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Monday, January 27, 2014

Svadhyaya ~ Self Study

"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power." ~Lao Tzu

Who am I? This question keeps coming up. It's one that I have thought about over and over... approached from different angles over the years. As a child I didn't think about it much - I was just aware that there was more; more to me, more to life, more to where we are and when we are. I feel that children are truly more connected to themselves - at least until the everyday world starts pulling them in. 

Perhaps it is just that at this point in my life I really need to give attention to this question? Who am I? A woman who was just going along with the motions until something happened to shake it up? No plan, no rhyme or reason until recently. It feels weird to call myself a woman but, at thirty, 'woman' is more appropriate than 'girl' - even though I still consider myself a girl. 

During my yoga teacher training this question came up. I have it written in my notes, 'the inquiry of yoga begins with the question: who am I?'. We give ourselves permission to inquire into the nature and content of our own experiences. By dedicating ourselves to svadhyaya we reflect; look within and see what inspires us, what moves us and ask the question - who am I? I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one asking this question. 

On my return home I found myself in... limbo? Still didn't have a plan, still trying to figure out what I wanted to be doing. The cute guy was looking for a space for his studio and I was helping... I'm not sure at what point I decided to look for a space for myself as well but somewhere along the way the 'search for a space for him' turned into the 'search for a space we could both use'. In the third week of December I attended a Self-Mastery Intensive Workshop at the Blue Star. It wasn't something I had planned to do but was somewhat tricked by my brother into going. Ergh? Sometimes we need to be tricked into doing things that may be good for us.  The very first line of my notes from that workshop reads: 'I am: a soul having a human experience -> what does that mean for me?' What does that mean for me? I'm still working it out. I feel as though I will forever be working it out.

On the second day of the workshop we talked about recognition of who we are; that the journey never ends and that the moment we find ourselves asking this question - Who am I? - we become the Seeker. What am I seeking? Knowledge, understanding, inner peace? I think I'm currently seeking to know why I'm seeking. Would like to just sit back and let life be but apparently some part of me has shifted and I can't get back to being... complacent?

There are variations to the question. What am I? What is the All that I am? Is there more of me to be experienced? Am I experiencing all that I am? What else am I? What is the More that I am? What exists when the form is taken away?

These are the steps I have written:
Observe (witness without being carried away) -> Be non-judgemental (be open, operate without judgement) -> Be curious (explore each dimension) -> Desire the adventure -> Adventure! (trust in the Universe and know that there is better to come)

I'm trying to keep them in mind.

It's almost the end of January and I find myself preparing a space in which I can teach yoga - asana? meditation? breathing? Yoga. My brother says he is not sure I can teach anyone as he does not think I have been practising enough. What should I be practising more of? I find myself examining even more the Who am I. What do I want to offer people? What is my purpose for establishing this space? 

The word that comes to mind the most is space. Sacred space. Sharing sacred space. A space where people can come for a moment of time and just be. Reconnect. Stretch. Breathe.

I think I'm okay with that.

Who am I? A Seeker... one who does not know how far she has to go but is fine with that.

What am I? In this moment, content... and sleepy.

Good night all.

peace,
Ren

1 comment:

Tracey Chan said...

We need to have a pow wow over many cups of tea. I have too much to say. This is great though. Your journey is wonderful! I think you have so much to share with your students :)