Reflective learning asks of us, "Do you want to evolve, expand and emerge to the next, latest-greatest version of yourself?" Yes, and I do mean, "YOU: VERSION 12.9.3" -- that one. The best way to shift your life is by becoming an EXPERT on YOU.
As Professor Douglas Brooks, Rajanaka Scholar, says, "The more we recognize ourselves, the more we know that we know that our awareness is a simultaneous experience." Okay. Wow. An example he used was, "Wisdom's manifestation is compassion. To be compassionate you need to be wise." See it co-occurs? That's life. What is co-occurring in your life so you can know it to be EXPERT on you?
Wisdom is one's own experience of life.
What are you WISE on? Let it be You, first You. Turning in creates the capacity to turn out. Everything is inside everything else. Paradox. The invitation to be You.
As a both a teacher of yoga for almost 30 years and practitioner of over 35, I see asana -- the traditional physical yoga pose -- as one expression of our growth and of our own divinity. Fundamentally, Life is yoga and yoga is Life. Simple.
Sometimes I use a mat to practice Life and other times I use Life to practice yoga. No mat required.
In the physical practice of yoga, my mat serves as my metaphoric world and how I move from pose to pose becomes another asana in of itself -- a self-inquired moment. There are times when my mom becomes my yoga mat, my husband, my career, my Facebook page -- and my relationship to it all. With awareness and consciousness I observe all at the same time -- how I connect, relate and recognize -- what needs attending to.
Go inside first.
It is about developing a keen sense of laser light focus to becoming an expert on Me. This observing, this feeling, this tasting and sensing -- the reflecting on how I engage, how I connect, how I relate and recognize it all -- serves the universal good. The larger than the sum of it's parts, universal good- my life. This becomes my happiness. Everywhere.
Life is about practice. Practicing You. Refining You over and over. As Carl Sagan says, "We are part of the stardust," everything is part of everything else. We are never separate and apart, but rather a cocktail of what truly is, was and what will be coming. On the rocks, I might add. Imagine all that in a tumbler. Life is yoga. We engage. We connect. We recognize.
There is such a fine line between yoga being a healing modality or one that creates injury evidenced by a New York Times magazine article in 2012 -- PARADOX. I was shocked, then realigned and realized that yes, people do get hurt in yoga -- yet yoga was the thing that healed my mind, body and soul from an immune system dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome and a bout of depression from it all. PARADOX. So it is a worthy conversation, because what alchemizes the yoga, er, um, your life -- lies more in the difference in the articulation of it's instruction. A yoga teacher's instruction, what the teacher says -- how they direct their students -- and what they deliver, informs how You, the student of Life, applies this knowledge base that will either add more to your evolution and expansion or will detract health and contract You into an unconscious self-sabotager, aka injury on the mat, or in our life, work, play or our day, somewhere.
Connectivity, relationship and recognition serve as a context for our lives and how well we can see our self enhances our focus. I choose to use the fine set of binoculars that yoga, life and my own choices deliver. Many of us have used our option of choice to blur our vision and tarnish future eyes. We blur ourselves. PARADOX. Recognition is to say, "Okay, what is that truly telling me? What is this situation, this reflection offering me?" We cannot reject our nature, we must embrace it and know it. Expertise grows. Cultivate the practice and become the expert on yourself.
Each time we practice yoga, practice life, practice being ourselves -- we learn. With our awareness, our self-awareness, we can recognize our shift and enter into the present moment.
Since we're talking yoga -- PARADOX -- enter The Shiva Sutras. In the yoga tradition, these Sutras are the experience of the world's auspiciousness. Meaning it is the invitation to embrace the Universe, essentially You, with, yes -- you guessed it -- PARADOX. For instance, being courageous asks us to either embrace our insecurities and step into the unknown with a big yes -- like being asked to speak at an event and totally unprepared, but yes, nevertheless, or to feel fear, honor it and say no -- like my fear of falling forward and down on the down escalator -- or to say no to someone else's want -- like my children who try to coax me onto that escalator anytime they could -- all the while I shake my head and say, "No, no!" When my son went on a trip to Europe. I was thrilled for him -- and for me -- because I was free from motherly duties and did not have to prepare 17 homemade meals a day and cook for his testosterone-laden hungry body, yet I missed him so much -- especially when he decided to stay much longer than was expected. The unknown. The PARADOX. Everything has a virtue and a liability.
PARADOX is the invitation to think again. Think from the ground up, or from the inside out. Now from the head to your toes and further down, back to front, yesterday to today, form then until now and back again. Magic is the shift of perception and the gift of being with the unknown however it lands.
Shift and step into PARADOX and see who and what dwells there. Cultivate your inquiry, apply and repeat. Life is like that. What you get -- the unknown -- is oftentimes much greater than what you wished for -- the known. Reflect and practice being the you you already are and will be and forever was. Become the expert on yourself.
Be You. Love Life. Change The World. Now that is a bootcamp for your soul.