As I write my tenth blog, which is, in fact, late and has a wider gap between blog nine, there is a sublime reason for this. I wanted to captivate authenticity, I wanted to really know myself as a writer and I wanted to understand the Self and our truth.
One of the first questions we ask when we embark on the path of becoming a Yoga teacher, is, ‘Who Am I?’ The famous Yoga sage, Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutras, wrote, ‘the suffering in the future can be avoided’. Now, my teaching years wouldn’t cover a line of translation from The
Sutras, but, I get it, Patanjali wants us to love ourselves first and find our own truth. I can relate to the urge to shift but not change, I relate to the urge to emerge but not burst, and I can also relate to the urge for growth, but not to be rooted down. Yoga twists us, bends us and expands our minds. It frolics with our senses and offers so many pathways of Self learning. It widens our field of dreams and, for me, it always sounds me out. It is confrontational, it knows when we are losing our balance, metaphorically speaking, it knows when we need to open our heart to Self-love and it sure owns the night when the question of ‘Who Am I?’ pops up.
If Yoga is the practice of Self-love, then the true Self reveals this love, and, it may take a lifetime, depending on the depth of our Self-hate. If we can shift, emerge and grow, then we can resurface and embrace Self-love.
I am often found reading articles of either current or past stories of people who have experienced deep trauma and immense suffering, and as I have recently begun studying the modality of Yoga Therapy I realise that we are all seeking the need to be loved. There are, of course, many reasons to bring us to the point of wanting love. It could be a death that breaks one’s heart (as I wrote of regarding my beloved mum in my last blog), or it could be a romantic love that one desires, it could even be the love for a companion such as an animal or a pet. Each one is, profoundly, different, whether it is lost love, romantic love or unconditional love, it feeds our soul and fills our spirit, and, it feels warm and nourishing when we think of it.
There is a part of us that feels ‘shared’ when we love something or someone, we feel a cohort of existence, a unity, a togetherness. So, it is without reasonable doubt, that when we don’t feel any love, we feel trauma. We feel utterly helpless and, we lose ‘our Self.’
So, how do we learn to love ourselves exclusively? Is Self-love a parental condition that we teach to our children? Is it embalming ourselves with just the right dose of healthy surroundings, such as, sunlight, clean air and exercise? Or is it an ‘inside job’, by feeding our bodies with the necessary and wholesome foods that sustains us? It could be all of these, but, the most, yet fundamentally, important love of all, is Self- acceptance. Knowing that every single day, you can be exactly what you truly are. You can be a loving companion to yourSelf by creating a place within you, a place that oozes with truth, integrity and warmth. You can ‘romance’ yourSelf in luxurious warm baths and hand yourSelf a garnishment of flowers and food, whilst the serenade of softness and love caresses and enfolds you, like the arms (or legs) of a loved one. Once we begin to soften our hard-driven edges and accept more Self-care, we, inadvertently, share that with our soul. The soul is our partner, our friend, our companion. It is the very seed of our truth, it connects us to the deepest chasm of our birthplace, it is the umbilical cord of attachment to how our lives began. If we remain in love with our soul, we can remain in love with our truth. We may become displaced or experience events that derail our Self-esteem and our Self-confidence, but, we can then recalibrate our settings and soul search.
Life is a miracle of divine energy, and it is so frequently ignored. We are constantly seeking all the many different ways to live, that we forget about life and how incredibly beautiful we really are. We detach ourSelves from ourSelves with things that don’t really feed our soul, we permit aspects
of life to deny us a loving relationship with who we really are:
The spiral of living with someone who rejects your point of view with a tyranny of selfish and unloving words, the colleagues whom you thought were respectful and trusting, yet were really just grooming you in order to service their relentless ego, and by no means last, the family of humans that shared your personal space and shared their private temple of tears and heartache, only to reject you when your tears surfaced for the first time. If we love ourselves foremost, then our soul remains intact, our truth and Self-love doesn’t wilt, it continues to project an illustrious
radiance of sunshine that not even the darkest clouds can conceal. Reminding ourSelves of exactly how far we have made it on the road of life, telling ourSelves that we are enough when the stretch of mental exhaustion pushes the paperwork under your nose, and permitting ourSelves to
understand the real purpose of Self-love is to share yourself with those that matter, beginning with the most important one of all, YourSelf.