I asked my good yogi friend this morning over our daily fruit and muesli, “So, is it just the older you get the bigger the lessons get? I mean, you have more room for ‘error’ the older you get because the bigger your investments in life get. You travel internationally which puts you totally out of your first world safety zone, you might have a marriage, kids, love becomes deeper, things are more engrained, etc.. so the lessons are more harsh… makes sense, right?” I had also made a reference to recent events being giant screw up’s, on my part.
No need to name my current life lessons, but let’s just say, they are great in number and more searing than ever before.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed beyond belief to be slapped in the face now and again by the universe; it really is a chance to grow… to go on in life with a new lesson. The bigger the problem, the more potential for growth.
She replied, “Well, I think you just become more aware. This is why we practice. These things aren’t screw ups, that is your self-critic telling you they are screw up’s. Listen to how you are speaking to yourself.”
All of the sudden the blessing felt like a blessing x100. Holy cow! This is my practice and work shining through into my life. If I didn’t practice Yoga, and work in wilderness therapy, I (which she so kindly reminded me of) probably would not have this awareness of all the things going on, impacting my daily life so much mentally and physically. It is also through the exploration of the yoga sutras, meditation, breath, the physical body (pratyahara), and all of the other lessons I learn from this practice where I have acquired the ability to practice Ahimsa and compassion towards myself, and others in times like these. No time or purpose for harsh thoughts or words. It is when I lose this practice and make excuses to get off track (i.e. stop meditating, pranayama, asanam, pratyahara…) and when I get off track, I let my self critic get the best of me and also, one of my faults, live for other people… whether that be approval, or love.
This living for other people’s love or approval is what causes the most pain of all. Fully exposed here! This one hurts the Ego to admit.
This brings me to an anatomical term I teach:
Sensory adaptation: ability to ignore unimportant stimuli (my self critic and my emotional reactions); allow brain to prioritize sensory input it receives to prevent being overwhelmed.
I’ve never felt more blessed to stumble upon a practice such as Yoga as I have now. From this practice, I am gaining the ability to step back and objectively look at what is real for me; where am I physiologically feeling this? Is this in my heart, my psoas, my solar plexus? Is this a reaction? In this deeper sense of awareness I begin to make decisions based on what’s real for me and me only, and I am better able to follow my intuition with trust in what is unfolding, even though I may not be totally comfortable with it right now… because my reactions in the past were to run away from it in some manner or react, rather than feel my fear, sit with it… and trust that this fear is real, and it’s something I need to deal with.
When I lose the ability to make decisions based on what’s true for me, I hurt others, and I get hurt (mentally and physically.)
I allow adjustments from teachers whom I respect even though it hurts me, so I get injured. I fall into false relationships and don’t release them in fear of hurting others. I do things for the love and approval of my father that aren’t true to me.
What’s the goal here then? To adapt to this journey, to learn, to move forth with the utmost integrity and love for myself and other beings, and to trust that I carry all that I need to do these things.
Although I may experience troughs and huge waves, my ocean is always full, and as long as I am in this body, in this world, I am here for a reason. My self-critic has been created in my mind from my processes in life previous to today, and I am only doing a disservice in letting it convince me that I am not already holy, and my ocean is not always full regardless of what waves or troughs are temporarily created.
So trust, trust in myself, trust in yourself, and trust in the will of the universe, God, Ishvara, Krishna, and the goodwill of others on the same path to carry you through.
“THEN THE SEER [SELF] ABIDES IN HIS OWN NATURE.” YOGA SUTRA 1:3
Love and Light xo