mickeymichaelmiguel.com is a collection of musings freed from the recesses of book bags and piles of Post-It Notes usually saved and forgotten in Michael’s journals or lost at the edges of his desk, as well as other gems from the interwebs.
mickeymichaelmiguel.com is a collection of musings from goal-encrusted bohemian with #writeboyproblems Michael Counter.
Enjoy essays and articles, behind-the-scenes blurbs, photos, and drafts of creative writing freed from the recesses of book bags and piles of Post-It Notes usually saved and forgotten in journals or lost at the edges of his desk, as well as other gems from the interwebs.
Michael can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Today is the first day of my 300-hr teacher training and I’m nervous, excited and anxious as to what to expect. However, it’s my expectations that are so very frustrating. I teach my students to let go of expectations after setting their intention. And like all good teachings, it is easier said than done. Ironically, the spiritual sadhana that I am meditating on this week is Ishvarapranidhana—surrender.
In some ways I think that I began to teach as a means to have more control of my practice, to know more about yoga so that I could better control how I enter and let go of asanas. Ego is a tough thing to set aside when it feels so comfortable to pacify it with expectations that are really excuses to not acknowledge fear. Acknowledging fear is not a weakness. It takes courage to say, “I am afraid.”
I’ve set my intention: I’ve enrolled in the next phase of training.
I’ve acknowledged my fears: I am afraid of not doing well, of not meeting the physical demands of the training, of the difficulty of balancing all of the moving pieces of my life on and off the mat.
So what now?
I will show up on my mat each day with the intent to honor my mind and my body. I will respect my own journey and follow the rhythm and flow of my practice. I will enjoy this opportunity to grow.
It’s the start of a new month and I’m only a few days away from beginning the last leg of my yoga teacher 300-hr certification training. In the spirit of spring, blossoms and new beginnings, I am challenging myself to start and finish each day with a note of gratitude. I may share some of these notes on my blog, but this is a special promise to myself and I want to remain cognizant of my intentions to do this for me.
Wake up, wake up, wake up it’s the 1st of the month
To get up, get up, get up so cash your checks and get up
~ ’90s rap group Bone Thugs N Harmony
Rent is due. Sallie Mae is chillin’ with like the elephant in the room she is. And, the days still only have 24 hours. Time and money seem to keep me tense (“Michael, you ain’t the only one.”), and as a yogi and a generally mindful person, I am learning to surrender to my truth. In yoga, we say, “Ishvarapranidhana,” surrender to that which supports you. For some ‘that’ may be God/Goddess, gods/goddesses, family or Beyonce. Nevertheless, as with most words of wisdom, it is easier said than done. This is when yoga helps the most. As I learn to surrender to my body’s flow, I am able to step off my mat into the world with the same presence and reverence for the ebb and flow of life.
Thus, on this day (and most days, even when I forget) I am grateful for the privilege of my ability status, my education and the agency it provides, employment with benefits and (good) insurance. It’s one thing to have debt and no income; so, when bills show up I am grateful (even in the frustration) that I have the means to take care of our home. But, most of all, I trust love and I have lovers of all creeds who keep me abreast of the radical and joyous life I lead.
On this day, I am grateful for the courage and power of surrender.
"The “great thinkers” of the past were, for the most part, were those wealthy enough to think and be heard — Montesquieu, Smith, de Tocqueville, Keynes, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Freud, Darwin, Huxley. Pick a thinker, and you’ll find a wealthy family behind them. Much the same is true today."