The Tax Man Cometh
-Charles M. Schulz
This month has been chock full of preparation, learning, and fun. Now my practical analytical side has been buzzing along because it is (horror) tax season. Yes, it is the time of year when people reevaluate their financial positions, track specific goals or shrug and don’t give a damn. I have been preparing personal returns and noticing how the inner is reflected against the outer. I’ve come to the realization that financial health has absolutely nothing to do with how an individual looks on the outside. Messy hair, unkempt nails, wrinkled clothing, check. This one MUST be irresponsible financially. Nope, they have a retirement plan, a savings account, and a home. Another client, designer purse, coiffed hair, dressed to the nines. And they have not a dime to their name. Interesting. Maybe the first individual is working two jobs and just completed a 12-hour shift. And possibly the latter individual longs for acceptance and approval from everyone besides herself. Can you judge a book by its cover? I’m not so sure. I’ve been humbled numerous times this past month underestimating, overestimating, and generally blundering my way from expectation to judgment to defeat. As a yoga instructor when I approach the mat I look not at the exterior traits of my students but their inner glow. Intuition is my guide as I feel the energy of the room and observe body posture and gestures.
I went to a teacher reunion this past week and had the honor of being in the presence of local teachers who gathered to share, chat, and practice. What a pleasure it was to move amongst individuals who wanted nothing more than to share their ideas and insights as well as learn from others. Sociologists theorize that society creates sub cultures through various self branding. For example an individual who has multiple piercing, radical hair, and torn jeans aligns themselves differently that with someone else who has a crew cut, pin stripe suit and a crisp white shirt.
I’m not so sure about that either. What about the aspiring singer/ waitress? Or the CEO who rides motorcycles on the weekends and sports a (hidden) tattoo? Or the CPA mom who happens to really enjoy yoga?
What about the scrubby individual that is working and going to school full time that doesn’t have a dime to their name but is investing in their future?
Ah, there is much to learn.
Maybe defeat is not the appropriate word. What about aware? Brought into focus? The light is being turned up! Alright I am on a roll. Next!
So as the door of January closes I come away and reflect on this month’s life lesson. Whether you identify yourself as a student, teacher, parent, partner, whatever; it is not earthly trappings that enable the soul to shine, but the daily choices we make.
My eyes feel closed many times as I feel my way down the hall. But isn’t that the lesson? Maybe we should close our eyes sometimes and feel the room and “see” our path.
My tax clients will continue to surprise and challenge my perception. And my yoga students will continue to reach for their toes. Both processes of servicing mankind are uniquely different and yet the same. They both require that I observe and question but not assume. It is to be both the teacher and the student at the same time.
January has been a gift and I am grateful.