The Involvement of Growth

Written by Teresa Phelps Martin

On May 4, 2019

On the path of life there is the invitation to live grounded in the peace of our true self. Holding this intention is known as Sankalpa in yoga. In order to experience the great light of our true essence we have to also honor the wounds that need healing. These imprints on our soul are called Samskara. With the consistency of the practice we nourish, heal, and hold space to honor our whole self.

Being consistent with our practice is essential if we want to heal. If we hold the intention to at least just show up, regardless if we are feeling amazing or are struggling deeply, we make a shift back to peace, Shanti, and hold more confidence in our ability to stand in our light, Samadhi. These are the core elements that I lean into as a yoga practitioner, teacher, mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter. It is all really amazing and can help us grow or evolve at a soul level.

When people show up on their mat I ask these questions consistently… What do you standing for? What motivated them to show up? Will they allow themselves to honor the effort it took to arrive? Inviting people to show up for their own light requires a level of courage – the courage to see the value of their own worth.

I am going to come clean though, in over 20 years of a deeply committed yoga practice that definitely saved my life, along the journey I realized that it just wasn’t enough. Yep, true confessions of a yoga practitioner that is devoted to her spiritual practices that includes meditation. Becoming a mom made it even more apparent. Before I go any further, I hold a high standard of what it means to stand in my light. I am not fulfilled if I am not evolving and growing. It is evident in how much I have invested in trainings to help, serve and heal. This can be exhausting and expensive, but it is what nourishes me and keeps me engaged in my life.

Motherhood is an amazing opportunity that I consciously choose and had to fight for and stay committed too. There are moments where I find myself in a stark contrast to all that I stand for and it has thrown me into the deepest and darkest layers of myself. I have so many tools yet I have to keep finding more tools. Thankfully this search keeps me open to receiving guidance.

That guidance directed me to take care of myself at a core level on a whole new level. I added supplements to heal my gut with Plexus and sought out the best therapist that does EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is because of my commitment to being my best self through a WHOLISTIC approach that I was able to tune into the alarm clock of stress. When certain things I do really well and with ease aren’t coming together as clearly, sharply or easily, I go inward to seek guidance from my soul and well, this is where I found myself – doing more work to heal the deeper layers of me.

When I shared with a client of mine that I was going to commit to a deeper level of healing (I prefer to be transparent) she said to me “you are… rather involved”. It warmed my heart that she noticed, was curious, but really just holding space for me too. Holding space for each other is what another client says is living in diversity. I love my clients as they know firsthand that this life, to really live it to your best, to be in a strong healthy relationship with your higher self, requires growth which requires your commitment. Consistently remaining in a relationship with your own light. Your most satisfying and fulfilled life is an inside job that keeps you involved with your own evolution.

There’s so much taboo, and stigma around needing therapy or wanting a coach. Yet being able to ask for help is essential. People love to help as I am sure you do too. There are so many people that are afraid of being alive – but that is an entirely different subject and if you are reading this – that is not you. Fearing our own light is an example of how much pain we hold inside and it is evident in the ways people keep knocking other people down. Not honoring the pain is one thing, being ok living in pain is another, both of them are examples of being afraid to live.

Choosing to do deep trauma work comes from honoring my anger, fear and fact that I can’t do all that I desire to do and be the version of me that I know is there but she seems hidden from time to time. It might sound weird to say that going to those dark places, sitting in the pain, letting tears flow and being ok with being deeply lost is so powerful but I can because going there allows the opportunity for transformation. Now I can talk about it, fell lighter, have more energy, feel more enthusiasm for life, sleep better and have a stronger belief in my own worth. I feel more peace and hold a greater vision for myself and those that are with me in this journey of life. So my hope in sharing this is that maybe talking about the darkness will bring more light and make it easier for you to do the deeper work.

Seeing that yoga is like therapy for so many, so why would you just stop at the mat? Yoga had a stigma a while back, when I first started teaching, but look how that has shifted with so much evidence of how it helps nourish your soul.

Ever notice how in a group class, workshop or retreat is so much more fun when there are people practicing with you. When we are in a community we can grow together mainly because we are reminded we are not alone. Our wounds are unique but there is a commonality in being human.

If you think that we can do this life alone and without any kind of growth, you just might be killing your soul.

You do want to drop into the deeper layers of yourself and receive the guidance or your higher self. To come home to your truth. It is a process of releasing and renewing. And while meditation appears to be a practice of sitting alone with yourself, you are actually inviting in the great light of consciousness, god, spirit, source, however you call it. It is the process of holding space for yourself. So you realize you are not alone. It strengthens your ability to acknowledge what are you willing to be involved in and align with your truth. When you work with someone trained and experienced in facilitating healing you are inviting in an energy that holds you in a higher regard, keeping you accountable for your own worth.

To think that we can do it all on our own is living from a limited perspective and shutting out spirit no matter how you believe. The paradox in this is that I teach self-reliance and how one can advocate for themselves. This is also one of my weaknesses. I can still be too reliant on my own self, too full of pride or righteous. I am highly skilled you know, and that in of itself is what takes me down and why I am sharing that even I have pain, struggles and have learned to ask for help in the deeper healing of my own soul’s light.

Knowing your tendencies and triggers is where the power of transformation resides. I tend to be the hero, the helper and the one always taking care of everyone else’s needs. Thanks to the general nature of being in relationship to life requires an involvement in the relationship with oneself.

Being committed to my highest self layered with my eternal quest to always go deeper and seek more clarity has lead me to the understanding that it is essential for me to receive – like my life depends on it. All our lives depend on it, it is a universal truth. Showing up for the deep work can be uncomfortable. But that discomfort is short term and the peace and joy is always waiting on the other side.

Even when I am not certain I have it in me, I show up for my light every day. I’ve learned that I have to make my life a priority and be involved in my growth if I’m gonna be any kind of light for anybody else. Showing up for the light of our own heart, our own heartbeat, the people that we love, the community we live in, the humanity that we engage in this life with, it’s essential that we show up for our own self. Showing up means we have to be involved with the deeper layers, the soil of our soul.

The involvement of growth is more than just being positive, thinking good thoughts and always having the most elaborate self-care list. Actually it is about honoring the wounds, practicing forgiveness, cultivating compassion and allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to allow other people to hold space for your own healing.

When you show up for your highest light you want to remember you are human, and every human holds an imprint on their soul that is going to require an involvement with healing. This samsara will work with your ego or your dark side and try really hard to hide your truth. Living authentically aligned means to your willing to love on your weaknesses. It makes it easier to make decisions around wanting to wear deodorant or not. To engage with your highest might cause a little ripple of discomfort to get back to the peace and joy. What comes is clarity. Being clear in where you invest your time and your energy is priceless really. The involvement of growth brings so much more freedom to your life.

Please know that I am a highly functioning person who has a lot of trauma.  I feel incredibly blessed with all my experiences that my resilience has always been strong. Trauma is trauma. It happens every day and because it happens a lot when were young does not mean we deserve it or that it is ok. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t have access to people holding space for their own transformation. Maybe by sharing a little bit of my own pain and struggle it will give you permission to no longer be haunted by your own darkness.

Those moments of heartache are nothing to be ashamed of but rather embraced, respected and nourished. Because all of us have wounds and this is what allows us to be compassionate. These wounds teacher us to the wisdom of our own hearts that can guide us on a daily basis. Getting involved in your own evolution and personal growth brings forward freedom where you can stand in your light with more ease, more comfort, more peace and more enjoyment for life as a whole.

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