The path of a yoga mama is of awareness. Each day we open our eyes to what is. Each moment brings a lesson, which we can see when we allow the turbulent waters to become clear. It requires a certain commitment though.
We realize Truth at many different points in our life.
Like most seventh graders, I had a burning desire to be cool. I didn’t want to be a second-class citizen, or worse, a geek. I didn’t want to be picked on. I really wanted to be one of the cool kids.
There was one thing holding me back. In my 7th grade perspective, my friends weren’t cool.
Particularly, my best friend. She and I were artsy together. We were silly and weird and wonderfully close for many years.
I dropped her. It is the one act in my life that I most regret.
I made friends with the cool kids, but I was not being myself. I was not living my truth. My former best friend had loved me for exactly who I was, and I lost that. I lost my connection with her altogether.
The choice to be one of the cool kids then led me to many self-destructive acts. I spent years playing the game. I drank and did drugs. Eventually, I woke up to the lie that I was living. I had almost destroyed my future. I was not living in alignment with who I truly was and it had taken a great toll.
Truth – Satya caught up with me when I was sixteen. I was lost. I had to sit with the realization that I had long ago burned bridges with those who really “got” me.
I wanted clarity. I wanted to Satya- truth. But first I had to drag myself out of a hole.
Self-care saved me. I started running and found more than fitness. It was my first meditative activity. I learned how to persist when I wanted to stop. I learned that comfort stood in the way of growth. Change wasn’t comfortable.
I realized that if I had the strength to transform into a healthy person, I could also be myself.
I could honor my truth, and be me.
It wasn’t easy in a small town where everybody is used to who you were. They didn’t trust me for good reason – I had been living a lie for a while. But I did find friends who saw the light and beauty in me. I am forever grateful to them.
Realizing your Truth
Addressing Satya always begins within. It means that we stop burying, denying, or distracting ourselves from Truth. It’s usually uncomfortable.
As humans, we all do things we aren’t proud of. These are our teachers. When we embrace our “mud,” rather than reject it, then it can help us grow. As my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, “No mud, no lotus.”
There is a certain courage that is required to stay with the raw truth of what is. It might be staying in the discomfort of a certain moment. It might be acknowledging that we have chosen safety over our true calling.
Most of us spend much of our time hiding or distracting ourselves from Truth. If we are not living our truth we look outside of ourselves for fulfillment. The perfect house, the perfect body, food, entertainment or “perfect” children are substitutes for living in integrity with who we are.
The willingness to face our Truth requires us to be centered and grounded. I couldn’t face up to the lie I was living as an adolescent until I had my feet back on the ground.
That is why self-care is always the first step. As I started running and stopped smoking, started eating better and eased off the partying, I finally felt solid enough to be me.
Now, I feel solid enough to share that story with you.
So these are my tips:
1. Start with self-care. Eat well. Exercise. Send loving-kindness to your body-mind.
2. Practice mindfulness. Turn off the distractions for one part of your day and practice being really present. It will be uncomfortable at first. It’s difficult to come out of the distraction matrix.
3. Persist with self-care and mindfulness. The fruits of these practices come over time. Real change takes time.
4. Commit yourself to truth. Are your words truthful? Don’t use them harshly or as weapons. Truth is balanced by kindness. Are your thoughts truthful? Or are they justifying your want of comfort or distraction?
5. Practice loving-kindness. Start with you. Notice your self-judgement and the harsh way you may talk to yourself. Then change the conversation to a loving one.
Now it’s your turn.
Where have you realized Truth in your life? How has it changed you? Was it easy? Share your insights in the comments below.
I dedicate this post to my former best friend: you where the coolest 10-year old I knew. Thank you for sharing such a formative time with me.
Thank you so much for reading my story. I hope that it brings benefits that ripple outward. Please share if you have gotten something out of this.
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