More Writings by shakti
- The Purpose of Existence
- Split Personalities
- The Obsession with Yoga Anatomy
- Beyond Beliefs and Faith
- Looking for the light in "Self Transformation"
- The 10 Commandments of Finding The Right Yoga Teacher Training
- Overwhelmed by existence
- Is self-improvement selfish?
- Which Way should I go next?
- Becoming the Observer
- About Karma
- The boldness of baldness
- Hot Yoga, an oxymoron
- The hologram of self
- avoid worship
- true masters
- the circus of yoga
- realization and panic attacks
- less is more
- crises and struggles
- practice can become an obstacle
- money and spirituality
- don't talk about your practice
- prana bridge
- the business of love
Looking for the Light in "Self Transformation"
The following question came to shakti from a student seeking spiritual guidance during a difficult period in her self transformation.
I've been through "self transformation" since 2005. I began my first yoga class during this year. A nervous depression woke me up: I had the choice between going on sleeping and taking the pills or facing the disease. I decided to open my eyes and facing the truth. But the path was very tough... until now. I've divorced and I lost my mother - who died of cancer, in the same year. And in the same time, I lost my illusions, my old dreams, my old mental, religious patterns, and... my friends. Now, I'm getting more and more lonely. Some days I'm struggling against my fears (Am I a good mother for my kids? Am I a good teacher for them? Should I leave the place I'm living now for another very different place? Am I going to be alone for the rest of my life? etc...) in spite of the fact that I know that yoga has nothing to do with struggling. I also fight against people I love most and then I cry because hurting them is like hurting myself. Yoga is about peace and union and I do the opposite. A very precious friend of mine who used to be both, teacher and lover wrote me in his last letter "to get out of my cave instead of cleansing it." He told me "to go to the light." He also told me things very hard to read... His words hurt me, but the fact his that I'm trapped in the darkness. I don't know how to reach the light within myself or the light of the universe. But I'm going on searching and maybe, you may enlighten me somewhere...
"I've been through 'self transformation' since 2005. I began my first yoga class during this year. A nervous depression woke me up: I had the choice between going on sleeping and taking the pills or facing the disease."
First I would like to address what you describe as your "nervous depression disease."
More and more people from all ages are waking up in the morning finding themselves in depression, often believing something is terribly wrong with them as an individual.
What in the past used to be a hidden, embarrassing condition of a small minority dealt with in secret, has become a western cultural phenomenon. The number of depressed people is so numerous and widely accepted that advertising for anti-depressants can now be found on the sides of public buses.
It is important to remember that the depression you are dealing with is a result of environmental circumstances (being away from nature, lacking prana energy, and oxygen, pollution, chemicals, etc.) as well as a result of a stressful lifestyle. It seems like one needs to be a superwoman (or man) to raise a family, survive financially, and find the time and energy to fulfill one's inner voice or call. On top of it, unlike the old times, big families used to be structured as tribes where the individual could find support in raising kids, making a living and finding guidance from the elders. Today, the tribe structure is fading out and more individuals find themselves dealing with the burden of life alone - up to a state where they collapse physically, emotionally and mentally. So no wonder you feel what you feel in this moment.
"I decided to open my eyes and face the truth. But the path was very tough... until now."
The path is tough because to be on it you need to rise above your evolutionary programming that following it blindly brought you to this point. Most of the time we do not know better.
For example: In your search for a mate, getting married and having children wasn't done by you with full consciousness. You do have the illusion that you are the one that wanted to get married and have family but you actually followed the DNA program in each of your cells to continue your race like a good soldier. The duty to continue the race comes with many illusions such as: "marriage last forever", "my family is my happiness" etc., which helps to glue everything together. If you see the big picture as it is, it actually makes sense that two people will not survive forever as a couple if each of them goes through their own process in a daily life.
Why do we expect two people to constantly develop or regress in the same way, same direction, same pace and same time when they are two different minds? Most people stay together for the purpose of raising the children because this was the reason from the beginning for their "falling in love." Once the kids are there, often the "love" falls away.
As well, it makes sense that if you are occupied in raising, feeding, supporting, and training the next generation, you won't have much time to fulfill your own personal dreams. When you become aware, you may find that your personal dreams have nothing to do with your evolutionary role. If you do fulfill your dreams it will probably be warped with endless guilt of not fulfilling an "ideal" way your role as a parent, a wife, a daughter. Many people are trapped in the evolutionary surviving role but somehow when their kids are about to embrace the same direction, they are not there to enlighten their eyes. Often it is because we feel the need to see ourselves continue on.
