Keep being in your light.
People will misunderstand your intentions. They will judge you. They will talk about you openly or behind your back. At times, you will do the same for others.
This ego experience is tough, and when we attempt to leave it behind it gets even tougher. The way to softening and spirit, rather than toughening and closing off your heart, is to step inside.
It’s to rediscover and then live your light — the unwavering, unchangeable part of you that doesn’t care about your pimples or your body weight or your mind’s sabotaging self-talk.
“Keep being in your light” is the lesson I learned after my first article was published on Tiny Buddha this week. Even in the most compassionate of communities, we all meet resistance with those who aren’t ready to accept us.
Journey inward and those external conflicts will disturb you less. You won’t feel the ego’s need to be right, so much as to be understood.
10 yoga lessons
I’m fresh out of two yoga workshops from yoga teacher, healer and spiritual activist Saul David Raye — one on Heart Medicine and the other on being in Sacred Flow. Once you read the quotes below, you’ll see why his teachings resonate with me.
So much of what I’ve found to be true on my journey inward is affirmed in these quotes by Saul. After most, I’ve given examples or explanations for how these principles can go to work in your own life. May you be in your light as a result.
1. “If you’re connected to the body, you’ll be present in the mind.”
After my first yoga class, ever, I laid in Savasana when it dawned on me that for the past hour I didn’t have one depressed, woe-is-me thought. This was the moment when I understood what it meant to witness your thoughts… and the moment when I knew it was possible to break free from depression.
We think we’re present in our minds, but the truth is we’re often simply present with what our minds have always been telling us. Get into the body through asana and you’ll train the brain to experience what is happening right now, and not what already has or might happen in your imagination.
2. “Lots of people do asana for the sake of asana. Do asana for the sake of being connected to your heart.”
Can I get an Amen?
3. “Yoga is the rewiring of what you believe to be true about yourself and the world.” (tweet it)
4. “The right way to do yoga is to listen to the body.”
When you step onto your mat, you’re transforming yourself through mind and body alchemy (Saul’s term). The body creates some three trillion new cells each day. You better believe that what you think and how you feel has an effect.
Force the body and the mind won’t relax. Force the mind and the body will quit long before its capacity. This is why you really should listen to your body, on and off the mat.
5. “Keep considering that where you are is where you should be. Do that and you’ll relax into the journey, instead of feeling like you should be someone else. It’s all about coming home.”
6. “When you come back into relationship with Source, you allow exactly what you need to flow within you.”
Call Source whatever you will: God, Goddess, Universe, Creator. The struggle with our heart’s desires is won within. When you give up having to seek and instead go into allow mode, what you need emerges. Also known as: Leap (trust in that which is greater) and the net will appear.
7. “If there’s something you want more of in your experience, find its frequency within.”
This is economic equilibrium, where supply and demand rally in your favor. Want better health? A lasting love with a partner? To do what you love? Instead of blindly calling for the goal and hoping it comes to you, focus inwardly on how these things make you feel. Couple this with faith and you’re vibrationally unstoppable.
8. “It sometimes feels as if life is falling apart — and it is. But that’s the phoenix in the ashes. It’s falling apart for a reason.”
Saul had great comedic timing in the workshop when he said this. That dash? A pause, after which we expected some bright advice, only to get a matter of fact “and it is.” We laughed because it’s true.
We all get ripped apart by love, abused by self-doubt and rejected from coworkers, neighbors, family and friends. Two months ago, my relationship was yanked out of comfort and into insecurity. It was necessary, of course, and now we’re both much happier together because of it.
9. “You don’t have to earn your worthiness of being a being. You’re already here.”
The next time you think you’re not worth it, remember this.
10. “Whatever you put after ‘I am’ becomes a powerful mantra.”
Transformation of any kind begins with an identity crisis. Who am I? We’re good at stating what we think we are, usually in a negative way. When you perpetuate this story of untruths about who you are, you attract more of the same.
Instead, turn “I am” into a mantra, as Saul suggests. Take three things that you want to manifest more of, like love, abundance and health. Say your mantra, “I am loved, abundant and healthy” regularly each day for 40 days. Make it part of your meditation routine, during a walk or even while cooking. Choose your words carefully: Ask and ye shall receive.
Try it: Warrior III, Virabhadrasana III
Before attending Saul’s workshops, I decided this week’s pose was going to be Warrior III. In fact, this exact variation of entering from standing, which can be more accessible than lifting up from a Downward Facing Dog or Forward Fold.
To my surprise (or unsurprise?) Saul taught this movement, while saying that “where you are is where you need to be.” So, I think I can chalk this one up to being in the right place at the right time. Thanks, Universe.
- Stand in Mountain Pose, Tadasana, on your mat. Bring hands to heart center, shift the weight into your left leg and bring the right knee up in front of you, as if you were stepping on a chair.
- Flex the foot, then exhale and send the right leg directly back behind you, straightening the leg. As you do so, tip the torso forward. Option to keep palms at heart, open into airplane wings or extend the arms long, palms separated (shown above).
- Lift the low abdomen up and in, and re-engage the standing leg by lifting the knee cap up but keeping a soft bend in the knee. Reach through the heel of the lifted foot, spiraling the inner thigh up. At the same time, allow the shoulders to lengthen down the back toward the hips and away from your ears.
- Breathe smoothly, enjoying your equilibrium, for six deep breaths. Inhale and rise to center, feet together, arms reaching tall. Exhale the palms to the center of the heart and close your eyes to observe the effects before switching to the other side.