Last week was really exciting. I did the week-long intensive leader training workshop to become an intenSati leader. I am so proud to be part of this community, and now in an even bigger way than before. I’ve mentioned it here many times but I am not sure I ever really went into what it is: intenSati is a practice that includes martial arts, yoga, aerobic, and dance movements, but what makes it unique is that each movement is paired with a positive affirmation. It’s amazing, intense, and totally transformative and uplifting. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, or what time that conference call is, or worse, you’re thinking and saying things like “I am strong!” or “I am ready, willing and able, right now!” And you’re saying these things, shouting them, surrounded by other people, raising the positive energy level in the room through the roof. Did I mention this is a workout? Like at the gym?
I resisted intenSati for many years. I’ve been a member of the same gym for eight years. And intenSati has been exclusive to my gym since 2003. But, I didn’t even try it until about two or three years ago. I’ll admit it: I stood outside the studio, tapping my foot, waiting for my 7:30pm dance class to start while Patricia Moreno led her class in the final meditation. I resented all the sweat they left on the floor and cringed at the gamey stench of sweaty bodies when entered the room. Then I tried it.
The first class I took was taught by Erika Shannon and I remember which studio it was in. And, until recently I know I remembered the affirmations. The only explanation for my loss of them right now is that I’ve OD’d on the practice and have so many series stuck in my head now. Natalia’s “My life is amazing ‘cause I make it that way.” Erika, “I leave it on the floor; I can find more.” Erin, “Something amazing is coming my way!” And then there’s, of course, the series that was drilled into my head last week.
There are so many amazing things that are going to happen for me this year. I know it. And this training was one of them. I decided in February I would do it, thanks to a single comment from, Dyan, the amazing woman who runs the intenSati leader training program. She came up to me after class one morning and said, “You’re doing the leader training?” It was part question, part statement. I was recruited. I was in. Then I had to wait four months. I had been waiting so long I had a lot of time to formulate my expectations.
This happens to me. An experience I’ve been waiting for becomes almost like meeting your favorite celebrity and finding out quickly he or she is an a-hole. I am pleased to report intenSati leader training is not like a celebrity a-hole. It was everything I hoped it would be. It was physically challenging (like on Double Dare but slightly cleaner) and it was emotionally awakening. And before it even started, I was able to practice a change in perception (always a useful tool).
When I found out – via Facebook – that there were to be nearly 30 leaders-in-training in my group, I got grumpy. I was sure this would deflect the personal attention I would receive. I would just be one in a sea of new instructors. And once we are set free to spread intenSati to the masses, I would be competing with them for students. Well, this sort of thinking is unhelpful, I thought. And would certainly not enhance my experience. So, I made the choice to change my perspective. I told this to my training group when I had to deliver an “intro” as part of the first class we taught together on our last day. I was sort of nervous in front of the group, basically admitting I resented them before I even met them. But I offered something I wrote for myself before training started, “I am here to have fun, learn from the best, support my teammates, and make 30 new friends.” I called them my Sati sisters. And every night during the training, I found myself writing every single one of their names, (Alyssa, Carolyn, Elena, Eilnor, Elizabeth, Heather, Heather, Jenna, Jayme, Jaimie, Julie, Jill, Laura, Melanie, Marianne, Marie, Mirelle, Melissa, Mierav, Olivia, Patty, Phoebe, Sandy, Tara, and Tracy) in my gratitude list. I also included the current leaders who lent their time to guiding us through the process. If they knew how obsessed I am, they would quote Dina (formerly from the Real Housewives of New Jersey) “The girl is obsessed with me. I don’t know if she wants to be me, or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace…” Sort of.
The week-long experience was so big, and heralds so much of what is to come that it’s hard to find the words. It will be one of the three most important things I do all year. I can’t wait to get started.