During a recent visit to yogaland aka: Yoga On Main I was listening to everyone share such moving and profound things and after each person spoke I could feel myself wanting to chime in with my "2 cents" worth. "Yeah, yeah! I know what you mean! That's happened to me too!". But my turn for sharing had passed and I sat quietly taking in the wisdom that was being offered by my fellow yogis.
Here are a few little golden nuggets of wisdom that I feel compelled to share with you.
* Trying to stuff your feelings in an effort to avoid expressing them doesn't work.
* Not all your feelings are going to be all warm and fluffy - and that's okay - what
matters is not how you feel exactly, but rather what you do with those feelings and how you handle
them that really matters.
* The practice of meditation helps us to step back into our heart before we speak so that when we do
speak, our words are more loving and compassionate.
* Even in the midst of chaos, there is peace - we just need to be aware that it's there and make the choice
to shift the focus from the chaos to peace
* An important component to communicating is listening. Not just to what's being said but to the
intention/feeling behind the words. The practice of meditation helps us get in touch with subtle energy so
that we are better able to "listen" to the message of the heart.
- Someone once told me "you don't have to say everything you know." It's advice I'm trying to live by and
it gives me a greater opportunity to listen.
* Many of us have difficulty finding our voice and that fear of expressing ourselves hinders us in putting our
true self out there. What is it that we're afraid of? Maybe we're afraid of not being accepted or we're afraid
that what we have to say may upset someone else. There's also the fear that what we have to say isn't
important enough. Oh, I could go on and on about this subject but why bother... The bottom line is: Speak
your truth - Be your authentic self and to hell with those people who don't like it!! (oops. did I really say
that? YES I did and I meant it - Om Namah Shivaya!)
* While some have difficulty finding their voice, others have no trouble at all. For those of us who "express"
ourselves continually, Perhaps the lesson is to pay attention to the effect that your expressing has on those
around you. I would also offer that perhaps some of us need to examine our motivation for saying the
things that we so freely "express". My teacher says that truth is often used as a baseball bat - be cautious
that you are not swinging those feelings/words like a bat.
* The importance of a sangha(spiritual community) goes without saying. Let's face it, we do not live in a
culture that understands or values the intense internal work that we do on the mat and meditation cushion.
During times of intense sadhana (spiritual practice) the support of the group is vitally important. Although, I
caution you to be aware that when you "process" your stuff that you actually let it go. Some of us get
attached to our "stuff" and we like to revisit the stuff that we are working to get rid of. We get attached to
the story of the stuff and the story of how we are dealing with it and we feel the need to share every detail
of our process. Remember "you don't have to say everything you know".
* That brings me to the final point (at least for now). The question of the day was "What is it that you need
to let go of?" -- Letting go is such a challenge for us control freaks. Even when we know that something
no longer serves us we can't seem to let it go. Why? Perhaps because it's familiar. Perhaps it's because
we're attached. Perhaps we think we may need it again some day. It could be because the fear of the
unknown troubles is scarier than the troubles we know. Regardless of the excuses we tell ourselves about
why we can't let it go we MUST let it go.
What is it that I need to let go today? Self-doubt. What about you? What are you holding on to that no longer serves you? This is a very important lifetime in your spiritual evolution! What are you doing about it?