Be Your Own Hero
"This is a big lesson: No one is going to do it for you, you are in control of how you live everyday."
Last night, I attended a workshop by a well-known yogi. The first words that spilled out of his mouth were, "do as you are told." He was addressing the owner of the studio. The comment was made when she wouldn't respond to his request. However, it was understandable that she hadn't acknowledged him as he had called her by the wrong name. He then launched into an all out assault on the industrialization of yoga but let us know that he had a downloadable app for his latest program. "There are many styles of yoga, one for each of us", he shared. He then let us know that the way of Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois were incorrect. His yoga was the only way. It was at this point that I quietly exited. I have traveled down this path many times before.
I have listened. I have believed. I have trusted. You will rescue me.
I have been the one with the spiral bound notebook, fervently writing down every juicy morsel, hanging on every word as the gospel's truth. I have been the one who signed up for the marketing e-course that guaranteed deliverance of my tribe... but only if I responded by midnight... when the $7000 discount ended. I have been the one who changed my whole website design based on one conversation with a coach who told me how to reach six figures because it was working for her. I have been the one who felt completely less than, inadequate, and lost because I believed everybody else got "it" but me. Truth be told, sometimes I still do, when I forget that I hold the answers within.
Through the wisdom of an incredibly talented friend, I was able to piece together one of my core archetypes: the Damsel iClick to replace anchor textn Distress. I was less than pleased with this discovery. This was like swallowing the nasty cherry cough medicine before they invented flavors like bubble gum. This was like being told you were not accepted into the college of your choice. This was like finding out the apocalypse had transpired and you were the sole survivor. This was like learning that you had to have a root canal but they ran out of anesthesia.
There are five kinds of mental modifications which are either painful or painless. Sutra I:5 They are right knowledge, misconception, verbal delusion, sleep and memory. Sutra I:6 The sources of right knowledge are direct perception, inference and scriptural testimony Sutra I:7
I consider myself a strong independent woman. I consider myself intelligent and courageous. I like to challenge myself with new adventures. I like to take risks to learn and grow. And yet... As I traced the roots of this archetype back through my life, I recognized her well. She was there with me in kindergarten, standing in front of the small wooden stove with big red handles and plastic red faucet. As we played with the matching wooden eggs over easy, she learned that by taking care of her husband she would be saved financially. She was there with me in high school searching for prince charming. As we sat through endless perms, electric blue eyeliner, and pink shimmery lipstick, she learned that someone would come along and love her so she wouldn't have to learn to love herself. She was there with me when I met my husband (the black & white photo of us is circa 1993), the leather vest toting motorcycle riding bad-ass. As we got to know him, she was convinced that he could save her from herself, that place of unworthiness, and make her whole.
What is it that we are so desperately trying to be rescued from? What is so unsettling that we compromise our own integrity, beliefs, and values? What is so broken within that we continue to give our power away? What conditioning is so deeply entrenched into the fabric of our being that we continue to seek out the next Kumare and the next? As I sat with these questions, I began to trace their path and the many times they came to visit. Shame, guilt, heartache, pain were usually lurking nearby. Avoidance, fear, and doubt seemed to be following in the rear. So often, I wanted to be rescued from my own feelings of inadequacy. I wanted to be saved from the pain and shame of not feeling worthy. I wanted to be safeguarded from the heartache of failure. I wanted you to come along and fix me so that if it didn't work out, it was your fault. If my life was a mess, you didn't do your job.Click to replace anchor text
What happens when we stop waiting to be saved and instead, save ourselves?
Self-esteem builds from being able to do things for ourselves, by learning to stand on our own two feet. Giving voice to the shame, guilt, heartache and pain minimizes their power over us. Journeying into the heart of emotions, fear and doubt, teaches us that we can fall down and pick ourselves back up. Allowing sacred space for the feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness helps to dissipate their sting. Giving myself permission to have messiness enter my life helps me understand that all life experiences are necessary for growth. In saving ourselves, we ultimately come home to ourselves. We begin to step onto the path of authenticity, connection, and grace. We hold ourselves and others with compassion, friendliness, and tenderness. When we meet someone who has saved themselves, it is a beautiful thing.
When you look into their eyes, they meet you at the door of your soul
May we all meet each other at the doors of our souls. May we all remember to come home, turn inward, and connect to that place of truth within. May we all feel the place of worth that is inherent to our very being. May we all hold each other when we forget and fall down. May we all mirror the strength and courage it takes to choose ourselves. May we all remember that we have a choice in how we live daily.