It is not that on the path of spirituality you cannot have a family, but my point is that most of the people are not aware they have other choices than to continue passing their genes to the next generation. This drive to reproduce is one of the strongest forces of our physical existence.
"I've divorced and I lost my mother - who died of cancer, in the same year."
"And in the same time, I lost my illusions."
That is good as you should rather have a reality than illusions.
"I lost my old dreams"
Better to have manifestations then dreams.
"I lost my old mental"
All it means is that you let go of your old programming.
"I lost my religious patterns"
Maybe it is a time for you to create your an authentic patterns and not following others.
"and... I lost my friends"
If you lost your friends you never really had them. What you had instead is an exchange with people on a basis of give and take, and when one side (or both) found they cannot get what they want anymore, they end the invisible contract.
Where you are now is often a great turning point for a real awakening, as long as you are willing to take full responsibility for all your actions and intents by willing to stop looking for happiness in other people, events or circumstance. Your other option is to join the masses out there by becoming a victim that hopes to have an external salvation through relationships, money, fame, god and others.
"Now, I'm getting more and more lonely."
Do you know that the feeling of loneliness is an instinct rooted in us from our ancient time in the savannas? When we lived in dangerous areas and our self protections were fully relying on staying within the tribe, the unpleasant feelings of loneliness ensured that we would never depart from the tribe. This instinct is still within us but in a modern version.
When we need to receive acknowledgments from others to feel good about ourselves and when we do not receive that acknowledgement, we feel lonely.
"Some days I'm struggling against my fears (Am I a good mother for my kids? Am I a good teacher for them?)"
Be a good mother by giving your children the choice to live their life authentically without creating a net of expectations around them. Avoid telling them the lie that having a family is the utmost happiness for humankind. Rarely do mothers reveal to their children that the romantic love that often will drive a man and woman to have a baby as a demonstration for their love will be the first to fall away when the baby arrives.
Give them the option to choose and let them know the truth about the illusion that things remain the same. Give them the permission not to follow the majority's customs, give them the approval to be different from "others", to be true to themselves.
"Should I leave the place I'm living now for another very different place?"
I am very much encouraging anyone that would like to live a wholesome life to move and live in nature. Living in big polluted cities has devastating results on our nervous system and brain, our health in general and more than anything, our state of consciousness.
"Am I going to be alone for the rest of my life? etc..."
Not if you will take the time and energy to find yourself. Then you always have yourself. Being in a relationship is fine as long as it is not coming from a need and desperation. If it is coming from that place, it will always be painful, as even if it goes well you will carry the fear that it may end. If you get to the point that you are content on your own, then a relationship is more of sharing instead of a form of dependency.
"...in spite of the fact that I know that yoga has nothing to do with struggling. I also fight against people I love most and then I cry because hurting them is like hurting myself."
You fight against them because you need things from them (support, love, recognition, acknowledgment, sex, attention etc.) and if you don't get it in the way and the doses you need then it becomes a struggle.
You fight against them because you do not have the power (yet!) to let them be who they are. We constantly demand from our loved ones to see the world from our eyes. Each of us wants to be the director of the movie. On the path of spirituality you never wish to be right by being so you see reality only from your own limited perspective.
"Yoga is about peace and union and I do the opposite. A very precious friend of mine who used to be both, teacher and lover wrote me in his last letter 'to get out of my cave instead of cleansing it'."
He is right. The next state is to realize that the cave doesn't exist...
Buy flowers for yourself for no reason on a weekly basis as a reminder that bliss comes from being in the moment.
Start from small things to practice mindfulness and learn the "self." Become the observer. So you do not fall into your emotions when things manifest not in the way your mind expects.
Reach out to give and not to receive.
Move on your own pace to a position that you make a living from something that gives you joy and contentment.
Practice letting people be who they are without demanding any expectations from them. At the same time avoid demanding from them doing the same with you, as love is not a business. Only a free person can allow others to be free.
Ayala's response to shakti's comments:
I read your letter carefully and it seems that the content is like an echo that comes out from my core. It really makes sense for me.
Thank you for all these precious things you shared with me.