My life is good, lately. Blessings, love, gratitude, and everything I could ever want. It’s a mindset that I do believe has created this environment for my material being.
The teacher training has triggered me.
When everything is so nice and peachy in life, sometimes I need to create tension myself. But sometimes, it’s triggered in the reflections of the kick-ass folk doing god’s work here on planet earth.
This teacher training has been playing that role. It has communicated—hmmm, how to put it?—not poorly but ineffectually. Not quite ambiguously but flexibly. What was originally labelled as 3-4 months then became 4-5 months in the next document, and then something like 5-8 months in the document after. I questioned the information contact and received bland corporate responses featuring a repetition of the information that I had already seen.
The back-and-forth’s frustrated me because I thought I was dealing with an organization that was a bit more human, down-to-earth. What she said did not match the content available on the website nor the content she was sending me. The content on the website did not match the content she was sending me. My point finally made, she finally recommended I have a phone call with the trainers themselves.
I expressed my need for accurate communication in that phone call, because the fact is my life is anything but stable despite the stability. I have no idea how long, or how short, we’ll be in this house we are living in, with space. When the time comes, we’ll have several weeks of travel and appointments and embassies to deal with, and there’s no way I’ll be able to focus on a teacher training. I said that then, at least, because I believed it and I’ve never liked making commitments I am not 100% sure I’ll keep (yes, I’ve made them before.)
In the understanding that it was all good, they could be flexible, we could figure it out, I agreed to take the course. Boom. Great. This shit is life changing. And I technically still haven’t even started the real part of the course yet, at the time of me writing this.
So back to my gratitude. Life is good. When life is so good, does that mean we have or need no process? Obviously not—the processes just show up in forms compatible with the environment through which we process them.
And that’s how I got here—the teacher training as a process.
The next thing happened when I received an e-mail saying activities x and y were mandatory, and if we were late for assignment z we would have to pay a $50 administration fee. With that e-mail, z would have officially changed it’s due date for the third time. That e-mail arrived the day after the most recent due date (June 30—the e-mail arrived July 1 with details of how to submit assignment z). So now, after the inconsistency of their deadlines and timelines, the consequence of tardiness will translate into a punishment on us, the users? It felt like a massive form of disrespect.
On the phone, and in my application, we had discussed what it was like to traipse into new territory—the online—for such a teacher training. I understood. I work in similar realms, I know the importance of it and I know the difficulty of it. I wanted to help, I wanted to offer my services. I said I understood what it was like.
What I understood was the technical aspects, the hurdles. I did not, and still do not, understand the mentality that they can change the program and assign the punishment onto us when we are not following along (the other students to not appear to be as frustrated as me, but much more forgiving). I live with a yoga teacher training planning her own course with her business partner for the last 3 months. Their communication is impeccable, their platform pristine, and their content optimal. They are professional not just in their presentation but their content and their relationships. They charge a lot less than my teacher training.
They take pride in their school not simply as an instrument of revenue but as a reflection of the skills and knowledge they have devoted themselves to learning, studying, and experiencing over the past few years. It is their art.
After my initial phone call with my teacher trainer, I wanted to believe, or perhaps I subconsciously did believe, that it was the same thing, just at an earlier stage. They have a much bigger following and social impact than my yoga teacher partner, with a clothing line and beautiful branding, so I figured hey, these guys have gotta be a few steps past them.
Back to that email threatening a $50 fine. I respond saying activities x and y were not something I could commit to, because the documentation did not explicitly say that they were mandatory and I hadn’t planned on them. Looking back, that was response was more of a reaction to my frustration to a late penalty for assignment z than it was to the sudden information regarding activities x and y. Not that I was, or would ever be, late in my assignments; it was the principle. Why should they impose rules on us that they can’t follow themselves? Where’s my $50 late fee from you guys after I was ready on June 30 and you didn’t respond to my e-mail inquiring as to how to upload it until July 1?
So the trainer responds to my curt and frustrated email: “yes, it says right here where it’s required that you are present for x and y.” I take a look. Yes, it does say that. Odd, because I had re-opened that documentation before sending my response.
Then I take a deeper look, and start to ask myself if this was just my own frustrated anger blinding me or if it was a combination of that and something in front of me. The documentation says that x was exclusive to my TT group, and that y was only the mind science. In the e-mail, x was for both TT groups, yoga and mobility, and y had been mind science plus physical practice.
