Hello and Happy Monday,
June is here! We spent the weekend at our neighborhood pool, swimming, eating and catching lightning bugs. I am counting down the days until school ends. I can’t wait for sleeping in, swimming, playing in the backyard. (for the kids, not me – although, for me too).
June’s focus is one of my favorite personal practices (Niyama) called Svadhyaya, which means “Self-Study” or “one’s own reading”. This Niyama has the potential to really move our yoga practice off the yoga mat.
One of the questions I ask often at the beginning of class is, “Why are you here?”. I think this is an important inquiry, not just on the yoga mat but in all things we choose to do. Sometimes we may think we know the answer, but when we ask this question we may discover it’s something else. All of it is good, because the more we inquire, the more we become aware and the more we are aware, the more we can be present in our lives.
Discovering you are not where you want to be, or perhaps make ill choices, means making changes. Making changes is never an easy task and sometimes the steps to get where you want to go can be daunting. In the age of social media, where everyone looks like they have all their shit together, the perfect spouse, the perfect children, the perfect house, the perfect vacation, it can be hard to measure up to. Our happiness, our confidence, our self-worth all has to come from a place within. What I have found is just one key, and it's if I surrender, what I had been wanting happens. We all know this concept, it’s the last place you look for your keys after you have said, “I give up”.
There is a story I have told in some of my classes about my daughter, Melissa. She didn’t sleep when she was a baby, let me re-state, she slept, just not at night. Melissa would cry and cry and cry and with Michael as a toddler, I did everything to keep her quiet, mostly to not wake him, but also in hopes that we both could sleep. It wouldn’t be until I was at the end of my rope, I would fold over her crying, exhausted, defeated, that she would close her eyes and go to sleep. It was like she waited for me to surrender before she would. I remember this happening and taking note of it. So the next night, I faked exhaustion, I faked surrendering to speed up the process and get a good night’s sleep. But she could see right through me. It had to be a real surrender. Just like when you think you have given up looking for your keys but still don't find them, it's not until we really let go that things happen.
Don’t worry though, eventually she grew out of that stage and we all started getting better sleep. How does this equate to the perfect social media life? Well, it wasn’t until I surrendered to the fact that I deserved all that I ever wanted. That despite being told I wanted too much, I was worth all I ever wanted. When that happened, my fairy tale perfect life happened. Even as a single mom (at the time), to me, my life was perfect. It was perfect for me, it didn't matter what it looked like on social media.
A favorite way I like to practice Svadhyaya, besides self-inquiry, is reading. One of my favorite books is called “The Surrender Experiment”, by Michael A. Singer. It’s a memoir of Michael A. Singers life and I found it quite profound. The title says it all.
So, why are you here? And what is here? Do you have a perfect social media life? When was the last time you surrendered?