Teach What You Know.

By: CJ Ananda

cj ananda blog post teach what you know

In planning the opening of Present Moment, occasionally a minor detail or two would get overlooked – like “who is going to teach yoga?”  In discussing the possibilities, I never considered myself as an option.  At that time, I was practicing yoga, but certainly not feeling capable of teaching.  This is where the universe comes in…

I was gracefully reminded by my business partner that this was my dream, and teaching yoga was something I had been talking about doing for a long time.  As I began my diatribe of all the reasons that I couldn’t teach yoga: I am not certified, I’m not that good at it – not good enough to be a teacher at least, I don’t know that much, I am still learning, I am not ready…I was quickly cut off, and heard the words that have stuck with me ever since: “Teach what you know and don’t teach what you don’t know”.  Got me.  There was no arguing with that one.  There it was so boldly laid out in front of me…my path.

eedless to say, I began teaching immediately…first to friends in my condo. Then I started teaching at a yoga and martial arts studio in Minneapolis, where I had a dedicated group of amazing and supportive women. During this time, I was able to step into the truth that I was more than capable of teaching. I realized that I was called here to do so, and, in fact, it was a part of my purpose in this lifetime. Eventually I got my certification and began the cycle of teaching and learning…learning and teaching.

Today, I continue with the rhythm of teaching and learning in all aspects of Yoga and Life.  This concept of teaching what you know and not teaching what you don’t know continues to come up as a lesson and reminder in my life.  The only thing we can really teach is what we have learned from our own experiences. In fact, once I started teaching yoga, I found myself striving to learn more. The main impetus for me to learn, was to be able to teach, share and pass on any wisdom gained from those experiences.  Now, I find myself with the desire to do this in other aspects of my life. I know that I am here to teach LOVE and my experiences are my guides to what it is I am to share.

Since we can only teach from our experience, the question for became:  “How do I want to experience my experience?”  I recently realized that there are many ways in which to go about learning our life’s lessons. I have at times in the past chosen the route of struggle and pain. This was one way to do it. My body started sending me subtle messages…a fibroid tumor here, appendicitis there.   It took me awhile to discover that this was my wake-up call. It was time for me to start asking the questions – where is this coming from?  And what is my part in creating it? I understood that we either create or allow everything in our lives.  But why was I choosing this method of learning?  Why was it through physical and emotional pain?

Well, the answer was…because it hurts. And, the reason it hurts is because if it felt good, we wouldn’t be so nearly inclined to pay attention to it.  We are more likely to figure out what is going on if it is negative. This seems to be a cultural belief system…that it has to hurt in order to get the lesson. No pain…no gain, right?  There is an energy in us that wants growth and expansion, and another part that is saying it must involve destruction, pain and it has to hurt. The reality is that we have a choice in the matter. I could definitely learn from this painful method…kicking myself harder and harder until I finally started to pay attention.  But why would I choose to teach and heal myself this way when this is not the way in which I want to teach and heal others?  If I am here to teach about love, shouldn’t I be learning my lessons from a place of love rather than pain?

cj ananda blog post

An aspect of my soul was feeling depleted…no longer able to continue in a way that wasn’t about love since love was the way I came to teach… learning from love, recovering through love, healing with love. On some level it made sense to me that I would be doing my dharma through struggle rather than through self-love – through pain rather than joy.  I recognized that it was an important part of what needed to occur in order for me to understand how many of us repress the things we are not ready to deal with, burying them in the receptacles of our bodies until there is nowhere for this energy to go than outward. Interestingly, the physical manifestations of our unbalanced experiences usually show up exactly in the area that needs to be awakened. 

In my body, I noticed most of my physical issues were around my 2nd and 3rd chakras, indicating the work I needed to do work relative to my sexuality, creativity, personal power, femininity, inner strength, worthiness, etc. The point being that the messages get louder until we deal with the repository of repressed energy inside. We have to find it, get in touch with it, unravel it, bring light in to move it, bring more light in to fill the space and go to the next level of connecting to who we really are…beings of light and love!

I believe that we are all here on this planet with the purpose of learning about Love…what Love is, how to give and receive Love, how to live in Love, feel Love and simply Be Love. Sometimes in order to learn what love is, we choose the path of learning first what love is not.  Love is not pain, struggle, fear, doubt, sickness, hatred, destruction or duality. Love is unconditional, infinite, intuitive, inclusive, sustainable and universal. Love is. When we recognize something as blissful in our lives, and can start asking – where this is coming from?  And what am I doing to create it? Then we can start making the transition to learning from this bliss rather than pain.  We can learn from love, recover through love and heal with love – yummy!

So in the essence of teaching what I know, and not teaching what I don’t know, I have been able to direct my classes, lectures and conversations to the real experiences I get to have.  Every experience becomes a lesson or a gift that I get to pass on in some capacity when it is appropriate and relevant for others.

Although I may not have recognized it at the time, the beautiful thing about these painful experiences, was knowing that I called it in for my higher good. I planned this out long ago to meet myself here, at this time, on this path as a part of my soul’s transformation and growth. I scheduled this. I chose in the past to learn from pain in this way so I can truly relate to others who choose this for themselves. I can now understand their process and support their healing. In other words I can teach what I know… from my experience, not from what I read, what I am told, or from what I hear about as someone else’s story.  It is truly my own to know and from which to gain wisdom. In the process I get to see that I have a choice in the way in which I want to learn my lessons.  And because I see that I came to teach in love I now choose to learn in love.

If you get out of your own way, the Divine being that you are will be there.
— Rajneesh (Osho)

cj ananda blog post bio

Ananda facilitates 200 hour and 300 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, Shamanic Cleanses and Transformational Retreats giving each person the heartfelt attention and direct facilitation that cultivates ecstatic, healing and magical experiences. As a teacher, she sees each of her classes as an opportunity to hold sacred ceremonial space.

Integrating her teachings and passions, Ananda has developed a system of intentional-based healing that draws on the philosophy that we are all a part of a collective life force that is driving us towards greater consciousness. By exploring our gifts and expanding our relationship with higher Self, we come into alignment with our inner purpose of Awakening. Through our collaborative efforts and unified intentions, we magnify the richness of this life's experience.