"Start by visualizing your perfect day," Cathy instructed us. It was the most unusual staff meeting I had ever participated in. She offered us a luxurious restorative yoga practice, complete with soothing manual adjustments that felt at times like a massage. At the end of this delicious class, she guided us through a deep relaxation technique called yoga nidra. I caught myself snoring more than once during this part because I felt so at ease. She then asked us to sit up and picture what a day filled with our heart's desire would look like.
Cathy is the owner of The Zen Room, the studio where I teach three weekly classes, one of which is a free yoga for cancer survivorship class. The visualization exercise was intended to help us generate ideas to improve the studio's community; I've been in meetings that asked for ideas before, but never in this way. Using this method meant that we focused on adding positive impacts, rather than subtracting negative ones.
A practical person, I found myself editing my ideas even before they left my brain. "Oh, that's too big," I would tell myself; or, "That's not related to the studio." But as we went around in a circle and shared, I heard uninhibited dreaming taking place and it gave me the courage to unshackle my imagination.
"I see a village of healing," I told them when it was my turn. "I want to work in a community where people with cancer (and other conditions) can walk door-to-door, from one provider to the other and be supported in an integrated and holistic way. I see a group of buildings that provides tools to help people heal: acupuncturists, massage therapists, yoga therapists, nutritionists, etc. And I want to provide help in my area but also be an assistant in other areas, so we all support each other's modalities."
We had a great time listening to and expanding on each other's "perfect day" scenarios and at the end of it, Cathy had a list of ideas to consider. We spoke after everyone left and I thanked her again for letting me teach my yoga for cancer survivorship classes at the studio. At some point I hope to get funding in order to rent the space, but for now these classes exist because of her generosity. "The money will come one day," we both agreed.
Today I received an email that our nonprofit organization was awarded a $1000 grant!
Even for a cynic like me, I believe this encouragement from an outside source is another validation that I'm on the right path, what the Buddhists call my dharma. It can be so easy to limit our dreams. But what if we didn't?
Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came,
and he pushed,
And they flew.
by Christopher Logue
What does your perfect day look like?