Many of us tend to look towards others for our light; our path; our answers. We look to others for love, for acceptance, for guidance. We become so focused and so trans-fixed on these “others” in our lives that we begin to lose sight of ourselves. Our own inner guru.
“We all must deal with our shadows the best we can. No one can conquer them for us.” — Anna Lee Huber
This weekend I attended both a Krishna Das concert, and a workshop (amazing, inspiring beautiful experience. Check KD out here if you’ve never heard of him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIogJ7itwMs). While at the workshop, there was the opportunity for a group Q&A. The microphone was passed around the room of about 100 people for anyone that had any questions they wanted to ask KD. I was expecting questions like “What brought you to chanting?” or “How has your life changed?” I was expecting the kind of questions that you would ask in order to hear about someone’s story; to listen to their own experiences. Instead, the microphone was passed to people looking for deep, personal answers. There were questions asked about feeling lost, feeling empty, feeling alone. Questions that asked him for his advice and his guidance. These were not the kind of questions KD was there to answer, but yet they were asked.
We often seek answers from outside sources, when in fact, deep inside, the answers lie within us. And only we are the ones who can unearth them. Krishna Das repeatedly brought his responses back to the person asking the question. He repeatedly reminded them that they will find their own answers if they allow themselves to stop and listen. To let go. To love every thing and every one, instead of focusing on that “one love” we all seek. To heal themselves before they begin focusing on healing others.
“As Author Jon Kabat-Zinn has said, ‘Whereever we go, there we are,’ and yet it is my experience that for many of us, after exposure to the practice of yoga there is simply, and at times astonishingly, a great deal more of us there. More consciousness, more energy, more awareness, more equanimity, more life in the body, more connection with the mysteries of the soul. And there is that wonderful, haunting voice of the true self that calls to us, that keeps us company as we stride deeper and deeper into the world, determined to save the only soul we really can save.” – Stephen Cope, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
Now, I am not saying that we should fore-go the help of others or not bother with seeking professional help when it’s needed. In fact, I used to speak with a therapist, and recently, I was within inches of going back. Sometimes we need that. I reminded myself that I’ve let my meditation practice slip. I’ve been “so darn busy” (that’s in quotations because, was I? Really?) that I hadn’t made it to my cushion lately.
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy – then you should sit for an hour.” – Old Zen adage
I do my personal morning yoga practice each day without fail, but I had let meditating slip through my fingers. I have since brought in back into my day and I feel a hell of a lot better. I have been able to find those answers in which I was seeking, within me. I have been able to cultivate that happiness in which I was lacking, within me. I was able to bring forth those feelings of love, the ones that I was feeling unable to give to both myself and those around me, from within me. Will I struggle from time to time? Oh goodness yes. We all will. But it’s knowing that you once found it within you, and therefore will always find it within you, that will reassure you for when those shadows come forth.
“Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you will suffer.” – Eckhart Tolle
When we come to a certain point in our lives where our needs, desires and our particular self at that time is no longer being met or received by others, we begin to feel as though things are wrong. We become disconnected from our ability to listen to ourselves. We feel as though we are not alright and things must be changed. We feel others will “fix” us. We focus our energy on “how we should be,” as a concept or an image, and from there, our entire lives become an attempt to undo this overwhelming and constant feeling of wrongness. This is when we begin to rely on others and our external environment for our self-satisfaction and guidance. When we begin to lose the sense of our true selves.
Please, seek the wisdom of therapists, psychics, sages, friends, family, whomever. But remember, at the end of it all, You and you alone are your only guru. You hold the answers. Allow yourself to listen within to find them.
“The practices of Yoga are organized around the belief that all human beings have the innate capacity and longing to mature to full aliveness, that all human beings are born with the seed of awake, conscious mind. Yogis believe that the inborn seed of consciousness will trouble us, will call to us, and, finally, will compel us on our own pilgrimage to awakening. When we finally commit to the quest for the true self, we will discover that we are not alone on our journey. One day, to our astonishment, we will find that the true self for which we are searching is also searching for us.” – Stephen Cope, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
I love you. ♥ Namaste.