ALTERED SPACE // A POEM FOR KALI

My Old Dog, Kali, and her buddy Raine

My Old Dog, Kali, and her buddy Raine

 

My Old Dog

My old dog is black and the size of a loaf of bread.

She stinks no matter how often or how seldom I bathe her.

My old dog has more gray hair these days.

She has a wrinkled face and doesn’t hear when she’s called (or doesn’t listen).

My old dog has a pot belly. She snores.

She lives up to her name, and she still has a lot of fight left in her.

My old dog makes a mess on the floor and expects someone else to pick it up. She just sits there and looks around like, “that’s not my shit” and waits until it gets bagged up and tossed. She wants to be fed and watered and nurtured and loved in all of her adorable filthiness and dumbness.

My old dog is me. And so on my knees, I clean up after

My

Old

Dog.

 

Achintya Bheda Abheda (simultaneous oneness & differentiation),

Diana

Altered Space // Thankful for Guidance and an Opportunity to Serve

I’m a “Say Yes” kind of person. I tend to leap before I look and let the details fall where they may and I love to let my enthusiasm take the lead, which is what happened when I got an email from 2 of my teachers at The Chopra Center (www.chopra.com) asking if I would be interested in being a guest speaker on a webinar about marketing practices for teachers. I do most of my training these days through Chopra Center University and the opportunity to give back to those who have provided so much support and guidance to me over the years was one that I practically jumped through my computer to Say Yes to!

My teachers, Trista and Teresa, outlined 3 categories to speak about during the webinar. Overall, if you are putting yourself out there and asking for students, or clients, to come your way, enthusiasm will get you far. If you are passionate about something, marketing it will be easy, because the information and benefits will flow from you in a very real way. If things are not flowing, don’t push the river. Consider that maybe it’s time to get more education, or take some time off to immerse yourself in your topic more, or to make a bigger change. Your path is a marathon, not a hustle, so as long as you truly love what you do, none of these tips will seem like work to you!

1. Newsletters : Patty, the speaker before me, gave a great talk on the benefits of her monthly newsletter and how it keeps her connected to people. She mentioned some free sites you can use to create your database, like MailChimp, and I agree it’s important to keep in touch and also to share information. At Dhyana Yoga, we use a service called Namaste Light (www.namastelight.com) to create and send out our weekly eblasts because we do our best to work with like-minded businesses whenever possible, and well, their name says it all! When creating your database for these emails, it’s important that you practice the highest integrity and never add anyone to your list who hasn’t specifically asked to be added. Don’t export all your contacts from your gmail list, steal a list, or buy a list. You don’t want anyone on your list that doesn’t really want to be there anyway! Make your “letter” beautiful, easy to read, uncluttered, and informative. Aim to be regular in your mailings, be it monthly or weekly, and give them a personal touch. People want to know who you are!

2. Free Classes : There will always be classes you get paid for, some that you get paid well for, and there should definitely be classes that you are doing as Seva, or as Selfless Service. I call this “Yoga on top of Yoga” because it amplifies the effect of practicing, teaching and being in community when it is offered as pure service. That being said, you can offer free classes anytime, and you might even consider asking for a nominal fee and donating that fee to a local charity or person in need. There is a current of exchange that is nice between student and teacher, and people do tend to follow through on attending if there is even a small fee involved. As teachers, we actually learn A LOT through teaching, too, so you are getting something even if you’re not “getting paid” and that thing is experience. It’s invaluable. Remember that whether 100 people show up or just 1 person is in your class, you need to teach with the same enthusiasm! You never know how hard it was for that 1 person to get there, or who they might reach later on…it could, in fact, be the very Buddha in front of you, so give your whole heart every time.

3. Meet Ups : Every interaction you have is a Meet Up! I love Yoga, inevitably I end up talking about Yoga. I’m passionate about Meditation and Ayurveda, so it comes up in conversations. Whether you schedule a networking session as a Meet Up or you’re talking to someone on the train, just be yourself. No matter what you’re promoting, it has to connect and come from a real place. These days, people are looking to make connections in all kinds of modern ways like with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are all virtual Meet Ups, so to whatever degree you are personally comfortable, let your “friends” into your life. Tell your story, share your successes, emote your little heart out in images or quotes, because every connection, in person or otherwise, is a chance to form a relationship, and that’s what Yoga is all about!

I know there are sayings like “you could sell sand in the desert,” and whatnot, but

in my humble opinion, the new paradigm requires authenticity. Love what you do, do what you love, leap with passion, offer compassion, and you’ll travel swiftly on the river of abundance. Best of luck to everyone out there who’s putting themselves out there! You can manifest your dreams, go for it!

Sat Namaste,

Diana

My Altar

My Altar

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