For the past six months or so, I have been working at a yoga studio for a few hours a week in exchange for as many classes as I want. The experience has been very interesting because it means working for something way less physical than money. It makes everything very special because you need to find an answer to why you have decided to give a hand here without being rewarded the way society commonly rewards you. You have to do what you are doing for the love of the environment, for the love of the outcome, for the love of the possibility you are given (in my case, yoga classes).
It is not my first experience doing it, but the first times I tried, my mindset was very different, the place I was living in was very different, the people I was working with were different, everything was different. It was not something I thought of too much, I wanted to stay in a “take it easy” way of living my life and the best way to reach that stress-free daily living while still being of help somewhere was to work in exchange of useful goods: a bed, food, and this kind of things you always need.
Yoga is a secondary need (or is it not?). Yoga can be done outside a studio. Yoga can be cheap (sometimes). So yoga is not necessary, unlike my need of a bed and food to survive and remain healthy. And even if I decide to go to the yoga studio to give a hand at maintaining the place in order, I can minimise efforts and energy, because no one is going to come to me – first of all because no one is behind me checking that I am being nice to customers or doing everything in time – and tell me that I am doing things wrong, it would be ridiculous. At least that’s the way they see it at the yoga studio where I work: they remind you from time to time why it is important to be nice to customers and to clean towels in due time, but they don’t come and poke your shoulder to tell you that they want you out of the place.
So it is each and everyone of us hostesses’ responsibility to do things the way they should be done, and the way we would like them to be done. After all, we practice yoga in the same room as customers, take showers in the same bathroom and walk out of the place through the same door. All rules of the studio apply to us as well, and a way we are thanked for what we do comes from our enjoyment of the pleasant place itself – the fruit of our work.
What is the link with the title of this article, you’re asking? Well, to be honest with you, today I just felt inspired and sat down at the library and started thinking and started writing without really knowing where I was going. And then only did I start to give my words and thoughts some sense (the beauty of writing – you get lost and then you find your way back, or rather, forward; and also, you annoy people because they have to focus more when reading, because they have to read twice the words written before the parenthesis opened and then they’re angry and then that’s when the rest of the text will make sense, see, I know where I’m going guys, don’t lose faith).
This past Monday, while waiting for yogis to check-in, I was mind blown in a particular way. You know, when you hear something, a theory, a song, or when you read or simply think and end up on a new conclusion, new thoughts and think to yourself that “wow, I’d never thought of it this way before, that’s smart/beautiful/ingenious/fillintheblank” because what you’ve just realized appears both obvious and very well hidden. The yoga teacher who was with me told me about her 4-year-old son who is always angry. “There’s nothing wrong with being angry,” she said to me. “But you need to make your anger your own, you know, give it meaning… You know?” she added.
So she told her son to sing his anger. Every time he feels angry, he does not throw toys around nor does he hit on people. He does not hurt anyone with words either, he sings angrily, and he forgets about his anger because it is out there, in the air, and he gave it meaning – he turned it into a game and made it his own. Emotions might give you the feeling (see what I did here) that you’re losing touch with yourself, losing control. Although it is hard to sing your anger, and you might have to sing a lot to let it all out, there is one thing to remind yourself of when you lose patience: we’re always more powerful than we think. We can always sing louder than we think and materialize emotions differently – and it is empowering.
That’s what my yoga teacher’s message was: Don’t shout, don’t throw, don’t act for nothing, sing your anger and give it meaning; let it out into the world and turn it into a bird, let it out so it is useful to you. So it is not in vain. And I linked it. Just like that money you’re working for: look beyond it (would you do things the way you’re doing them now if you didn’t receive that money?).
Find your anger and materialize it; find your money and make it silent and golden (silence is golden, right?). And although it is hard to let go of money (because yes, you gotta buy that toy for your kid and gotta have more than two pairs of shoes and gotta have dinner and drinks out, otherwise you’re a bad parent, dress with no style and have no social life – sorry, what I am really trying to do is annoy you so you can give that technique of singing your anger a go), and hard not to think that the only way you can truly be rewarded is through numbers written on a floating internet web page is just the way it should be (or so I’ve been told), you need to give it a go. Trying to materialize your reward differently is empowering.
Letting your anger out is exhilarating – just like letting go of the need for money. You’re free to choose what you make of what you do when you do it for the sake of it, for your sake. You make it your own.
Brace yourself. Sing your anger. Work for no money.
(See, you can say anything and give any meaning to anything just like I did)