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In a dream

Five years ago today, I posted this on Facebook. This morning, as I’m working on a couple of class plans for yoga teacher training and thinking about what I’m teaching for my Tuesday morning class and contemplating what it’s going to be like when I don’t have to work at CSU anymore, it felt worth reposting.

Woke up at 4:30 am like normal, but decided to go back to sleep, and you know how you have the weirdest dreams when you do that? I had one that I was teaching at Chemeketa Community College, a class about “Finding Your Purpose,” and I showed up for week three completely unprepared. We were in the Student Center, and it was busy and noisy — a spin class, the food court, all kinds of other classes and study groups and students just hanging out — and there was no privacy. I also realized that rather than a 10 week progressive course with the same group of students, the class was actually a drop in, which meant I should be doing what I did the first week over again, but I didn’t have those notes. I asked my students to put their chairs in a circle to provide a container of sorts, but I had to go find my own chair. All of the furniture was old and broken down, no good, so the chair I had to settle for was awful.

When I got back to the group, I was honest, told them I was struggling with the distraction, my own lack of preparation, was irritated and fumbling, but that I was doing my best and would keep going, was showing up, fully present. Then it came to me that it was the perfect teaching moment, and told them that it was just like that with finding your purpose — it isn’t just about figuring out what you want, but dealing with the obstacles that exist, that you can’t control all the elements, there’s the environment, culture, other people, economic realities, potential health issues or physical limitations, and that you have to learn to work with them. I ended up rocking what was a messed up situation.

Take that subconscious — clearly if you want to give me an anxiety dream, teaching can no longer be your subject matter. Time to go back to the old standards of not being able to find a clean or private public bathroom when I need to poop, or the one where I’m out jogging and cars are honking at me and I look down and realize I’m completely naked and miles from home.

I quit!

I quit my CSU job today. No kidding, I quit my job. Well, technically I gave nine months’ notice, will finish this academic year (my 19th at CSU!) before I’m gone for good.

It is such a relief to finally get to tell you! I’ve been hinting at it, but wasn’t able to say anything here until I made it official. And today, my first day back after summer vacation, I made it official. I had already told my boss when I left for summer break that I was going to spend my time away considering what I might do next, how I wanted to spend the next 10 or 15 years, so she wasn’t surprised.

It’s been clear to me for a long time that it was time for something else. In fact, I never planned to stay at CSU in the first place. I meant to get my graduate degree and move on, but since we settled here, bought a house, and what else I might do besides the vague “be a writer” wasn’t clear, I stayed.

My plan is to focus more on writing and teaching. I’ll be blogging more, working on finishing at least one of the books I’ve been working on for years, and being more serious about sending things out for publication. I’ll be teaching, both in person and online – yoga, writing, and meditation. I already have a plan for some online classes, “Cultivating Practice” and “Wabi-Sabi for Writers” will be two of the first, as well as teaching some regular group writing practice courses. I’m going to continue to teach in person locally, as well as offering private online and in person meditation instruction.

My other intention is to focus even more on social justice action. I’m not sure exactly what this will look like, but one thing I want to offer is yoga for bigger bodies, which doesn’t even exist where I live. The other ways this might manifest is simply by having more time to do more work with local initiatives and issues.

I want to add one important note: I’m only able to do this because my husband has a job he loves that pays well enough that I don’t have to keep my salary and benefits. This opportunity is all about privilege. I’m aware of mine, grateful for it, and intend to use it to ease suffering, in myself and in the world.