It’s not lost on me that today – the day before April 1st, a day on which many people intentionally dupe one another – is the day that I received a call from a woman who claims I duped her. This woman attended one of my yoga classes a few weeks ago. The class was part of a 12-week series on how yoga can help us understand addictive patterns in our lives or in those we know and love.
With formal Y12SR training and a lifetime of trying to understand “it” through books, conversations, and just plain old experience, I created a curriculum influenced by my many teachers. I incorporated what I’ve learned from the beautifully wise Nikki Myers (founder of Y12SR) as well as others I’ve studied with, including Rolf Gates, Seane Corn, Sharon Salzberg, and Rafael Cushnir. I’ve borrowed ideas from gorgeous women like Shiva Rea, Elena Brower, and Kathryn Budig and devoured the works of Melody Beattie, Mark Nepo, and Panache Desai. ALL of their work informs my current workshop on addiction, as it did my previous workshops.
Naturally, I felt defensive and hurt when this woman called me out of the blue and argued that my class was too expensive and she wanted a refund. To me, this is like going to McDonald’s, eating a Big Mac, and then approaching the counter and saying “Wait a sec…this isn’t Burger King and that wasn’t a Whopper. Give me my money back.”
But this isn’t about the money. Because yoga should never be about the money, for the love of God. Ask any yoga teacher if they teach for the money and they will laugh in your face. Yoga is about service. It’s about empowering students to comfortably decide what kind of investment they are willing to make to feel better, grounded, and relaxed.
I would love to survey people and ask if they think a 90-minute guided discussion and yoga practice is worth $25 (that comes out to 28 cents per minute of instruction, by the way). But it doesn’t matter. Because what this woman really wanted to communicate to me, but couldn’t, is that my class had disappointed her. And that’s okay.
To dupe is to deceive…to disappoint is to not meet someone’s expectations.
I have spent many years learning how to differentiate between the two and have come to realize that those I love disappoint me but never dupe me. Those I don’t know very well, or don’t care to know, dupe me but never disappoint me.
In recovery, we learn that setting boundaries protects us from the “dupers” in life and self-love protects us from the inevitable disappointment we will feel from time to time. In the end, it’s all about our willingness to bravely expose ourselves to all of it. Part of me wonders if this woman (like so many other people out there) make unfounded accusations simply to engage and connect with another human being.