"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen"(Elizabeth Kubler Ross)
Asana. Meditation. Chanting. Vegetarianism. Ayurveda. And so on ...
Is it enough? Is it enough to do these practices and call it a day? Well, in my opinion, not really. These practices have benefited me greatly. More than I can describe. But also, I've learned that the practices alone can't make up my identity. Simply put, they are tools, and tools only.
With that being said, a tool is a tool, and how we decide to use them is key. I can use the tool to further inflate my ego, or I can use it to deflate it.
One thing I've observed over the years, being a student, and a teacher, is how when introducing these practices, an awakening starts to take place no matter what. It sneaks up, like a thief in the night. When this happens, some embrace transformation, some run. I've gone through a whole slew of this within myself, and no matter what one decides to do, embrace or run, I've learned to honor the process and readiness of the practitioner. Most of all, relinquishing judgments I put on myself and others.
What is gained? Well, nothing. Through the above practices we begin to uncover, unravel, and reveal, and that can manifest in a whole slew of ways. There is no "external" yogic image to live up to, and believe me, I've had to discover this in many capacities. The freeing part came when I deeply realized that through it all, I yearned to truthfully discover myself. Unaltered. Whole. Innocent.
Once able to step out of societal standards, expectations, and living up to an image that wasn't my own, then and only then, was when I began to breathe. However, often where we loose sight is in replacing one identity for another. If anything, I've learned to take pause when I feel as if I'm holding on too tightly to a certain identity structure.
As I continue these practices, and deepen, they have a way of wiping a dirty mirror clean. I see more clearly. Everyday, I wipe it clean. I come out of my head, into my heart, presence enters in, getting down to the root ...
I love how Judith Orloff states that the mind sees only 10%, while the intuition sees 100%. Our bodies are an intuitive channel, and through yoga we can be better equipped with tuning in.
But what from there? Obviously it isn't enough just to be aware. I'm entering into a new phase of my life.
How and where can I be of service? I'm strongly feeling the value of adding value to those around me and beyond. It isn't about just me anymore, and the answer is that it never was.
I may not always get it right, but I'm setting the intention. I'm asking for guidance on this matter. For once in my life I relinquish control from the matter.
Let's see what develops ...