Subtle differences? Indeed. Trivial? Perhaps to someone that understands better the system and terminology they are creating. But that’s not me. I’m someone unsure of what to expect yet expecting some dedicated time with my group. With some straightforward schedules of what to expect. And I kept receiving schedules of what to expect, but with each new update they had a turn or twist.
Once again: subtle? Indeed. Trivial? More and more. But how can I help what I am triggered by?
So I sent an e-mail back, explaining all that. I expressed my need to unpack it because I know that in ‘intimate’ relationships that involve the body, that go deep into the heart, and stretch the boundaries of the mind, that triggers happen—and they are healthy! For both parties.
In my experience, sharing the trigger in the least-victimized way possible—I perceived this, I received this, I felt this way, etc—is the healthiest way to create or progress a dialogue. I thanked her profusely for all that she/they do and tried to make clear that my intention was not ill-willed.
I received no response, and felt halfway better after because I listened to Cameron’s talk and he brought up integrity, and doing things in integrity, starting them and ending them in integrity. I felt mountains better because that’s exactly what I had done.
So two days later, we had our live call. After the class (x), we had activity y. They asked if we had questions. Someone asked something, and Cameron responded something along the lines of his philosophy when it comes to giving a fuck about yoga alliance, rebellion versus tradition, and how rebellious acts such as the BDK form of yoga are received by tradition in our society. On that note, I brought up something that to me, at the time, was the macro to my micro issue of communication: scaling. I explained that I am absolutely enamored by their protocol and feel deep in my essence that this is huge, will change the world, etc. But my user experience had been poor, it’s clear that they’re exploring this as they go, we are on four different platforms plus the information seems to change; but what you have is so important and without a proper platform, this won’t go anywhere else… “do you have a plan to scale?”
Cameron received me well, as he would, but judging by responses of some of the others, it was clear to me that some interpreted it as an attack. Perhaps it was, but not a malicious one. I have simply drinken the kool-aid and I want to see this thrive. I want to offer my energy to see it thrive.
I mentioned my e-mail at some point in my tirade, to reference that this wasn’t coming out of nowhere. I was hoping my verbal tone could diffuse the “text tone” bitterness that an e-mail poorly received, or sent, can create.
I went on my way that week, until a few days later received an e-mail. I’ll brush over the fact that it said we suddenly had assignments due in less than 2 weeks, and when I tried to log-on the written assignments were inaccessible until we’d finished all the physical classes (unintentional I presume, as this was never mentioned nor does it make any sense). In that e-mail the trainer also makes the claim that “everything is consolidated onto one platform” and “if this is a trigger for your process, remember that blah blah blah.”
I am unsure if anyone else expressed their concerns with them (or their own frustrations), but I am sure that I felt singled out, to the brink of feeling attacked. So I stopped to explore that feeling for a moment. Why am I reacting, when I acted in the integrity of what I knew I needed to do? I could sit with that. So if there wasn’t anyone else getting frustrated, or even if there was, why would it be necessary to mention that in the e-mail? To single anyone out?
I deduced that it probably meant that the trainer writing it on the other end must have been affected and was, in effect, lashing out in a way to defend it. And that’s also what reflected at me: some element of pain, frustration, something else. It’s pointless to guess, but as the plot thickens and the reflections continue, I am not blind nor mute to the fact that these processes work both ways. There is never growth in the interpersonal sense without an exchange of energy, and the converse is true.
And I am experiencing growth.
As per the e-mail, I suppose there is the teacher/student dynamic here that is to be expected, to remind the student of his or her place, that their triggers are part of the learning journey …that this is why the student is here…. but when it comes to streamlining information and interactions with that information, aren’t we are all just human beings trying to communicate? Put us on the floor and you are my teacher, you are the master I am here to learn from; but here in the e-mail? After demonstrating the flaws in the practices of your project’s online communication? Hmmm.
I accept your human-ness. I want to collaborate with it. To grow together. But I do not bow to that guru.
My life is already a process, and triggers are built-in. I am open to them, I allow them in and I am pure with them and do my best to be pure with others with them. I believe my actions thus far can stand witness to that statement. I am not in a teacher training to learn to work with my triggers; rather I participate in triggers when they arise, I do not flee from them and I continue that practice everywhere I go. I am happy to be vulnerable with triggers in the teacher training—once again, I believe my actions attest to this.
These are my words. Cameron’s words said he expected most of us to already be in a transformative state like this anyway. So to mention it in a group e-mail is not only redundant and assuming, it almost comes off as a new age, NVC way of dealing with a recalcitrant student. It means that my process triggered the other end.
It means that this is real.