Cara Ferrara BradleyAs a human being I am just doing my best to enjoy my life while attempting to serve others and leave the world a better place.  I don’t claim to be enlightened and I don’t claim to have the answers to those big life questions.  As a yoga teacher and yoga business owner, the last thing that I want is for people to think that I’ve “got it all together” and I certainly do not want to be put on a pedestal. I only desire that others meet me as a fellow “spiritual-being” having an imperfect and unpredictable human experience.

A few weeks ago while attempting to conduct a monthly community teleconference, I unknowingly exposed my humanness. Yep, this yoga teacher and studio owner completely revealed her weakness, impatience and imperfection.  And, in a matter of a heartbeat, I was liberated!

This wonderfully serendipitous situation unfolded as I prepped for this particular call that had a record 50+ people registered. The topic was called Unclutter your Mind, one of my favorite teachings to pull apart and dissect.  Getting ready for a teleconference is a two-step process, 1) call into the phone line and 2) login to the call webpage in order to mute or unmute callers throughout the discussion. So, on went my headphones as I dialed into the call early. At 7:50 for an 8:00 pm start time I logged onto the conference site and was met by the dreaded white screen. No problem, I took a deep breath and tried again.  No such luck.  And here is where the story unfolds.

I remained somewhat calm as I contacted support through a chat page and was told to “shut everything down and reboot.”  I apparently had “too much stuff running”. In other words, my computer was cluttered!  Humpf… okay.  I started shutting down all the open programs.  And, let me tell you, it was slow going. At this point it was 7:58, two minutes before conference time and I had 50 plus coming on the call. And my heart rate started to race a bit more.

The pre-conference muzak that blasted in my ears was accelerating my already elevated stress level.  The intermittent bells signaling that people were arriving to the call didn’t help me to calm down either.  It was now 8:05 and my computer continued to churn and chug. Panic set in.  In between mutters of, “Are you kidding me”, and “I cannot believe this is happening” I let out a couple of choice words. Use your imagination. In between some of my less than lady-like comments were some desperate chuckles. You get the picture.

At 8:08 I finally logged onto the website and officially “opened” the call.  I figured by that time everyone would have left but there were still 15 people on the call.  I apologized and thanked them for hanging on.  I told them of my frustration and we carried on. I honestly don’t even remember much about the call. I said something about being calm and spacious, yada, yada, yada.  I was thankful when the call ended.  I wanted to get into my pj’s and go to bed!  NO SUCH LUCK!

A slew of texts and emails arrived from friends saying that while I was struggling to get on the website my microphone had been live. In other words, 50 plus people had a peep show into my twenty STRESS-FILLED minutes. Yes folks, the phone call was LIVE! Everyone heard me huff, puff, and yes, explicitly express myself a couple of times.  I was exposed! The word was out. This yoga teacher and studio owner gets impatient, stressed-out and yes… curses!   All but one of the emails were positive.  Many told me how they appreciated listening to me go from deep breathing, to explicative, to laughter.  A few told me that they cheered me on from the other side of the phone line and stayed connected with me because they too “felt my pain”.  What an incredible lesson. What liberation!  Besides the one email that chided me for cursing and being “un yoga-like” everyone celebrated my humanness.  One woman told me that she likes me even more now that she knows I don’t have it “all together”.  Yep, this yoga teacher is not perfect. She is not enlightened and she continues to do her best to make the most out of this wondrous live that she has been given.

This serendipitous situation has taught me so much. 1) Give yourself lots of time to prepare all the technology needed when you have an important event.  2) Unclutter your computer and well as your mind and things will run more smoothly!  3) Cursing is not always necessary (but sometimes just helps us feel a little bit better) 4) Exposing your humanness to the world is a great connector and can be both exhilarating and tremendously freeing.

Comments 14

  1. OMG! This was too funny! I know how awful it must have been at the time though. For all of us who do webinars, it’s our worst nightmare, but for you it turned out to be a great experience!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Loved your blog on Exposed. So wonderful to share with us what your ‘side’ was like.
    Thanks for putting yourself out there, once again. So refreshingly authentic.
    Happy thanksgiving and many blessings.

  3. This really does show how much more similar we are than different… I was right there with you, Cara! Your honesty and ability to laugh at yourself, and go on with the show was cool. Not “beating yourself up” over it is even better!

  4. We all have moments like that Cara! Being zen is not to judge another for having them more than not having them. I recall a moment I had when I let out a string of choice words and my elderly new neighbor was coming to welcome me – she quickly shuffled out – I felt terrible and assumed that she would judge me. Next week I hear her shouting expletives to the guy finishing our new homes. She saw I had been watching and we smiled and immediately bonded : ) realizing we were two women that sometimes have to let off a little steam!

  5. What a refreshing post. I once missed a teleseminar I was leading! Boy did that feel awful and unprofessional, but one clear message was that I had way too much on my plate–both literally and figuratively. I realized that part of my fatigue was the way I ate and I switched to a whole foods plant based diet shortly after. So there were several lessons and gifts that came out of it.
    I did feel ashamed and embarrassed for forgetting the teleseminar. Your post helps me feel a little more forgiving with myself. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your comment. Your story actually made me feel better! At the end of the day this ride we call life can be much more enjoyable if we can find a way to kind to ourselves.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this Cara. You and I go back many years now and I consider you as much as a friend as a teacher. What warms my heart with this is how you felt “liberated” by being exposed. One of my greatest fears to this day is to let people see my weaknesses. You have enlightened me with sharing this how I’m depriving myself of “liberation” too. Rolf’s first quote in Meditations from the Mat is, “by your stumbling, the world is perfected”. How apropos is that!

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