Life IS complicated. We can try to make it simple and easier by steeping ourselves in our practices. Or we can work to dumb it down.
For most of us, we don’t want to sit in the passenger seat and watch life roll by. We want to participate and that means continuing to grow and change.
And that’s hard work. It’s not the easy way. If you are reading this, then you are probably like me, and want to live to the fullest that’s possible, each and every day.
And some days, that means dumbing it down because we can only take in so much, we need to process through things, or we need a day to recover from all the crap that happened the day prior.
But for the most part, we strive to grow and change, and figure out on continually deeper levels who we are moment by moment. So we can experience life at it’s fullest, share what it is we want to express, and make our mark on the world.
Some days this is harder than others – dealing with our demons and these voices that tell us we’re nothing, or remind us of all the times we’ve failed, or that we might fail this time, and this fail will be BIG. We try to talk ourselves out of living large with all those FEARS that stalk our dreams and silent thoughts.
And then on other days, we manage to tap into our inner strength, wisdom, and confidence, and we let our lights shine bright and stand fully as we are, speak our thoughts clearly, and turn a blind eye to anyone who doubts us.
On the days when you struggle, or the times when you are losing the fight for your own freedom – those are the times when your practices can help you move forward.
Whether it’s a physical or sitting practice, or both, remembering to turn to your practice for support is key. Understanding which practices help you in what moments is also critical.
And turning to a teacher, that can help guide you, teach you the practices designed for specific situations, and can understand where you are, and what you are struggling with, can be life changing, and may help propel you further, faster than you can get on your own.
Share your voice! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below - what are your favorite practices to keep you moving through life? Or share a time when you let your light shine through the darkness of your fears so you could shine bright!
It's been almost exactly a year since I went to India. I haven't written much about my experience because it's a pretty impossible thing to do.
How do you put into words all those happy faces, the welcoming souls, the beautiful colors, the noise, the crowds, the mazes that are streets, those speeding cars, buses, auto-rickshaws, bicycles. It's not a place that you can stand still. And She's not a place that stands still.
Moment by moment She is changing, shifting, realigning. It's a dance like nothing else I've ever seen or experienced.
When I left for India, I wasn't well. I'd just had my worst bout of vertigo that I'll ever have - spending a week in bed unable to set the world straight. My goal, my determination, was that I would make it onto that plane and get to India. The one thing I knew was that I was going.
Even as I dragged my suitcase through the airport, the world moved around me. And I experienced it as a bobble head. My journey through India was moment by moment; one foot in front of the other. Take in only what you can handle; nothing more, nothing less. It was a limited view of the world, but sometimes you have to build walls around you just to get by. And sometimes those views help you understand things in ways you hadn't before.
All these fears came up. You know the kind. The ones that stop you from doing what you really want to do. The ones that keep holding you back. The ones that don't let you speak up, reach out, move along when you really want too.
I learned to block out what wasn't necessary for me to take in or respond to. I let things move through me. I learned to decipher other people's fears from my own. I learned to fully stand on my own two feet. I saw how the negative thoughts make us feel weak when we are truly strong. I learned that I was stronger than I ever imagined. India Strong.
I am way stronger then I ever thought I was. I learned that all those things I've been afraid of don't matter, aren't real, or that I can handle them.
And She didn't mind - She works on you however you come - raveling and unraveling you every day and then again each night. I was part of her dance.
By the end of the trip, I was worn down and ready to go. But since the moment I walked into my door, I've had a deep longing to be back. I want to go back to see what I missed. To see what has changed. I want to go back because I have changed.
I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know I will return.
She lives inside you and She calls you back.
It's what we all want, seek and strive for in our lives. Some of us are on a perpetual quest to receive love from around any corner we can. It can put us on a desperate, heart-wrenching path that ends up leaving us feeling more torn apart than we previously felt. There are some who get up and try again relentlessly, and others who abandon the path, close up shop, and build a wall behind which to hide and feel safe.
We look for love in any way we can get it - from friends, family, co-workers, even strangers. Something to make us feel important, needed, happy - loved.
The one place we forget to look is within. The key to finding love is realizing that it's something that we've been carrying with us all along. It has always been within. It's that long journey that we've been on that leads us right back to ourselves. It's Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Loving ourselves isn't an easy task. Remembering our true nature and embracing our purest form can be a challenge, but it might be the most important challenge in our lives.
We must learn to embrace ourselves as we are - the beauty and the flaws, the darkness and the light. It is lovely to have someone to love us despite our blemishes, but until we can do that on our own, we will always carry self doubts about how others see us. It's in accepting ourselves fully (as we are) that frees us from the judgment of others, but first we must free ourselves from our own judgment.
Once we find the compassion, patience, and pureness for ourselves, our lives will never be the same. Everything shifts. You gain the ability to fully love another - unconditionally. Your heart opens to the magnificent grace that you carry in your soul. You let out your heart's desire and nothing holds you back from living to your fullest potential.
The power of self love is tremendously expansive and luminous. Just one glimpse can change your life.
Jenn White, Yoga Educator, Meditation Teacher, and Owner of Embodied Bliss, began her journey of yoga and meditation in 2004 while recovering from a back injury. Feeling lost, restless and seeking something more from life, she found her path through meditation.
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