It’s all fine and nice and all to post inspiring messages to our Facebook walls and Twitter feeds, to quote our favorite teachers to our friends or in yoga class, but whoa can it feel ugly when we get caught not being that happy, shiny, “evolved” person. And that’s when the wheels can come off our cart – especially if it’s our self that calls us out on our own b*llsh#t.
As a yoga teacher I’ve found that I often struggle with the feeling of being a big fat hypocrite. Don’t get me wrong, I eat, sleep, breath and practice everything I preach 24/7. I’m a veritable spiritual sponge. But I’m human too and I’m far from 100% in being non-violent, non-reactive, generous, kind and peaceful at all times. Once we wake up enough to be aware of our thoughts and actions – to observe ourselves and what we do, there can be periods of time where it’s so much more painful than being asleep! And that’s where I’ve found that self-love, acceptance and affirmation is so vital. I share in the rest of this post about some really freeing and wonderful breakthroughs I’ve had with my 40 Days to Personal Revolution group. But I want you to know before your read it that, while it sounds like lots of butterflies, sunshine and rainbows, the path to that joy was bumpy, tough, challenging and contained a lot of self-doubt and some downright ugly cries.
As someone who is always coaching and guiding and practicing spiritual “stuff,” I can tell you, the truth is always super simple, but it can be a b*tch to practice. That’s why we call it a yoga “practice.” This is lifetime, hour by hour, day by day, disciplined living. And it’s worth it!
This week at Radiance our 40 Days to Personal Revolution group celebrates the final week of our six-week journey. The theme is “Triumph!” We honor our deepening knowledge of ourselves, our inherent wholeness and the interconnectedness of all things. We are freer, lighter. Our tired, worn out habits have begun to fall away – to give themselves up, as my teacher, Baron Baptiste says.
I personally have experienced this wondrous sensation of having the light edge out the darker, more depressy and stressy parts of myself – the parts that would turn to old habitual and unhealthy crutches to soothe away or numb my fears and anxieties. As I’ve stepped into challenging roles and taken on assignments and projects that stretched – and sometimes outright terrified – me, I came through each one more luminous, expanded, riding this wave of realization that perhaps I am far more powerful than I know, and it’s not only ok, it feels really good.
I don’t fight or struggle so much now with cravings for unhealthy things, or find myself unconsciously falling into cranky, mean behavior. It’s like the hole that those things were filling isn’t there. At least, it’s not such an overwhelming presence, sucking whatever it can find into its infinite vacuous-ness. I imagine this is what Baron means when he says: “The Whole is the Goal.” When we are truly living in wholeness, in integrity in all aspects of our lives, there’s no crack for weeds to being to form in. Those noxious, prickly and thorny thoughts grow fewer and further between, until they become nearly non-existent. In their place, we experience the peace of open space. And our natural state of being fills that space with light.
A Course in Miracles says: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” What a beautiful realization! That we don’t have to go anywhere, discover anything, add anything at all into ourselves to make ourselves whole, or perfect or even better – we already are the most amazing, incredible, infinite, love-filled beings. There’s just been too much debris in the way for us to experience ourselves fully. We simply need to start the Spring cleaning: tear away the vines, brush off the dirt, scrape off some rust, rip off the old musty shutters and let the light shine – from inside out.
So as we begin to emerge from Winter’s darker days, how about getting out that weed-wacker? A good sweaty yoga class is a great start.
See you on your mat!