We must / should do more, achieve more, accomplish more, get more… This can leave the footprint of pressure on our spirit, draining and emptying us from all true inspiration and enthusiasm.
We must do, achieve, accomplish more…I agree and yet disagree. All of these must and do happen but not forcibly with a drive that indicate a sense of lack but all naturally and organically…as we set ourselves in tasks that truly inspire and enliven us. Do we really need to strive for improvement or is improvement the natural result of sticking to what enthuse us continuously. Does this require any efforts? Does doing what we really enjoy doing need discipline? Or is discipline a phenomena that sprouts from the truest enjoyment in a given task.
Since the start of teaching yoga, I have had a bit of difficulty with marketing strategies. I understood the basics of making myself visible but each time I set myself on any marketing strategy, I sensed a wave of wanting/needing more students. If I do this and that, I will be more visible and therefore will have more students. My own students would suggest different strategies as they wanted to see me succeed. However, something, somewhere never felt right. I did want more students. I knew and know that I enjoy sharing with as many people and it gives me immense joy to see others benefiting what I do and love doing and yet, the idea of doing something so that I could have more would unsettle me – ever so subtly. It’s a bit of a paradox really.
When a few years back one of Matt’s student asked him to do a swap of private yoga tuition for his marketing skills, he agreed. We are ever so grateful for what we learnt as it has contributed to us aligning to our higher truth. We followed his advice of setting up newsletters, to keep our students informed of what we were offering. We didn’t really question it. This is how it’s done! Everybody’s doing it. I’m sure I’m not the only one deleting hundreds of e-mails as soon as I open my mailbox. All from websites that I have myself chosen to subscribe. Something must be very backward and twisted here. We subscribe and yet get annoyed when they send us information. It’s as if we feel they want something from us. It certainly feels this way even when some of my most beloved teachers do it. There is mixed feelings. Yes, I do want to know about what you’re up to but in my own time, when I’m feeling the calling. Resonates? I know that many marketing gurus out there might laugh at my naive insight but I can no longer bite the bait of marketing strategies as it’s known and grown today.
I remember a couple of years back, Michael Tetley, our beloved physiotherapist who has healed so many people told us that when he graduated, some 60 years ago, they weren’t allowed to advertise or use any marketing tools. Their education was: do what you do and if you’re good, people will come. Oh, what a beautiful notion! How true and how real! A notion that is slowly fading from our consciousness.
We sent out our penultimate newsletter in September before going to Greece. Both Matt and I felt we were moving against our truth by trusting the experts and ‘the done thing’ more than our intuition. We decided to act on it and stop our monthly newsletter.
Nature, my greatest, most reliable teacher seemed to approve of our decision:
During our recent trip to Greece, I did lots of swimming in the ocean. It was quiet and at times I’ll be the only one in the sea – well for as far as the eyes could see. Once after floating on its waves I turned and noticed about 50 or more fish around me. Excited, I told Matt that there are many fish we hadn’t noticed and told him how they seemed to be swimming under me as I was floating. He jokingly said: they love you. As much as I loved the idea of being loved by the fishes, my more rational brain couldn’t let the ego enjoy the stroking! But they were everywhere I went, maybe Matt was right!! Nahhh!! So, I started paying more attention to their behaviour. I noticed that they gather in group around my feet every time I landed them. They were relying on the movement of the pebbles to feed from the small creature hiding underneath. What a scene! What a joy it was to play with them and see our dance intertwine that way! With me enjoying my swim and them enjoying their food! At one point, I looked and noticed I had a massive following. I couldn’t help it, I stood up and laughed out loud! This was true marketing! It was as if Nature was saying: Do what you love doing, enjoy yourself, have fun; if what you do benefits others, they will be there and your joy will multiply to see others join you in your dance.