You Have Everything You Need

a note from Erin

I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m ok with that.
There’s a little book on Zen which I adore, called “Open and Innocent: The Gentle Passionate Art of Not-Knowing” by Scott Morrison. This favorite quote comes from that book.

I love the title, and I love that question. (Don’t you?!)

I returned a week ago from a Dzogchen retreat with one of my Tibetan teachers, Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Oh, it was good. A week of silent sitting, receiving profound teachings, and hiking at 8000+ feet was just what the doctor ordered. This week, I’m spending lots of time with our little one, while my beloved is taking his turn on retreat, and we’re diving right into the wild world of homeschooling. People keep asking what we’re doing and I’ve decided it feels most liberating and relaxing for me to tell the truth. Which is this: I have no idea!

Not one of us has ever done this before. Then a few days ago while I was standing in that magical place where profound insights tend to arise (also known as the shower) I remembered something that my friend Valerie said to me a few years ago. It touched me so deeply, I made a little card with her words and posted it on my corkboard, where it still sits. I don’t remember what I might’ve been nervous about at the time, but Valerie wisely said, “You have everything you need: Curiosity and love.” It came to me again in the shower. It was so heartening. I believe it’s true.

Even though my across the street neighbor, who is a retired schoolteacher, said to me this summer,“I’m going to be watching you,” with some skepticism about our choice to homeschool. (no pressure…)
Even though some part of me feels like I need to prove that this is a good choice and I have my shit together and am slightly compelled to spend $1500 on some curriculum just so I can lean on it and say, “We’re doing THIS.” (I’m not doing that.)

It’s uncomfortable to not know.

And yet, I think of that book’s subtitle, recognizing not-knowing as a “gentle, passionate art.”
And I remind myself, I have everything I need, curiosity and love.
As a general rule, I notice that things tend to go better when I can relax and trust the process and its organic unfolding, trusting my ability to learn.
Will I do everything perfectly? Well, if the rest of my life is any indication, we can all safely bet a lot of money that the answer is a resounding, “No way!” And that’s ok too because one of the things I’ve learned in such a deep way through my years of studying and teaching Feldenkrais work is that I have learned how to learn, and I know making lots of mistakes is part of the process of good learning. So… here we go!

Is there any place or situation in your life where Val’s reminder might serve you too?

“You have everything you need: Curiosity and love.”
Can you imagine trusting those qualities to help you navigate your way through the not-always-gentle waters of not-knowing?

Please know that I’m wishing you well, and rooting for curiosity and love to grow and grow and guide us on our way.
And a quick note – Thursday morning meditation will resume next week, September 1st, once we’re both back from retreat! Join us anytime.

Much love,

sunset at the great stupa in Crestone, Colorado

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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.