finding my voice as a teacher

“Will you be my voice today?”

These were some of the largest words I have ever been asked to wear. The enormity of this question draped itself around my head and ears like a uraeus serpent. The realization of what I was about to do slid along the sides my throat and settled into the rapid beat of my heart. I reluctantly unrolled my mat beside my silent mentor and stared dumbfounded into 60 hungry ears.

I was to assume the voice of my teacher.

The sun had temporarily taken her eyes and had given me her voice.  A voice that drips hypnotized diamonds.  She commands a language that has the ability to guide you to the secret treasure boxes inside your muscles. Simple sentences with the power to help find elephantine wisdom pearls in between your finger tips.

Her whispered instructions sat on my shoulder as I parroted her like a shakti pirate.  Her words navigated my way through a sea of thirsty eyes and starving bodies propelled me forward through crushing waves of uncertainty.

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Although there was no time for self-deprecation I quickly thought to my self …“ but my voice chokes out cigarette smoke like a faulty exhaust system. It bleeds caffeine and pessimism through broken yellow teeth. how can I do this? why me? why today?” 

Why? Because I needed to know that I could make words shine, to realize the power they held. I had to know that I could sprinkle sentences away from me and watch them smile down onto my fellow students. That in this moment my teacher was giving me a heaping helping of dharma and all I needed to do was open my mouth and pay attention.

Before my teacher and her quiet hand of dharma could smack me with another taste, I looked into the room and noticed that instead of voracious ears and doubting minds there were hopeful and excited faces. The space around me filled with lips on the verge of saying “don’t worry, you are doing great.” I was not torturing these people or embarrassing my self. They were actually safe inside my pirated instruction.

I found that as I spoke there was something beyond my own insecurity, something beyond the tangibility of skin and bodies. It was the birth of pure unadulterated magic, imperfect perfection reshaping and guiding itself into fingers and toes. Beauty that surpassed any fairy tale imaginable melted into arms and legs. Individual elegance slid onto each mat. I watched in complete awe as it kissed each face awake.

In that moment I surrendered to the certainty that I was just fed by Dharma once again. I held on tight to the wisdom of my teacher, bathed myself in her silent knowledge. On that day I had no choice but to feast on both of their gifts so I could verbalize my own.  Together, with the whispering of one simple question, they dipped my throat into to the pool of sages and had made it known that I was welcome.

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