One of the things that keeps me coming back to my yoga mat over and over again is that my practice always seems to deliver what I need, whether I came looking for it or not. I’ve had a lot on my heart and mind over the last few weeks as I’ve worked to navigate through determining the direction that I want to steer my personal and professional life.
I showed up at Charlotte Yoga last Friday for a 10:45 a.m. class with Grace Morales. I rarely have the opportunity to break away from my day and practice mid-morning and it’s even more rare that I get to do so with Grace. I have had so many questions and emotions swirling around in me lately and I needed a Grace class. And as always Grace delivered on providing a great message that I needed to hear but it was what happened after class that shook me.
Many of you have heard me talk often of Suzanne Bergen, the teacher who is responsible for my falling head over heels in love with yoga years ago. She was also in class practicing on Friday and we started talking after class. She can totally read me and when we broke she pressed a sheet of paper into my hand and told me it was the reading she used in the class she taught earlier in the day and she wanted me to have it.
I settled in and unfolded the sheet of paper a few hours later and read words that I desperately needed to hear.
“In today’s meditation we will reflect on the beautiful truth that we are already whole. We were created by universal intelligence as a complete expression of love, wisdom, and happiness. If we feel like something is missing, it is because we are seeing through the eyes of our ego-mind, which has a limited perspective of our infinite, divine nature.
With the realization that we already have everything we need and desire, we give up the exhausting search to find that person or situation or achievement to make us feel whole. We stop waiting for someone to complete us and open to the love that is right here, right now, in our own heart. And from that boundless well of spirit, we are free to share the deepest experience of love with the people in our lives.
Our centering thought for today is:
All I seek is within.
The reading is from Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge. I’ve actually heard really great things about this program so I encourage you to read more about it.
I, in turn, read this meditation to my yoga class on Sunday morning along with sharing the story of how it came to me. So many things about this reading resonate with me, starting with the title. Miraculous Independence. The strength of that phrase alone sets the tone for the words that follow it. It is so easy to attach our happiness and self-worth to external things such as relationships, careers, achievements, possessions and so on.
One thing that I have tried so hard to focus on in my own life and continually talk to my yoga classes about is that we have to be good with ourselves before we can be a good partner, employee, friend, etc. We have to be confident in who we are and what our purpose is here and clear about how we want to feel. No other person or thing can make you feel that way. We all know that people, jobs, achievements, possessions can disappear in the blink of an eye. We are all deserving of external sources of happiness and they feel so good but we cannot attach to them. At the end of the day, you will always be left with you. This is why it’s so important to love yourself all the way down to the very core of your being.
Many of you have asked about the necklace that I always wear. A year ago I had Erin McDermott make me a custom disk necklace with the mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya.” The mantra literally means, “I bow to Shiva.” Shiva is the supreme reality, the inner self. It is the name given to the consciousness that dwells in all. Shiva is the name of your true identity – your true self. The inner self remains in tact when everything else ends. I can count the number of times I’ve taken this necklace off over the past year on one hand. I wear it as a daily reminder to honor Shiva and my true self.
I’m not 100% certain of my “infinite, divine nature” and I do still question and doubt myself more often than I would like. It’s something I have to consciously work on daily as I process a range of emotions and allow myself to open, forgive and peel the layers back.
All I seek is within.