I used to blog–a personal journal really–and I called my blog The Eternal Beginner. I’ve felt that way a lot with my life–like every day, every week, every month, every year was a new beginning.
Teaching is a lot like that. Despite teaching the same course and the same themes (with a little variation in the readings I give to my students), I always feel as if I was teaching again for the first time. I used to think of it as an affliction–that it meant something was wrong with me as a teacher–but now I’ve grown to see it as a real gift. Being able to take each new teaching day as a beginning has helped me be more open to the reality of my students, that it’s always a new set of people that I encounter with each term at the university.
I think this has helped me a great deal with my practice of ashtanga as well. This week has been a breakdown in the sense that I only hit the mat for four days out of six. That’s certainly not according to my original promise for myself that I would practice ashtanga everyday with the traditional break once a week for rest.
In the past, I would have been extremely hard on myself. I would have considered this an utter failure and have sworn off the practice completely.
There are things that I’ve been resisting in my life at the moment, particularly with my relationship with my parents and our living situation (I still live with them), and part of that resistance has translated into my resistance to the practice as well.
So, it’s time to move forward, move one, and begin, again.