We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. THE TALMUD
As part of the Yoga Teacher Training, I had to research a list of subjects assigned, write reports on them and present my findings. For one of these reports I chose the Yoga Sutras. I'm actually blown away by the wisdom that is contained in those sutras, essentially they are a guideline to the art and science of Yoga for self-realization. There are 196 Sutras, written some 1700 - 2200 years ago, by Patanjali. So if you thought Yoga was just about the physical poses, well I've got news for you... Obviously I can't cover them all in a few blog posts, but as of right now this one is of particular interest to me; Sutra 1.8 Viparyaya - meaning misperception. It really ties in nicely with some of the other courses and training I have taken part in over the last year and resonates deeply for me in my own life. My teaching and sharing of what I feel is of value is always largely centered around my personal experiences. You can bet that if I have an AHA moment in my own yoga practice, it's going to show up in the next class I teach! Isn't that what it's all about? Learning, sharing and growing together? Its much easier to teach something when it is relatable to our own experience and not just going through the mechanics or reading from a manual.
Lack of information, making false assumptions, or a distorted perception of things is caused by an absence of knowledge and understanding, a failure to recognize the bigger picture. When our perception of an event or person is based on what our past conditioning has been, a pattern is created and we form judgements of what is right or wrong according to expectations we have. When we are in this state we become inflexible, unbalanced - we tend to either “vilify” or “glorify”, stuck in perceiving things as good or bad, or black & white. Living life at the effects of our judgements narrows our vision, shrinks us and closes our hearts and minds to the world around us.
Assumptions based on incomplete knowledge creates misperceptions, obstacles that stand in the way of a balanced mind. Poise, gratitude and love are the effects of being able to correct these misperceptions, to move through the outer changing world with ease and fluidity. As we move through our life experiences with an open mind and a willingness to learn, we gain a deeper understanding that leads to fewer misperceptions of people and the events around us.
Sometimes things don't reveal themselves right away, but as time unfolds we can see the order in everything,(if we choose to). Everyone has moments in their life they are cringe worthy, moments where things seemed dismal at best. If we can detach long enough from the story we have created about what happened we can open our minds to seeing the beauty, opportunity and growth in it all. Everything that crosses our path is there for our growth and it's in our power to choose how we process the information that is being presented.
Blessings in disguise.
Life has thrown some pretty crazy stuff my way. I'm sure everyone can relate to that. I've had some moments where I did not know which way to turn. In my mind, in those moments what "happened to me" was the worst possible thing ever. As I sit here now I can say with all certainty that they were blessings in disguise. I'm doing and creating things for myself, that even a year ago weren't in my frame of reference, and these new experiences, this new way of being(I call myself a "caterpillar in transition") are a direct result of the "crazy stuff". I see that all events in my life have been guiding me towards what I am doing now. Needless suffering is the result of not seeing a person or event in its entirety. Complaining about the pain will not take it away, it only prolongs the suffering. We can remove the obstacles that stand in the way of us living the grandest version of ourselves, and live without the burden of being ruled by our feelings or jumping to conclusions.
Make a list. Write down the crummy things you think have ever happened to you. The people who you think have screwed you over, the time you got fired from your job, the day your car broke down, the spouse that cheated on you, the parents that didn't support you, etc. Next...the challenge (remember challenge = growth). Disclaimer...if you don't want growth STOP reading NOW. Make another list and write down everything you have learned, gained or any AHA moments that have come as a result of everything from your first list. Don't stop until you start smiling! You'll notice that there will be a shift in your perception, you'll have expanded your frame of reference and you will start to feel lighter as a result. It takes a lot of energy out of us when we carry a weight like that around with us.
This is a start, a start to leading a more fulfilling empowered life, to experiencing gratitude, to create a powerful personal transformation and a new way of thinking.(As a Trained Demartini Method® Facilitator I can show you how). Oh, and by the way - a bit of yoga doesn't hurt either!