“I know that I am capable, I release anxiety, knowing I can trust myself in the moment. I am strong and secure in my authentic expression”. (Affirmation from @peacemovesyoga)
This morning as I practiced yoga with my favorite instructor, my great friend, and a true sister, Amy Ramsay. I struggled to clear my head and get into the mentally clear and heart focused space I love to practice in. She started our class with the affirmation above. Which I love. Truthfully, I felt as though she wrote it for me. Similar words are my current mantra for life. Authentic expression is so deeply important to me. Yet I was struggling to connect with my own authenticity this morning. Struggling to trust myself and struggling to know I was capable.
At the beginning of class Amy mentioned we’d be working on inversions. Specifically head stands. I’ve never been awesome at these but I have always enjoyed working on them. However, this morning I was practicing on a cement slab next to a pool. Beautiful setting for morning yoga. However, nothing about it felt safe for practicing head stands. The practice this morning was beautiful. I felt strong and capable in everything we did leading up to the head stands. However, I became anxious about how and if I’d be able to safely attempt a head stand and then wrestled with if I was willing to sit this one out or if I needed to step into a challenge. My mind was distracted the entire time and I missed the beauty of what was happening during 99% of the class due to my fear. My inability to release my anxiety, to trust myself and to stand strong and secure in my authenticity almost caused me to miss the beauty of the class altogether.
It wasn’t until it was all over and I reflected on what had happened that I began to realize the entire practice was exactly what I needed. My body moved great, I felt strong, and I even got into crow for the for time in my life.Yes, headstands were the goal but that wasn’t safe for me today. So I went for something different and accomplished something I never had before.
But here is the take away. Why do we allow anxiety to fester like that and ruin the beauty we’re constantly surrounded by? Why do our minds get the best of us and convince us we aren’t strong enough or don’t have what it takes for what is up ahead? Because that is a lie every time. Had I just focused on my heart and followed where it told me to go I would have enjoyed the whole practice and then celebrated my new accomplishment.
I walked away and thought about the important of my roots. How they need to grow deeper and deeper into the rich soil of authenticity daily. By rooting in authenticity, I become more aware. I can clearly see my strength and my security. Fear vanishes and I know I am capable of whatever comes my direction. I can deeply trust myself, because if I am deeply rooted in authenticity, I have a sure sense of who I truly am.
So how do we grow those roots down deep into the soil of authenticity? For me it has been through the practice of meditation. Connecting each morning to the awareness of my perfect soul. What this looks like will be completely different for everyone. But I want to share with you the steps I use that lead me into a blissful mediation through which I feel the profound connection to my Source of Life.
When possible I meditate outside and I try to do so early enough that there isn’t much happening outside yet.
I site cross legged and upright with my palms facing up. A posture, that for me, indicates I am open, ready and willing to receive. From there I begin to focus on all the noise around me. Always there are birds, sometimes vehicles in the background, the sound of running water, wind in the trees. Whatever I hear I listen. To me every sound is a vibration. Not distracting but speaking to me. Each vibration is another tone of the Divine voice speaking to me. Not in a language my mind understands, but in one my soul alone can interpret. Then I begin to become aware of the breeze on my face, moving through my hair and all around me. It is as though Divine presence is surrounding me letting me know I’m safe and held. Next I focus on the temperature, it doesn’t matter if it is hot or cold. I simply become aware of whatever it is. The temperature becomes the touch of the Divine on my skin. In this touch I feel that I am created beautifully perfect and nothing can change that. Finally, I focus on my heart I feel it expand, frequently to the point it feels as though it will jump from my chest. That feeling is the awareness of my authenticity I come looking for. It is the feeling that I want to guide me. So I sit. I sit with the Divine and am shown how perfectly I was created and how much light I’ve been given to share with this world. I sit as long as I need. Some days it’s short somedays I sit for a long time. Whatever it takes to allow my roots to grow just a little more.
If I always live in tune and in touch with my deep inner self, with my soul then I can always trust myself. My mind can be deceiving. But my heart, my soul, will never lead me astray. As long as I live rooted in authenticity I will always be moving in the direction I was created for.