I think not.
Raised in the 60’s and 70’s I could have easily moved right into the role of eastern hippy-type-girl. Chanting and walking along the back roads of India or Asia. However, that was not the (immediate) plan.
Somewhat of a rebel in my youth, I engaged in my share of 60’s music, parties and basically hanging out with the kind of folks who were not so very mainstream where I lived. Well, as far left of mainstream as it gets in the suburbs of western Canada. I later ended up working a few years in hotels and bars and nightclubs so saw my share of the nightlife, more parties and wild rides well into my twenties.
I guess after all that, meeting this straight-laced, kind, handsome Catholic fireman appealed to me. After 18 months of dating we were engaged, then married and started a family about 4 years in to our relationship.
Fast forward 20 years.
The kids are mostly grown and we’re expecting our oldest to head off on his own journey soon, while the younger two have 2 more years left with Mom & Dad.
Our married and family life has seen very little turbulence along this ride. Though from completely different backgrounds, when we combined our lives and ventured along this journey some basic values and principles seemed to have worked to guide us well.
Careers moved along. Dear husband went from fireman, to inspector, to teacher to now mostly dealing with the engineering side of the fire service. I’ve been engaged as wife, mom and various jobs in the business world. We were that typical family of five. Two cars and a dog.
Life moved along. Well, moved is the ultimate word. We packed up and moved our family to the Middle East 12 years ago, so adventure and travel became our mantra.
Last year, it took another turn. I ventured into the world of yoga. I had talked about it for years and finally took some action towards it.
Twelve months later, this morning, I taught my first yoga class.
Along the way my family has kidded me a lot. Particularly about my choice of music, the constant burning of candles and incense in our house, and all the mystical ways sometimes associated with yoga practice and yogis. But most of all, they supported me in my endeavor. Particularly my husband.
The biggest change was my not being available for our weekly Friday morning breakfast date. (Fri/Sat is the weekend here in Qatar). This could have been a huge issue as it was our weekly ‘quality time’ together. A time to catch up, reconnect and talk about our week, our lives. But every Friday for the last 9 months I was expected at yoga teacher training practise, from 7:30am to 9:30am. Plus the same thing Saturday morning. Every Monday night – off to yoga class. Plus one or two extra classes during the week. Add all the workshops in the last few months where I was gone most of the weekend. Not to mention study and practice time at home.
Today, my husband was the first to congratulate me on becoming a teacher of yoga. He is still this straight-laced guy, who I bet never imagined in a million years his wife would be a yogini.
I’m not sure being a yogini means anything that’s strange or different or way out there, though people’s perception sometimes think of it that way. But he and my kids do give me strange looks when I’m walking always around in my yoga clothes, wearing mala beads, practicing our Ashtanga opening chant that begins…..
Vande Gurunam, Charanaravinde …
But what they see are only outward expressions of my self. Have I changed? Am I still the same person inside he married 20 years ago? I’m not sure. Mostly, yes. There are changes taking place and how I choose to express them may be somewhat different or unexpected at times, but many of those basic values remain the same. I think that’s what holds us together.
And because of that I know he’ll love me if I’m his young and vibrant girlfriend, if I’m mostly a mom to our young toddler children, a corporate working woman putting in 24/7 some days, or a yogini walking around chanting, sitting in meditation, or whatever else I might fancy.
He is a good man.
And somehow I have found myself walking along those back roads and beaches of India, Thailand and Bali with him.
Where only a few years ago dreams of becoming a yoga teacher first came to my mind……
Who ever imagined life could be so grand!