New Year – New Me – that’s how the saying goes right? Wrong…
This year 2019 did teach me a lot and one of the things I focused on was self-discovery. The journey of re-connecting with my True self and going through the old versions of myself. Have I mentioned I started counselling course this year? It was the best decision I ever made. And I fell in love with Carl Rogers. This guy was a yogi without even knowing. His book “on becoming a person” (1957) reminds me so much of Yoga Sutras. I love this quote:
“I have pointed out that each individual appears to be asking a double question: “Who am I?” and “How may I become myself”. I have stated that in a favourable psychological climate a process of becoming takes place; that here the individual drops one after another defensive masks with which he has faced life; that he experiences fully the hidden aspects of himself; that he discovers in these experiences the stranger who has been living behind these masks, the stranger who is himself. I have tried to give my picture of the characteristic attributes of the person who emerges; a person who is more open to all of the elements of his organic experience; a person who is developing a trust in his own organism as instrument of sensitive living; a person who accepts the locus of evaluation as residing within himself; a person who is learning to live in his life as a participant in a fluid, ongoing process, in which he is continually discovering new aspects of himself in the flow of his experience. Those are some of the elements which seem to me to be involved in becoming a person.”
Rogers writes about the masks, masks I am wearing at work, home, in lonely moments in every part of our life. The masks I am hiding behind. But why would I hide? Because I don’t want to face the truth. The truth about who I really am can be painful. Being honest with myself is sometimes difficult. Because I am a people pleaser, I sometimes will do things for others even if I don’t want to. The most difficult part is that I am not even aware of that happening. It’s because I tell myself a story which I believe and becomes my reality, so when I tell the story to others, I think it’s true. Being congruent – honest with myself, means facing many unpleasant moments and facts which I am trying to hide away from. But to me congruence means for searching of who I am.
Being honest with myself and facing the experiences when they appear helps me to find who I really am. The only problem is as more I know, less I know. Sometimes it feels like I lose ground under my feet, everything what I knew, everything what I believed in, becomes a lie. And as more I am asking myself what the truth is, as less I know. The picture I created in my head is a lie. And somehow part of me (ego) tries to keep it no matter what. And it fights, fights so hard. There are countless conversations between my ego and my Self.
Sometimes it hurts. And it hurts so much that I feel it in every part of my body, it becomes physical pain. Sometimes it feels like my whole body is being torn to pieces, burned inside. I cried so many times. But when I don’t fight it and allow pain to happen, it becomes less. It’s like I am taking away the power to control me, like I don’t accumulate the energy connected with pain and the energy does not control me. So, beyond the pain there is freedom. But sometimes I don’t have the courage to face that pain. And that’s ok too. I believe there is different timing for everyone, and I will face it when I am ready.
Sometimes it feels like I am a countless piece puzzle and I am made of other’s people opinions and believes. Where is ME in all that, my true self? That discovery causes a lot of suffering, because I touch layers of myself which I had no idea existed. The truth is very often difficult to accept, but it’s so important that I accept myself as I am, do not judge or criticise, just understand there is no good or bad, whatever is just is. And discovery is only a process I am going through and beyond the suffering there is realisation.
And then there are moments in my life of complete stillness, moments of joy so powerful that nothing else exists in this moment, moments of realisation that we are boundless creatures and carry the whole universe inside of us.
As more honest I am with myself, as more honest I become with other people. Obviously I still apply care and acceptance, but I also think sometimes I need to create space for things which hurt and allow them to be released because only this way we will be able to free ourselves from emotional attachment and discover of who I really am. But sometimes I cannot cope with the truth on my own and having a counsellor to help me in this journey is amazing. The relationship allows me to grow as a person.
I am still on the path of discovery which probably will take my whole life but I am so grateful for this experience and for the possibility of becoming a person.
So is it New Year – New You or is it New Year – True Self? The perception is that in the New Year we have to create new persona, change our habits, change how we look but what if our life should be with reconnecting with something which is unchangeable, constant, still, boundless, pure consciousness, pure awareness, just perfect as it is – our True Self. So that’s what I wish you in the New Year – amazing journey into reconnecting with your True Self. Happy New Year!
Posted in News and tagged Carl Rogers, counselling, Crewe Yoga, Meditation, new beginnings, New Year, Relaxation, Self discovery, True Self, Yoga class near Crewe, Yoga Crewe by Anna Smithers with .
Every week my students inspire me to think a little bit deeper about life and I am very grateful to them. This week was no different. This week were discussing Santosha – contentment, one of the niyamas, yogi qualities we would like to be present in our lives to make it more peaceful.
How often are we content in our life? How often do we stop and appreciate what we have? Contentment means being happy with what you have. It’s about not creating expectations. If you have no expectation, you cannot create disappointment, hence we can avoid unnecessary suffering.
One of my students said, “life has got its own rhythm”. Everything has got own rhythm, our breath, our heart, our body, our mind. When we find the rhythm of the life and we learn how to adjust to this rhythm, we stop fighting and we go with the flow. Once we accept the life as it is and not trying to make the life how we want it, we achieve inner peace, inner stillness and the feeling that everything is like it should be and everything falls into place.
For me contentment means lying in front of the fire, with the book and hot cup of tea. What is your idea of contentment?
And then I think about Christmas. The most beautiful day in the year. And how commercial it became. Somehow Christmas became about presents. We are overloading ourselves which things which most of the time we don’t even need. I have a big family, so one year we decided we will buy presents only for children. And when Santa came, they were overloaded with gifts. And I still remember my 5-year-old niece, surrounded by presents, and how she decided to take few teaspoons from the table and play with them.
Let’s think about the impact on environment and the waste. By cultivating present obsessed Christmas, we increase the amount of waste every year. The amount of plastic being disposed over Christmas is horrendous. And I am not saying stop giving, but what I am saying is maybe idea of secret Santa could be introduced this year? Maybe there should be an amount of money assigned per person like £20? Or maybe we could make the presents?
I remember my Christmas as a child. My parents didn’t have a lot of money so most of the time I was getting one big present. But awaiting this time and appreciating this present was something I will never forget. It was such a magical time for me.
And also, this Christmas just stop running for a moment and look around you. See the smile on children faces, smell the wonderful smell coming from the kitchen, smell the Christmas tree, listen to Christmas song, hug your closest, tell them how much you love spending time with them, and feel the contentment in your heart. Because really what is important this Christmas is to be together.
And if you are on your own this Christmas, then wear your favourite jumper and warm socks, lit the fire, make hot chocolate and listen to your favourite music. Get absorbed in the rhythm of your favourite song. Read your favourite book. Paint, sing and spend some time with you! Because you are the best company you will ever have.
Being content with what we have, even if we only have a little.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!
Posted in News and tagged Christmas Contemplation, Contentment, Crewe Yoga, Priorities, Stop the waste, Yoga Crewe by Anna Smithers with .