I have to admit. It has been a rough couple of weeks.
I am meeting many new people on this new adventure in Israel which means I am asked a great deal of questions on a daily basis. “Why did you move to Israel?” How could you leave San Diego?” “How many kids do you have?” “Where is your son’s father?” “Why did you get divorced?” “Why did you leave your religion?”
Yes, Israelis are hardly the shy or introverted type and they pride themselves on giving unsolicited advice. On the flip side, they are the warmest, most caring and most helpful people I have ever encountered. When they say, “Call me if you need anything”, they really mean it and will bug you until you actually do call them.
On one particular evening a couple of weeks ago, I was recounting my “story” to someone new over dinner at a friend’s house and he made a comment that struck me at the core. It is not important who the person is or even what the comment was, only that it opened a wound that I thought had scabbed over long ago.
What ensued was a process of uncovering layers of guilt and shame, even self-loathing for the way my life had played out. Old conditioning of feeling bad, unworthy, damaged and unloveable crept its way in, slowly but surely, showing me that these demons needed to be faced yet again.
It is painful to sit there and feel these emotions, but it is something that cannot nor should be pushed aside. In Yoga and meditation, we learn how to become an observer instead of a participant in our sensations and emotions. We also learn how to create space between our True Selves and the smaller self that is subject to our past conditioning and experiences.
This doesn’t mean that the pain disappears. It is part of our fabric, and we can choose to see it as a defect or an opportunity to transform. But it does soften.
Yesterday, I started to see the light again. I see now that I have made mistakes, that I have made choices in the past out of fear and insecurity, that I can change my future and that I have to make peace with the past.
I did the best I could at the time but there is always tomorrow to choose a higher path.
Regardless of your past, you are always Freedom, Love and Bliss at your core. We practice Yoga every day to remind us of that true nature and to guide us towards making life choices based on that understanding.
I would love to hear from you about similar experiences you may have had and how your practice has helped you move through it. I am continuously humbled and amazed by the depth of life that Yoga offers us the opportunity to live.
As Judith Hanson Lasater says at the closing of each class…
“May we be like the Lotus, at home in the muddy water.