There are not many moments we enter where it is easily said….without a doubt. But there are moments and these moments affirm the certainty which than carries us through uncertain times. Trust, faith and conviction all help as well as having practices and tools that keep us integrated to our center. Aligned not so much with the chaos but the mystical potency our highest being holds. There are things for me that I know to be true without a doubt. That every single one of us are sacred at our core. Yes, even the ones I might not agree with completely. That love is real. My vision and clarity of where I am headed aligned with faith in the present moment is much more serving and supportive than questioning everything. That the sun's light is steady and that somehow things always work out…you know…everything is going to be ok. There is an energetic forecast that reveals a heightened intensity for this month. (Personally I feel I have been in this intensity and am so grateful to those from whom I turn to for healing, growth, inspiration & support). Being able to care for yourself daily in ways that keep you in tune, grounded and clear are essential. If you have been in a place of surrender, ecstatic expression, challenge, sad, on fire, it's going to continue to be extreme. Freaking out won't really help anyone, thing or yourself so recognize how you are choosing to participate. Cultivating practical processes that keep you connected to your highest expression of love & light will feed the faith that banishes doubt. This months podcast theme is all about sustenance, so perhaps its time to be committed to personal clarity so we can be supportive of the collective.
Directly impacts the quality of our life. Right? This is probably a main theme I have been contemplating and teaching from for the past year. Destiny, fate, free will, everyone has a different view point and really it's all subjective, (just like this post) we will never really know. But what I have come to realize is I don't have much of a say so in what is happening, but I have a huge say so in how I choose to respond. This is not a new and radical idea, but thinking about it, taking the time to integrate it, feel it and live it…consciously, this is a new process of wholeness for me.
Almost a year ago it was brought to my attention that I was selectively choosing when to be conscious and caring and well, when I wasn't. Let's just say it wasn't fun for those around me. Regardless of how I arrived at this point of despair, I had to become responsible for my actions, my behaviors, that all were a result of my choices. The biggest revelation, I was not allowing myself to feel and be real. Shoot, I was/am a yogi, and all the years practicing and studying, I was well beyond the average person. HA! Yes yoga has helped me process the events of my life, to gain insight and manage chronic pain. Yoga has been an amazing light in my life dealing with the mental, physical and spiritual aspects. It is a practice that allows you to engage with a level of consciousness that improves your self awareness. This was me, the responsible, adult yogi…until I realized that the practice was actually hiding what really needed to be worked on…my relationship with myself, how I was choosing to participate with my inner messy reality. By the way…I am not the only one that does yoga and ignores their raw truth.
Yes, really, people do yoga and ignore what is right in front of them. They tell themselves that they are a yogi, a great practitioner of self awareness, yet this is all a band aid for what is really going on in their life. This was me! This may not be every yogi, but there are a lot of us, and well, thank goodness I woke up to (and continue to the best of my ability) this shallow and distorted level of awareness. In my life, walls were crumbling on many levels, every element of my life seemed to be bottoming out, leaving me little by little. Slowly revealing I am HUMAN and I was breaking down. As if my whole life was laid out before me and there I was…all alone at the bottom of a well with a lot of darkness and the only way out was to wake up to my own shit. How I had been choosing to participate with this life, led me to a serious emotional breakdown. For years I chose to avoid the raw feelings, this is where the yoga mat is brilliant! The intellectual, physical and subtle had become an amazing potion to avoid my own truth.
For me, yoga is a safe space. It has been pivotal in healing from numerous traumas and has provided a level of love and awakening that cannot be undone. But it was inhibiting my own ability to actually acknowledge my own weaknesses – to accept that even I have some serious stuff and not only is it ok to feel them it is completely necessary to acknowledge and accept them. Some would say it was my ego that was in the way, and yes, if you are speaking of pride being in the way, I will say yes, that is exactly it. The ego is how we identify with our life, and I was totally identifying with my own self as if I was above or better than this life I was living. I get sadness, but I was too tough to ever be really be sad. I get anger, but this little angel never gets mad. The process of refinement, oh yes, I love to speak on this one, our flaws are marks of beauty, but I certainly was not going to expose my deepest flaws. May not make sense to you, but honestly, my attention had been focused on being a divine being rather than being human and actually participating and feeling the broad spectrum life offers everyone.
