"Identity is both what we want to believe is true and what our actions show to be true about ourselves." (Meg Wheatley, Finding Our Way) My teacher embodies this quote. Perhaps it's just another way of saying that you are how you act, not just what you say. She is both. I'm thinking a lot about her today, this whole week really. A year ago this evening I took my very last formal class with her. The next day she called me barely able to speak - laid out with a bad case of whooping cough. This developed into viral pneumonia and in the blink of an eye a year has past and you still won't find her on any class schedules. And yet, she still teaches. Most people I know, including myself, would have given up by now. Not my beloved teacher. She moves through life with as much tenacity, grace and love as she ever did. She shows up with people, allowing herself to be seen and heard when she isn't at her best. Her courage amazes me. She is also honest about when she can't show up and lets herself rest. Her compassion inspires me. She watched other teachers take over classes she'd taught for years and continually checks to review class plans, ask about students and support us without a hint of regret or jealousy. Her selflessness humbles me.
Lisa has never stopped being my teacher and if anything I've learned more from her outside the studio this past year than I did in formal practice. Every day she brings authenticity to that yogic cliché - practice off the mat.