01 Mar 2016

Dear Future Trainee

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Dear Future Trainee,

Next week, we start our journey together. Your application is in, your tuition is paid, and you’ve bought the required reading books. You’re excited. You’re curious about what we’re going to do, what the days will be like, and what you’re going to learn.

I can’t predict what the experience will be like for you. But, with two teacher trainings under my belt and nearly forty wonderful graduates roaming the earth, there are a few things I can tell you for certain…

10420188_10152605411703138_5275954105733977982_nIt’s going to be intense. Intensely fun. Intensely instructive. Intensely active. Intensely emotional. It will be full of many experiences and memories. You will grow, learn, and change in ways you can’t foresee yet. Parts of it might be challenging. But I promise it will all be worth it.

I will see the good in you. As we get to know each other, I will see nothing but your light. That bright inner part of you that shines out into the world. That’s the part I see. Even when you doubt yourself, feel vulnerable, and aren’t sure. Even when you don’t see that light yourself. I’ll see it, and I’ll be sure to remind you that it’s still there. You are bright and beautiful to me.

I will love you profoundly. I don’t have children, and I’m not sure if I ever will. So watching you grow and develop into the teacher you’re meant to be is the closest I’ll likely ever be to parenting. I’ll celebrate your successes, laugh with you, and hold your hand when it gets hard. I’ll give you hugs and suggestions. You’ll blow my mind sometimes with your insight and wisdom. I’ll get teary-eyed thinking about how far you’ve come. And I’ll cry like a baby when it’s time to let you go. You’ll always have a place in my heart.

If, for whatever reason, you think I’m awesome, it’s only because I’m reflecting back the light I see in you. I’m going to teach you lots of things about yoga, philosophy, poses, and teaching. But most of all, I’m going to teach you how to recognize your own beautiful, unique brilliance. That might sometimes feel like I did something, like I’m the one who put that brilliance there for you to discover. I promise I didn’t. It was there the whole time.

It’s okay if you don’t always like me. Don’t worry, I’m already prepared for your death looks when we do our first practice teaching exercise. I get it; some parts are hard. But as Brene Brown says, you can’t skip the hard parts. It’s okay to get mad at me when I ask you to do something challenging. I can handle it. And I’ll still love you, because I’ve been there, and I know what it feels like. And I know that the hard parts always pass. And when they do, we’ll celebrate together.

I’m nervous, too. Teacher training is a big deal, for both of us. For you, it’s the start of a journey. For me, it’s the continuation. It’s my statement to the world about what I think is most important in life. I want you to enjoy it. I want you to learn a lot. I want you to graduate with the skills you need to share yoga with the world. That’s a lot of pressure. So I get nervous. But I embrace nerves and recognize they’re only there because I care about your experience so muc12249748_10156338653630533_2254314287206160619_nh. When those first-night jitters creep up, just remember that we’re all in this together.

I will always be happy and grateful to see you. When we do teacher training together, you get me for life. As a teacher, mentor, friend, and constant cheerleader. I’ll come take your classes when I can and jump up and down with excitement when you come take mine. I’ll give you hugs and ask how things are going. We’ll have inside jokes and funny stories. I’ll make time for you when you need me. You’ll be one of my special people forever.

Do your practice. Breathe deeply. Get excited. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

See you soon.



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One Response to “Dear Future Trainee”

  1. Dionne says:

    Melissa, this letter is so beautiful, and I am so grateful to be apart of your upcoming class. This is going to be such a great opportunity for growth, support, dynamic community, and learning. I look forward to the journey, as you as my guide! Namaste!