My search for inner peace had led me to try Yoga. I soon learned that inner peace was not something I could earn by practicing but something that came naturally and incrementally as a result of the practice. I noticed fairly early that even though my focus was mostly on postures and breathing, I was already experiencing fewer reactive impulses, a quieter mind, and calmer emotional states.
Greater strength and flexibility, increased energy, improved immunity, and better balance also became apparent.
Surprisingly, the mental and emotional differences were noticed by some colleagues who commented about what they observed and wanted me to teach them. I had never considered teaching yoga techniques to others, but because they sincerely wanted to learn and wanted me to teach them, I agreed. I didn’t know much, but I knew more than they did, and being a teacher by profession, I knew how to teach. That initiated the third thread of connection to India and Yoga.
Once I started teaching and others experienced the same benefits I had noticed, word spread, and through no intentional effort on my part, I ended up teaching several Hatha Yoga classes over the next three years in Midland and Odessa, Texas. Yoga was looked upon with suspicion then, especially in that part of the country, and yet as the saying goes, nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.
In 1982 my husband’s company transferred him to Dallas. Disillusioned by the direction public education was already taking, I walked away from my chosen career, one that I had thought I would follow until I retired. Looking for other options I decided to try the business world and after gaining some experience as a temp, found a position as an Administrative Assistant. The work completely bored me so I decided to find more engaging work as a writer or editor – a definite improvement, but something was still missing.
I also found three good and knowledgeable yoga teachers in Dallas. I learned a lot from them and eventually started teaching a few classes part time here and there as demand for Yoga grew. God still had plans for me that I didn’t yet grasp, and leading up to my fourth layoff in seven years, I sustained a whiplash injury in a car wreck. You wouldn’t think that would play a big part in the rest of my life, but it did. I was wanting at the time to try freelance writing. Technical writing and writing for the social expressions industry had left my own creative ideas to languish. On the other hand, freelance writing is not an especially lucrative occupation, and what income there is can be sporadic.
After giving up on any help for my injuries from conventional medical doctors, I saw a massage therapist who worked on my neck and shoulder. Soon I was pain free and my range of motion was restored. What she did, together with a message given in a private session by a young man named John, led me to become a massage therapist. At the time I had the reading, no one on the planet, except for me, knew that I was even considering doing the training, but it seemed a good match to me. I could work one on one with people, helping them to heal naturally, and arrange my schedule to do freelance writing assignments while enjoying a steady income.
Here’s the way God worked this out. I was unemployed by the end of the year (1988) but knew months before that the probability of being laid off was high. Shortly before being laid off, my neck was injured and I started seeing the massage therapist, with great improvement after none with regular doctors. I started thinking about possibly taking the training.
Then I had the session with John, not planning to ask about massage therapy training at all. I heard-and still have on a cassette recording of the session-that I should become a massage therapist. I also heard “Edgar” speak about all the benefits of massage to the body, mind and nervous system. Two other absolutely verifiable pieces of information came from that session with John.
So I went home and entered a meditative state, during which I very simply proclaimed, “If it is in my highest and best good and the highest and best good of All That Is to become a massage therapist, then somehow I will manifest the time and money to do that.” And then I dropped the whole thing into my subconscious mind, as I have been taught to do. That was in April 1988. By December of that year, the buyer of the company I was working for got around to laying off the editorial staff. I was unemployed, so I had time on my hands. I could collect unemployment compensation while looking for another job. And I had profit sharing money from the buyout. I started massage therapy training in 1989.
After graduating, I met Lynn, another therapist who was working at the massage therapy center that first employed me. We became friends and talked often about Yoga, which she also practiced. At one point, Lynn told me that her sister-in-law Paula had been teaching a yoga class at a recreation center in Plano and was planning to leave. On Paula’s recommendation I took over teaching the class when she left. That one experience opened up all the subsequent yoga teaching I’ve done since then-in fact it is the one connecting thread to my life from that point on, and that thread leads to an enormous section of my life that became woven together with India and Yoga.
Such are the threads of connection we each have in our lives. Such thin, almost invisible threads lead us to the most important, significant, and meaningful events of our lives. They may be of either positive or negative nature. If there are notable, major events or turning points in your life, especially when all of your plans are laid out well in advance and you think your life will follow along a pre-planned route exactly as you have designed it, but suddenly things take a different tack, these are the kinds of threads we can discern and from which we can glean valuable insights. It is a valuable way to know thy Self.
It may be a useful exercise to consider what or who has made the most difference in your life, perhaps at a point when you most needed it, and how that one thing or person has led to who you are in this moment. Tracing each thread back to its origin is not really that hard to do, but the first appearance of the thread may be surprising. As Carolyn Myss says, “Want to see God laugh? Tell Him your plans!”
To be continued in Part 4.