The Spark Within
Lately I've been having vivid memories of my previous life gliding, jumping, spinning in circles on the ice. For nearly 15 years I dedicated myself to becoming an elite athlete, striving to be better, to get further, to move up the ranks. As I continue to deepen my yoga practice, specifically through studying the texts, I can notice and feel how everything I once wanted and imagined for myself was rooted in this idea that I needed to be somewhere that I wasn't; that for one reason or another, just me, being me, was not enough and that I needed something outside of myself to define my value and worth. And somewhere along the way, between the competitions, medal ceremonies, hours of practice and thousands of tears, I realized I had lost myself to this impossible ideal of perfection -- a true dimming of my own inner light.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali offers us insights into the nature of human consciousness and the ways in which we can move past our own self-limiting beliefs and behaviors (samskaras). Ultimately, the text references the importance of ongoing self-study and studentship (svhadyaya), committing to our practice (abhyasa) and releasing our attachments to the many things we cannot control (vairagya). That last piece is perhaps the hardest part for most of us -- certainly for myself. To stay in the dance of devotion while remaining rooted in an unshakeable faith that all is as it's supposed to be and that I am, you are, we are -- ENOUGH, as is. It is this inexplainable, unwavering faith that can release us from our own attachments and expectations and free us from all of the proving, grasping and gripping. We will dive more deeply into these teachings in the remaining 'Sutra Sessions,' referenced below.
I believe we all share a common desire to live a life of connection and to be happy, content and satisfied with who we are and what we're up to in this lifetime. I believe we all have a spark within that can waver between bright and dim, but doesn't ever completely vanish. Whatever we can do to stay connected, inspired, grateful, curious and present, we must do. Whatever we can do to release the things that are holding us back from feeling our own power and value, we must release. May we continue to engage in practices and rituals that support us in understanding and acknowledging our own truth and worth. May we continue to ignite that spark within -- moment-to-moment, breath-by- breath.