Fortunately, I am surrounded by lovely and amazing beings that believe in me. I reached out for help, which required me to admit I did not have it all figured out, and ask for their guidance. But I had to step away from practices that were providing an escape route…mainly yoga. I never lost the faith that those practices provided. I grabbed ahold of my own heart and quietly stepped into the fire pit of my own emotions and feelings. It has been uncomfortable and well have you heard that saying, you breakdown to breakthrough….it is true. Not some superficial breakdown that sounds good, but a royal shattering of all that you have known.
What broke me down though is helping me build a stronger foundation that is grounded but still awakening to the highest. Yet it is taking shape beyond the yoga mat and well, the permission I have given myself to be more real, to not have everything look so pretty, has provided more freedom than any wild yoga pose or meditation practice. There is a lot more gratitude for all our different parts, humility, contentment and a unconditional love.
If our practices are not allowing us to feel everything from anger to love, disdain to contentment, fear to joy, then are we really engaged and united to Grace, the divine, are we really practitioners of consciousness? Learning to connect the outer world to the inner world and back again, this is what it's all about, this is the practice of yoga – for me. Even when it get’s messy, we can build a deeper path that is clear and in harmony both with our inner vision of ourselves and our outer expression. But we have to be vulnerable, willing to take risks, and hold a level of self-compassion in order for it to work. We can not simply intellectualize it, make it all look pretty and think that we are creating a strong sense of alignment. Yes, go deep, but pay attention to your own tendency to bypass, or excuse some major aspects of your own self. Learn where you are and how you are truly participating in your life.
What happens to us in life is not the only thing that defines us, it’s our ability to choose how we are going to participate with these events that creates our reality. Creating a life based on the whole heart….this is how I now choose to participate.
People have a fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships – DeWall, Deckman, Pond & Bonser
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do – Brown
The self is a consistent pattern, an organized whole – Schultz & Schultz
What does this have to do with anything…it’s everything. Yes I am in graduate school and have been teaching yoga for 10 years, there is a collision of an ancient practice meeting academic standards in my own life currently. If you were to step onto your yoga mat right now – and if I see you in the next 48 hours this is where I will be teaching from – can you, assuming you have all limbs in tack and if not then there is probably a cellular remembrance of what has gone missing, separate your heart from the whole? Can you separate your mind from the whole? Can you separate your physical, arms legs, hands, head from the whole? You could probably be on your mat mindlessly, but I wonder if it will offer a positive relationship with yourself or others later in the day. You could probable separate your heart, but I doubt you would be very successful loving yourself or others later in the day. And really, could you separate your body, the physical from the mental?
Often the concept of our heart and our mind get left out of the bigger picture. In cases of physical abuse or eating disorder, the body or positive regard of the body gets left. Yoga, as I have said before is a practice of uniting, connecting, allowing all parts of oneself to belong, to make a connection to the whole. Interestingly enough, the lack of satisfaction in our lives is seeing everyone else as separate. Isolating cultures, race, religion, sexual preference, politics, yet we all share the same breath, live on this planet together and everyone, as Paul Tournier puts it, “holds a sense of being lovable without having to qualify for that acceptance”. The success of our human race depends on having connections with others…yet we are still at war, and the biggest battle is probably within yourself. I am most definitely the hardest person on myself and tend to be the first one to get in my own way and tend to be the last one to put myself first…but I am working on it and refining little patterns that pull me from the collective love of myself. Working on creating a sense of belonging within in order to reflect it back out in to the wild world in which we participate.
We’ve heard it many times before and I wonder if he was ever hard on himself …
Be the change that you want to see – Gandhi
Yesterday’s post, just as you are, refers to the idea that you contain an unimaginable magnificence as Paul Muller-Ortega has taught me. Yes there are the layers that grip us into the non-loving expressions of our humanness, but we also contain the ability to belong, connect and the potential as well as the encouragement to bring forward your best self. What more is there?
Yes, I wandered off track. Honestly, I haven’t been in front of a computer since Thursday. But it’s good you know. You make a commitment, then you step away for a moment, gain a new perspective. Really you get out and live a little.
You refuel your heart, connect to the people you share this life with, and most importantly, you don’t freak out because it didn’t go according to plan.
Just like this post…there are typos because I’m still not on my computer, but I choose to confess to it not all being just right but rather recognize my imperfect participation. Though it’s just right and as it should be.