Gurus are hard to come by these days. If you run a Craigslist ad for one, you're probably not going to get much in the way of ancient wisdom, just the odd spam email. Does that mean we give up and live shallow lives without anyone to guide us onto our future? No way, Jose! If you want inspiration and wisdom, you have to dig for it. Search it out with all your heart and soul. Surprisingly, you'll find that gurus are all around you.
We may not have shamans and gurus next door to us. We do however, have them at our fingertips. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages.
Who's teaching whom?
Take, for example, the people in our lives for whom we usually play the role of teacher. My son is the perfect example. He is 12 years old and you would think that, since I'm the one who raised him, what could I possibly learn from him? Yet, if I stop and look at life through his eyes, I am amazed at how wise that little guy is. We were walking to our car one day and I swatted a bee that came near us. He stopped me and explained that bees scare him too but when they come near him he simply internally says, "Bee, I am afraid of you, I know when you sting me it's only because you are trying to protect yourself. So let's make a deal, I won't bother you and you don't sting me."
Since he started this tactic, he's been sting-free. He has little pieces of wisdom about so many things if I just look at him as a teacher instead of as merely my son.
In the same way, I often take my teacher hat off when interacting with my students. I listen to the unique wisdom that they each hold in their being—wisdom that has only been imparted to them through their own unique experience in this world.
Your Friends Could Teach You a Thing or Two About Life
You know the old adage, "You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family." We choose our friends because we find them loving, nurturing, intriguing and fascinating. That means there is a well of wisdom hidden inside your best besty—or you wouldn't be hanging with him or her. My friend Doug is a chemist who loves astronomy, science, and drumming. My friend LuLu is an actress passionate about eastern philosophy, meditation and hula hooping. I can't even begin to tell you how much I have gleaned from just these two friends. Doug's rhythm lessons and LuLu’s meditation tips have completely redefined my yoga practice. My classes are packed with richness from their wisdom.
Friends are great gurus because they love you, likely know quite a bit about something you don't, and they like spending time with you. That trinity of characteristics can open up an enormous field of possibility. Find out what your friends are great at and ask them to share it with you.
Thank Your Lucky Stars For Technology
One absolutely amazing thing about living in this age is the computer. Obviously, they're a portal to the Internet. You have access to poets, self-help gurus, inspiring music, TED talks, comedians, make-up artists, scientists, writers, movies, and so much more. Take advantage of the times we live in. Learn from the greats, study them, interview them, figure out what makes them tick. We have ears to hear and eyes to see and it is all waiting for us at the tap of a key.
But don't forsake the dozens of other programs that every PC seems packed with. Personally, I'm a Mac girl, so I spend as much time at the Genius Bar as I can afford, where those sexy young men with huge brains have helped me do amazing things with my computer, including teaching me how to use Garage Band, with which I can download music and mix it like a DJ. I can create a platform for Nicki Minaj to sing back up for Van Morrison, the Beatles with Radiohead and for Leonard Cohen to recite poetry to Moonlight Sonata. Each time you learn something new, be sure to find a way to integrate it into your class in some creative way.
There are so many other places you can find inspiration; these are just a few. My main point here is that gurus today do not necessarily show up in our lives traipsing around in white gowns with mala beads around their necks. When you step out into the world as a student looking for a teacher, your guru will soon appear. Each person, place or thing we pass has something to teach us with their inner divinity. We just need to look.
Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California. She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes but also life affirming workshops. She also writes for www.beachbody.com, which provides effective home fitness programs for all fitness levels including the Les Mill Pump exercise videos.