Wanna know a secret? I have no idea what I’m doing. And damn, have I been trying hard—too hard. For the longest time, I thought I had to get it ‘right.’ For the longest time I tried to be perfect. It just perpetuated more pain. So at the end of the struggle, I decided to just be me, but there was a problem. I didn’t know how to do that, exactly. I can’t explain why: my brain wasn’t working optimally, and that realization led to a billion other ‘a-has.’ I learned that I couldn’t use sheer will to change; I had to change my physiology. I had to change my brain.
I found these beautiful mantras in Mantra Magazine and just knew I needed to include them in my Commonplace Book. Whenever I'm feeling down or less than, I flip to my mantra page for an attitude adjustment.
As I mentioned in the last post, I'm going to start adding entries for some of my Commonplace Book ideas and pages. Last weekend, I created a 'Moon Spread' to keep track of the new and full moons, so I can begin to consciously observe the phases and use them to my advantage ... releasing, reflecting, practicing gratitude, manifesting ...
For as long as I can remember (forever) I've been a doer. I became a yoga teacher thirteen years ago, because I saw the gifts yoga freely gave and I wanted to be a conduit for that. More being, less doing. They say "we teach what we most need to learn." I wholeheartedly believe this statement to be true. So I taught yoga, the best way I knew how, for ten full years. I taught what I needed to learn, and in the process I learned and changed. I still teach now, but in a much different manner. I write about my experiences in the hopes that others see themselves in my stories, feel…
I’m convinced that most of us don’t know what the hell we’re doing here, on this earth, in this time. We think we know, then it all falls apart, and when it falls apart, we often defer to old (destructive) habits instead of digging deeper. One step forward, two steps back. That's been my pattern. I’d ‘do the work,’ then sink in despair, and the cycle would repeat. After about two ‘dark night of the soul’ YEARS, I’d had enough. I had a breakthrough at Christmastime, on a trip away from home. I can’t define the event, but the ensuing thoughts were, ‘this is my life, WTF am I doing?’
I have had many mini epiphanies about life since Christmas. Internal shifts that needed to happen, happened. I’d say ‘the old Heather is back,’ but that's not really true. Something brand new is being birthed and I’m loving it/her. So much of life has been really f*cking hard for two f*cking years, but I had to go through it to get here. I wasn’t sure i’d teach again. Now I know I will. In fact, I'm teaching now, just not in the same way I did before. I trust myself so much more than ever. I’m stronger than i thought possible.
Gratitude is EVERYTHING. Really. It CHANGES everything.
Another chant I learned a few years ago that still sticks with me is "Om Namah Shivaya Gurave," the Anusara Invocation, though I'm not an 'Anusara Yogi.' To me it's beautiful, and I love the meaning. Find the chant, translation and my version below.
A few years ago I learned to chant the Gayatri Mantra with the intention of doing so for my students during Savasana. I did so just before I stopped teaching group classes. Since that time I've continued to chant it simply because I think it's beautiful. To learn the chant, I found a few versions I liked online, learned the lyrics and melody and just started practicing. I thought I’d write a post in case anyone else is interested in learning it. Below are the words, translation and my version of the chant.
"letting go doesn't mean forgetting; it means we stop carrying the energy of the past into the present" (yung pueblo) Yes, yes and more yes; this resonates deeply but how do we actually DO IT? From my experience, it seems something 'just happens,' a shift suddenly occurs OR we struggle for so long that we eventually must ritualize a new energy into our consciousness ... we must physically do something different, poetic, scary, out-of-character.