I am siting in the airport on Sunday night and writing this on my phone. The airline took my bag and my laptop with it. I guess it was too big for my flight.
I was traveling for NETA again this weekend and taught a Yoga Foundations course to a small group of people in Manheim, Pennsylvania at a fitness center located inside of a retirement community. They were beautiful people who inspired my post for this Monday.
Each time I travel I fear, but only slightly, that the workshop will not go well….that I will not connect with the participants and therefore struggle to present. However, this was one of the great weekends in which I felt my authentic self shine through and a connection established. Not only does that mean that I am more easily able to deliver the material, but also that I gain a sense of self satisfaction in fulfilling my Dharma. I have most definitely been called in life to be a teacher. And recently I have been teaching a lot about the Yamas and Niyamas as well as studying them in my personal meditation practice. I have been re-reading Do Your OM Thing and keep resonating on the final Niyama: Surrender or Devotion to a Higher Power (Isvara pranidhana).
Pacheco highlights in her book that a) Yoga is not a religion and b) that the higher power can also be one’s Best Self. I have always reiterated the first of those things, but tend to seek something outside of myself such as the good of all humankind. This weekend I did a free writing exercise meditation to clear some negative thoughts from my mind. In doing so I came to one major conclusion: I really like my authentic self. However, something else struck me in my writing and that was that I think my authentic self is hiding in parts of my life where I need it to be expressed most.
My authentic self is naturally positive and caring and happy. I am happy with my children, my work, my friends, my yoga practice, but I don’t always live as if I am happy with those things. I don’t always devote myself or give over to my best and authentic self. This negates a few more of the yamas and niyamas.
First, your authentic self is living your truth (Satya). Second, the opposite of a happy and positive person is a negative one. When I exude this negative energy into the world around me I am leaving reverberations for others and infecting them with this negativity (Himsa – causing harm). Finally, I hoard these negative thoughts and feelings (violating Aparigraha) and pollute my mind, body, and soul (negating Saucha).
I could go further yet and find that this leaves me ill content (not experiencing Santosha) and this steals my own happiness as well as that which belongs to those around me (Asteya). But I have decided that I want always to make ripples of positive energy in my world because I felt them this weekend in my workshop. I felt them leave me and enter others and I felt them rebound back in a way that brought me peace and joy and fortified my spirit of myself.
How would you describe your authentic self?
Do you keep him/her hidden away?
What are the reverberations of your thoughts, words, and actions on the world?
How are you doing with the Yamas and Niyamas these days?