“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is; because everything you gain in life will rot and fall away, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart.” -Jim Carrey
My practice has been deepening. It happens so subtly sometimes, it’s hard to even notice. But change slowly begins to occur and without knowing it entirely, you’ve turned a page in the book of life.
For tangible example; I remember the first time I caught myself completing Ujjayi breathing during practice. It was like the 200th time I’d heard a teacher explain how to do it and guide the class cuing the breath with every pose. Without even fully realizing it I had gained a new skill of breathing during practice. It was a game changer. The feeling I had post-class was something I’d never felt before. I held space in savasana in pure mental silence. It was crazy. I’ll never forget that day. It just happened thoughtlessly. I let go. I took breath. I gained awareness within my breath. I practiced “yoga” for he very first time, and a page turned.
So, I just caught myself in action again. I just learned how to breathe again– but not in the literal sense. What I’m working with now is happening outside of asana.
All of a sudden I can see with this strange clarity how I trap myself. How I hurt myself by continuing to put my hand on the burner even though I know it’s hot. In what were previously unconscious tendencies, habits and patterns leading me toward suffering in my life, well, they are now seen with clear consciousness. I can see what I’m doing to myself. I’m baring witness to myself. I recognize where my actions are stopping me from progressing forward in my life spiritually/mentally/as a human in general. We all do it. It’s part of human nature. We can know something is bad for us and we still do it anyway. We can repeat negative patterns in our lives. We create our own suffering in every sense. It’s been called the “human condition”.
Tracing my steps backwards a few things came into play that lead me to this new found ability to bare witness to myself, outside of myself.
- I started noting the people I admire, and what they at doing with their time. One of my mentors, Goldie Graham passionately kills it at life. Everyday she’s out there showing up for herself via yoga, running, teaching, working out (like HARD-CORE), enjoying the little things and choosing love. Same with my friend Lauren Pedula. She sets intention every morning for her day and nails it- and know what’s even cooler?- if she doesn’t 100% nail it, she holds herself accountable to a loving degree. Both of these women demonstrate integrity in word and action. By watching them I started to notice when I would commit to doing something to/for/by myself (sometimes to/for/unto others), and then back out. I just started to see it, from this new internal head space of the witness.
- I started to listen to my body. I’m pretty body conscious but I started to notice if whatever activity I was participating in lifted me up or took me down. I started to recognize when I was acting like my own friend or my own worst enemy. The body offers an endless amount of information to us, we just have to listen and then choose to act in wisdom for the supreme self. Woah I know, but seriously. If we are working in wrong action for the self, our bodies will be the first to tell us, to show us. My awareness of this telling has heightened immensely. Cause and effect.
- I got depressed. Yep, this one was riding along underneath the scenes inconspicuous to the eye. You don’t always see when you’re depressed, you’re just in the thick of the throws with it, not even noticing. Until I noticed.
- Lastly, I have been reading, writing and working with everything yoga. The more I deepen that practice the more affirmation kept coming back to me. Like “Oh-shit, you’re doing it again! This is the mind stuff. This is the vritti, this is it! Pay attention Holy!”. Sometimes you need to hear something a thousand times before you actually get it. Well, I’m getting it.
The great Bhagavad Gita was written to demonstrate this internal battle any seeker must face in order to gain pure awareness. A slaying of the ego. If you’ve never read it check out this post that summarizes it beautifully; https://www.google.com/amp/m.
A page has forever turned in the book of my life. The next chapter is beginning, and it is calling me to embrace the warrior within. The truest form of self was beckoned into action as the page gently folded over. Brought forth for me to liberate myself from bondage. To set myself free.
If you’re “IN IT”, there’s only one genuine way out. I can only ask myself; “Are you ready to #showup in your own life Lindsey?”. To this, there’s only one answer. I must fight for the “yes”.