Welcoming and Grace…in Idaho Falls

I recently taught a weekend workshop in Idaho Falls, ID, where I had an incredibly positive experience.  The students were focused, enthusiastic, and hard-working, and they had excellent practices.  It was a sunny weekend, I was fed and housed by a lovely local couple, and I got to share my passion with others.  What’s not to like?  But the most striking aspect of the weekend was how welcomed I felt by the group.

I just looked up the word “welcome” in the dictionary.  One of the definitions was “to receive or accept with pleasure.”  What a great phrase!  It seems so tied to Anusara’s first principle, “Open to Grace.”  When we talk about opening to grace, we often emphasize that the grace is out there; we don’t need to seek it, find it, or create it, we just need to open to it and then receive it.  And given this dictionary definition of the word welcome as “receiving” or “accepting”, it seems that we could easily call the principle “Welcome to Grace” and we’d be expressing the same idea.  Interesting.

So I showed up at the Idaho Falls YMCA (with space graciously provided by my friend Bitsy who brings radiance and organization to that fine institution) and the room was already set up.  Workshop participants started arriving, and every one of them thanked me for coming down to Idaho Falls (it’s about a 90 minute drive from my house) to teach them – this is before I even opened my mouth to say anything!  And then they thanked me after the sessions.  And they invited me to dinner gatherings.  And they sent me appreciative emails.  All because I showed up and, basically, helped them open to grace through asana.

But the irony is this – they were already open to grace!!  If welcoming means receiving, they were doing so before I even opened my mouth to give anything.  It’s almost as though the act of receiving itself created the gift – kinda opposite from the causal order we expect, isn’t it?  There has to be a gift for us to receive the gift…right?  Maybe not. Maybe the act of receiving itself creates the gift –or even better, maybe it IS the gift.

Needless to say, by virtue of being treated with such openness and gratitude, I felt incredibly motivated to teach well and transmit what I have learned from my teachers on to these folks.  So, in the great tradition of goodness multiplying on itself, the participants in this workshop got even more from me than I thought I had to give…because they were so welcoming.

I’ll remember this experience when the cynical part of me crops up and asserts that there is only a certain amount of good to go around.  We have such a strong argument for starting from a place of openness to grace – and staying there until given a reason to do otherwise.

Every warm welcome spreads a seed for another awesome bright flower...!

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~ by bridgetannlyons on June 9, 2011.

2 Responses to “Welcoming and Grace…in Idaho Falls”

  1. Delicious. Thank you, Bridget.

  2. Boise Wedding Photography…

    […]Welcoming and Grace…in Idaho Falls « bridgetlyonsyoga[…]…

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