It’s fitting that I’m starting this blog on the first day of spring, a season that symbolizes growth and rebirth. I have experienced more growth and rebirth in the past few months than I have in years by taking more of an active role in my life. Instead of waiting for life to happen to me, I have decided to create my own reality through my actions, my thoughts, and my energy. I am facing my fears and dreams and running towards both of them in order to reach the happiness, which was always there, I just never felt like I deserved it.
Ram Dass says, “Your problem is you’re… too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” I did this for years, clinging to the idea of how worthless I was and carrying that into my interactions with people. My feelings attracted friends, bosses, and significant others who validated those feelings in me by treating me badly and putting me down. It took years of self-reflection and yoga for me to break free of the shame that imprisoned me. I am so grateful for yoga for allowing me to connect with my true self and for showing me how to find meaning and love in my life by searching within.The journey makes me think of a great quote by Yogi Bhajan: If you don’t go within, you go without.
Why are so many of us so afraid of silence, of going within our selves, of being our true selves? That yoga high after a blissful class, that feeling you get after you create a great poem or piece of art, that feeling you have after you truly connect with another person — those are all feelings you can get only by going within. What are we afraid of seeing? It’s almost like we’re more afraid of seeing how incredibly wonderful we are for overcoming the things that have hindered us in life more so than being afraid of seeing our negative qualities. I know I was afraid of those things. How could I let go of those negative patterns that I was so comfortable with? What would my life be without the pain that was my story?
Now, I see that both my darkness and my light make up my joy. I have given up a lot of people and patterns that were not serving me anymore and have been living a new life without shame. Letting go of the past is never easy but it is such a necessary part of self-love and creating space for new possibilities in your life. Letting go a little bit in yoga class each day prepared me for being able to let go of an aspect of my life that was no longer working for me. I have practiced an aspect of yoga for 79 days straight, since the beginning of the year, and am committed to continue this for the remainder of the year. I can only imagine what the next almost three hundred days will bring.
photo: by Johnny Patience.