Whereas I thought that yoga would bring me peace and happiness I learned eventually that peace and happiness are right here right now, and that it starts by being kind to all that come into contact with me, and that includes commenting on other blogs, or responding to people who approach me. Being truthful, speaking up, yet being humble and kind. That is all that is necessary for happiness and for peace.
Whereas I thought I could win an argument I was knocked off my ground so many times into uncharted territories on that one that I finally learned that yoga sutra 1.33 is right. When someone is rude out of proportion to me, when the accusations are not true, invalid and right out lies there is no point in defensiveness. Ignoring the wicked as the sutra points out IS the answer. And that means NO rationalization, no explaining anything, or save my reputation, or whatever. They are all just justifications leading us astray from the very clear and concise direction: Avoid. Indifference. Neutrality.
Whereas I thought that dreading and lusting after what some people have whenever I perceived they had a lot more than me, and use it as an excuse to feel sorry for myself, I realized that by blessing what they have and being happy for what they achieved, earned, enjoyed, discovered, I actually aligned myself with their positive energy. Come what may, I find that blessings do come.
Whereas I would talk behind some one’s back when I thought they did something wrong these days I just say: God bless them. And let it go. This does not mean I let anyone walk over me, or I won’t speak up if hurt. It just means I catch myself in the urge to speak behind some one’s back and avoid.
Whereas I thought I could be perfect I realize, very clearly, that I am not. I make mistakes. Time is not linear and there is no before and after, these are just examples, but falling into being unconscious can happen at any time. Permanent vigilance and a keen discrimination is a requirement for daily living. Is how I chose to live.
|A Great show (free on Hulu) only one season. Time is not linear
At least not for the Journey Man
Whereas I thought asking for help was weak and showed I knew nothing I learned to lower the demands of my ego and find the best possible person to help me with issues at hand, then bear my soul and ask those that know more than me. I learned that in asking we open the doors of the connection to higher spirit, and answers do come, always.
Whereas I thought talking to children or teenagers would be a lot of work and something I would never want to do, I learned that little ones are very honest and respond very well to respect and clarity. When I specify that I am really interested in them (being my step-children or my god-children or any children), they do talk to me, and it is a pleasure to learn about their world and to be influenced by their simplicity, straight-forwardness, and intelligence.
Whereas I thought not having children of my own would render me a woman of no value I have come into my own power in noticing that I can and do indeed help others, that whatever wisdom I may have harvested in the years I have lived is something I am ready to share, if someone wants it.
Whereas I thought I could save the world, I finally came down hard from that delusion and noticed that in some cases all that is needed is to just be with someone, to hold the space, to share a silence, to share the uncomfortable moments of pain that go with a prolonged silence. I learned that sometimes words cannot really do anything to help, and that all that is needed is space to feel whatever it is we are feeling, no need to try to fix anything, much less think I can even save myself.
Whereas I thought that there is a clear path for life, I found that “caminante no hay camino se hace camino al andar” (Juan Manuel Serrat (singer) poem by Antonio Machado (thank you Maria for clarifying)): “Walker there is no path, you make your path as you go”. I have found there are people who have left tracks and marks on the road, like, say, Patanjali, and that we can see what aligns with us. Ultimately whether it be in yoga, or in life, or in marriage, or at work, it is really our own dedication, intuition, prayer and openness to what is, to being present, to listen, that will lead us to the ultimate goal of happiness, of peace.
|Se hace camino al andar|
Whereas I had lost faith in humanity because of so many wars I find myself an optimist these days. I see the level of interconnection among all of us making the world a smaller and smaller place. I see my Facebook list of friends and notice lots of different nationalities. I cannot help but think that as this grows and new generations join we might be a lot less likely to want to hurt our friends. I pray we might more and more notice that we are all in search for the exact same thing, peace, happiness, and the expression of our own unique talents. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
Whereas I thought I would never be able to make money by doing things I lov, those fears have gone and been replaced by a more burning desire to share and write and practice and let the outcome take care of itself. I feel rich because I have been rewarded for my efforts not just in the form of book royalties but also in emails from people telling me they enjoyed reading my book, or they learned something, or they ventured into that first trip to Mysore. How blessed is that.
Whereas I thought blessings come only through karma and past actions we may have performed, I realize now bad past actions can be completely transcended by starting right now, making a firm decision to not lie, not in the slightest, avoid radical (hurting) honesty, but tell the truth and not steal, not even paper clips in the office. For example, on my last trip from India James had brought accidentally with him the headsets from the plane. They came in a nice case which I really, REALLY liked. But on my return I took it back and told the Emirates fight attendant that my husband had accidentally taken it and I was returning it. Her face softened and a smile took over her that could only be described as total peace. That combined with it being 4 AM, the atmosphere became sacred. She sat next to me for a moment. She said she was grateful that I was honest in returning it, mentioned that the headsets won’t work anywhere else anyway but: “the case is nice and you could use it for cosmetics”. I smiled. That is God at work.
Whereas I thought that I needed some external validation, certificate or degree to feel like I am something I have realized I already am, and I have a lot to give if only I give myself permission. It is OK to say “I can write this because I want to share it”, and although there will always be naysayers I understand now they are simply people who have not allowed themselves the chance to take permission for themselves, to take power for them, so I bless them and wish that they can see.
Whereas I used to have difficulty setting up boundaries I have realized that it makes people a LOT more comfortable when I am very clear about what I will and will not tolerate. The precious little time I have in this earth I want to use for peace, for becoming the beacon of light, for working towards what is important to me, and boundaries play an enormous role. Boundaries are the protectors of my path, they are the markers that allow me to walk the straight path towards peace.
|Boundaries can have different tones and hues, they just need to be healthy|
Whereas I thought peace could be obtained by protesting and going on parades or even writing about it I realize now the only way peace can be obtained is by me working at peace, which might have a ripple effect on others around me and others around them. Or it might not. What I do know is that it starts with me, and there is no way around it. The real revolution happens only from within when I turn myself into light by burning away the impurities and become the peace I want to see. And yes that might come from Gandhi, he knew a thing or two about it.
Whereas I thought that by talking quite fast and a lot I would be able to dominate and put my point across I have come to understand that silences are a lot more powerful. That it is in the silence that we give God the opportunity to step in and guide and provide direction. I try to say a lot less these days and listen a whole lot more.
Whereas I used to have doubts about the yoga path I now realize not only that the path is worth the try because I have seen it working in my life but I also respect that there are many paths, and I celebrate anyone on route to peace.
May we all be happy.
The title of this post was inspired by James’ latest book: I Was Blind But Now I See. I agree with his book, in fact I helped editing it and I love the exercise of going through things that we thought were a certain way and then we realized they were not so at all. His book however takes a completely different route than this post in it and discusses things at a much more gross level (the fake and pretentious brainwash idea that owning a home will make us immortal or give us something like “status” or the rushed decision to spend 4-8 years and a base of a quarter million dollars for an education that would only lead us to debt in our peak creative years, for little reward, etc.)