Over the last few months I have undergone a transformation like no other I have experienced or at least remember experiencing. I have been through rehab for alcohol and cocaine abuse I have undergone a yoga teacher training course which was intense, scary, wonderful and probably one of the best things I’ve ever done, apart from being born and becoming a mother to my beautiful amazing son. I have connected with some beautiful souls through each process. I have found a joy in my heart that has been missing for quite some time. I have made the painful but powerful decision to remove toxic relationships from my life which I now know were a creation of my own perceptions of my self and the lack of compassion I had for my self and others. I have become aware of the inner critic inside me that yells “your not good enough” “your not deserving of good things” “your not clever enough” “you don’t deserve love” This is a powerful thing to realise and through realisation we can create change. It has taken me 36 years to notice this but when I did I opened the gates for self love and compassion that will continue to manifest healthy relationships that are loving and joyous. Through daily practiced mantras of “I deserve love” “I deserve peace” “I am greatful” “I am compassionate” “I am worthy” I have begun to cultivate the self belief, faith and trust that is needed to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, one in which I can manifest my dreams. While I fill my self up with everything that I need I no longer need to look out side of my self for confirmation. So while I discover how to awaken my inner teacher I invariably quieten my inner critic. This is exceptionally good for me and also for my son, our children internalise what their parents practice and if I can manifest self love then so will he. I have read a great deal about Ashtanga Yoga (Eight Limb Yoga) philosophy which has been truly inspiring. I have discovered the practice of letting go of what does not serve me through the practice of, Pratyahara: Sense Withdrawal; in the Buddhist sense this is the sense of detachment or self-annihilation of the individual ego through which one realises one’s true self, it is the method of turning our gaze inward where we observe our conditioned reactions and selective attention. The energy this frees for focus and realising my untapped potential is experiential. I have unleashed the power of my breath which is our life force or “Prana” or “breathing forth” universal life force. I have discovered practices with the breath that can deepen relaxation, calm the mind and body in states of stress, techniques that can release deep physical memory that is both a highly emotional but truly an enlightening process. I have learned that focus and control of the breath is one of the most powerful forms of knowledge that we can acquire, it centres us, makes us present and calms the mind body and spirit, helping to create transformation and unlock our full potential. This entire process and all of these experiences have culminated in a magnificent process of healing which has been profound in nature and something that I would like to share with anyone who may be curious, as I continue my journey and all of it’s possibilities. And share with you here some of the realisations I have had over the last few months of my life, while I experienced a kind of death and what followed was like a rebirth of my mind body and spirit.
I have in the last 2 months created a daily ritual of yoga and meditation which is in and of it’s self a powerful tool that not only allows me to build strength and balance and peace, it gives me time to be with my self, it makes space for me to creates a deep awareness of my self, as I let go of my ego and become aware of my awareness I have developed the ability to take this awareness where I choose; this takes some practice of course and I have only just begun this path in this life time and the true challenge is making this a part of every moment, creating a higher state of consciousness that is void of ego and all the things that go with that; fear, resentment, anger, despair, desire, judgement. As the great Patanjali wrote;
“Then the Seer (Self) abides in It’s own nature.”
“You are the true seer. You are not the body nor the mind. You are the knower or Seer. You always see your mind and body acting in front of you. You know that the mind creates thoughts; it distinguishes and desires. The Seer knows that but it is not involved in it”
So with this idea we can have a thought, observe the thought as the Seer and either let it go or invite it in. It helps us maintain discipline and focus; when we hear the inner critic we can direct our awareness to our inner teacher and create thoughts that are helpful and beneficial. If we get distracted while we are mid practice by thoughts of criticism “Im not doing it right” “I shouldn’t of said that thing 5 years ago to my friend” “how am I going to cope with that family reunion next month”. The trick is not to blank the mind the trick is to see the mind for what it is, a never resting never ending stream of energy that is of our physical body (our brain) but is also unseeable, when we tap in to the concept that the mind is no where but everywhere, the mind can be channeled to create negative energy or positive energy we can literally use the mind as a tool to manifest positivity in our lives. If we want to manifest good things then we can direct the mind to the good places of our brain. If we want to be happy then we generate and create happy thoughts, if you want to be energised then tell your self “I feel alive and full of energy” this is called “the placebo effect” by some. I just call it “the power of the mind”. There has been recent scientific study to prove this does in fact work and was recently journaled in “New Scientist” with reference to “How a positive mind can create a healthier body” but the ancient teachers have known this for thousands of years. As “Sri Swami Satchidananda” commentates;
“So, if you can have control over the thought forms and change them as you want, you are not bound by the outside world. There’s nothing wrong with the world. You can make it a heaven or a hell according to your approach”
Of course we will come in to difficult situations in life, people may yell at us, they may say unkind things, they may lie, deceive, judge, we will have to solve problems which at times may feel overwhelming and disastrous but if we train the inner teacher to become aware to come back to the breath to focus on the present, to channel the mind to a place of no ego, when we hear a judgemental voice we can steer our thoughts to a place of compassion, to a place of understanding to a place of love, then that is living… truly living in the now… from moment to moment, just being, being aware and being fully conscious. As Jung said
“Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes”
So as I continue on this journey I will pursue my daily practice and meditation. I will endeavour to deepen my experiences and awaken my consciousness not just on the mat but off the mat during every interaction and in every moment.