I teach yoga. Knitting is so like yoga. In casting on, you create the foundation for the garment, just as you create a standing pose starting with the placement of your feet. If the foundation is unstable, the garment or pose will fall apart. As you knit, each stitch is connected to the previous stitch, the next stitch, the next row; and they are dependent on that connectedness. As you build your yoga pose from the foundation up, each body part is connected to and lines up with the next body part.
I love what I do. Nothing is more gratifying for me than when a student comes into class feeling down or in pain and leaves feeling better. This week one of my students told me how inspired she was by my first class of the day, then excitedly told a student coming in for the next class all about it. And she wasn't talking about the poses. She was talking about taking what I had said in class and applying it to her life. Ripples . . .
Someone once asked me how many hours a week I teach. On the surface, it may not seem like much. But for every class I teach, I've spent countless hours in preparation - determining and developing a theme for class with pose sequences, breathing exercises and a guided meditation to support that theme; my personal practice; my independent studies; the numerous workshops and teacher trainings; the continuing education requirements to maintain my current accreditations; the research I do for students. I love all of that. Then there is the part I don't love - the attendance tracking, accounts receivable, accounts payable, database management, scheduling, promotion, etc.
Over the last few weeks, I've found myself in a situation in which I thought I had not had a choice. I took over two classes from another teacher; one I'd be teaching, the other another teacher would sub-contract from me. The original plan had been that one of us would assume the accounting responsibilities - it wasn't supposed to be me. I had not wanted this on my plate but there it landed, so I decided to embrace it. I believed I didn't have a choice; and in my typical way, I jumped in with both feet and took off running.
I cast on, laboring to establish the foundation. I created a logo, forms, policies and procedures, a new database, flyers to promote our classes, had copies made, organized it all in one place and set myself up to manage the bookkeeping. With each task completed, I had knit another row. I was making up the pattern as I went along. I proposed my expectations and asked that my friend do the same. We negotiated and settled on the terms under which we would operate for the first quarter.
Then my friend decided that she was not happy with the terms after all. I had spent the last three weeks focused on little else, neglecting my other work and obligations as well as my personal time, laboring to bring this "baby" into the world, assuming that we had an agreement. I was listening to Cast On in my car after learning of her change of heart. It was Episode 60, "Little Ripples", and I had to stop and listen to it again. I believed I was creating something of value from nothing and was asking to be fairly compensated for my effort.
Then I paused. I took a breath and as I exhaled, I opened to Grace. I saw that I had temporarily stepped out of the flow. In doing it all myself, I was inadvertently stifling my friend's growth. Here was the opportunity for her to learn how to create and manage a business herself. I was already doing that, so it was easy for me to step in, take over, and do it all myself. While she needed to learn how to purl and increase and decrease so she could create her own spectacular pattern, I was forcing her to keep using the knit stitch.
So I made a choice - the choice I could have made in January, if I had paused long enough then to see that I had a choice. I did not want to continue with this project. So, I chose to rip it out . . . to let it go with gratitude for this lesson learned . . . to put this baby up for adoption and cast on for another project. My friend may stumble; she's bound to make mistakes. But eventually she will learn to fly on her own. And how full of Grace is that?