“We are the ones we have been waiting for…”
The origin of this phrase is controversial but its inherent, powerful truth resonates deeply. Hopi elders used this expression to conclude a well known metaphor: a river flowing swiftly, letting go of the shore, seeing who is with you and celebrating…creating your community, being good to each other…and to not look outside yourself for the leader. This timely perspective on leadership is becoming increasingly clear to me.
I’ve been gifted with several incredible teachers in this lifetime. And for that I am very grateful. They showed up in fortuitous moments, providing exactly what was needed. Some of these relationships were challenging, their value unapparent until history proved otherwise. The student-teacher connection is a tricky one. There is a built in invitation for the student to “look outside yourself for the leader.” There can be a surrender of power in service to the greater good of learning. This negotiation requires skillful awareness that sometimes is lacking in one party or both. Despite these tricky dynamics, I have been blessed with a lifetime of learning from teachers.
And now, in this 65th year, I know I am the one I have been waiting for. Don’t get me wrong…I will never be done learning. Remember? I am enrolled in the school of life. You are my teacher, the way the sun is glistening on the bamboo right now is my teacher, the driver who cut me off yesterday is my teacher. Teachers abound. But for me, at this later rather than sooner chapter in my life, to turn to an authority, to seek advice from someone who knows more, to ask how or what or when…this actually denies me a golden opportunity to go in there, root around, listen deeply, cultivate wisdom and find out for myself. Truly, at this point I am more interested in gathering with my peers and sharing wisdom than sitting at the feet of one who knows in order to receive. And, of course, this is only right now, this moment…and we all know what happens when now morphs in to later.
You may or may not know of the many shifts and changes in the world of 5Rhythms since Gabrielle’s death more than two years ago. It is a universal story: charismatic leader passes, disciples scatter in many directions. As it should be. See above about not looking outside yourself for a leader. Gabrielle did her job, created a hardy bunch of practitioners solid enough to rise up and choose their own way of being in the world. My northern California teachers, women I have turned to for answers for twelve years, are going in a new direction. Some 5Rhythms teachers are going with them. For months I wondered if I was going, too. And in this moment I have settled into the fact that, at least for now, I am not.
I love these teachers and wish them well and they know that. And I know I’ll continue to learn from them, taking classes as I am able, offerings that call me in and support me. But to add yet another title to my name, to become certified to teach another practice…this is not the time in my life to pour my energies other than where they are currently pouring. I am dedicated to continuing to develop as a solid witness and coach in this community. The three practices I am skilled in sharing provide infinite possibility for our co-investigation. That’s the kind of teacher-student relationship I love, we are so in this together. The integration of physical therapy and 5Rhythms and yoga is so ripe. Most days there is more to do and more moving through me than I feel like I have time for. I am abundantly overflowing. And truly, I have you to thank for that. What a beautiful ride we are on.
This is the last newsletter for 2014. It’s time for me to get quiet now, celebrating with family and spending some precious time in retreat. At this turn of the year, I invite you to take this topic on as a personal investigation. What are you waiting for? Are we the ones we have been waiting for? Know that I am here to support you in becoming your own best leader. The best possible outcome for me is when you rise up and do your own inspired thing. Nothing makes me feel more blessed in my teaching life. This is my time, this is your time, this is our time. Let’s do it together.
So much love…bella