoughts, I know… all the while I'm the one in the drive through). 

I ordered my shake. And was sent to the next window to pay. Still internally self righteous, by the way. Just give me my shake and get me outta here. Well the universe had other plans (as it often does, so effective at checking our small me reality). I pulled up to the final window and had to wait. 

In that moment a teacher appeared. He was in his early twenties, dressed in his well pressed golden arches uniform, with enthusiasm and energy oozing from his eyes, his smile, and how he carried himself. He had no shame as he jubilantly said, "hello ma'am, I apologize for the delay, it will be just a few minutes for your shake".

His energy woke me up. Right out of my judgement, right out of my small self that was grasping for the sweetness to fix something. I sat there stunned and in the next half a minute it took before he was able to deliver my shake with an equally enthusiastic "thank you SO much for your patience!" my mind flashed to all my judgements about work and types of jobs and 'types' of people and I was humbled by how simple it all really is….

Show up. Fully, all the way, 100%. Bring your heart, your soul fire, your commitment to serve others. Keep sharing your light in the face of judgement or challenge and you are changing the world. Powerfully. Positively. From the ground up. 

Nothing like a little wake up call. From McDonalds no less. Wow. Heart blown open. In gratitude for all the players in this wild and crazy life and all the roles they play. Humbled by the teaching, unexpectedly inspired by the teacher… a simple, heart full, kid flipping burgers.

It's not what you do that matters, but how you do it. It's not what you feel that makes your story, but how you let yourself feel it and where you let it lead you. 

Grateful for all the teachers big and small that grace my path bringing me back to my own awakening again and again and again.