Journey Within

As I sat on the back porch after a long, hot day here in Alabama, I was suddenly hit with the smell of freshly cut grass and country air...mixed with a little horse manure ;) It took less than the blink of an eye to awaken a feeling of deep contentment. I wonder, a lot actually, why we humans have to complicate everything. Who decided it wasn't good enough to be exactly who we are? I understand the desire to evolve, learn, grow, and challenge ourselves, but where in the midst of the exploration, play, and wonder did we decide that we needed to own, control, and judge? Do you ever ask yourself these questions? Do you ever wonder at what point in your life did you decide that life wasn't abundant and friendly? I know for some of us this came at a very early age when maybe we weren't given the basic nurturing and care that was needed or when something traumatic happened and we didn't have the tools to deal.

What I have been exploring the last few years is the embodiment of these ideas. While I still have many moments of being in my head and asking questions, I find that my default is now becoming more about how it feels rather than what it looks like or what someone or our culture says it should be. I am learning how to develop a relationship with my intuition and most importantly, how to muster the courage to follow it. Instead of looking for validation, praise, or external guide posts, I am now more interested in a feeling of expansiveness within my heart and the ability to source strength from my inner knowing and wisdom.

We begin to move further and further away from our inner knowing when we base our feelings around what others think we should do or when we play small so as not to challenge others' insecurities. We begin to grasp for something, ANYTHING, to make us feel steady and supported. Sometimes, we find that something or someone that helps us feel stable for a short time but before long we find ourselves pulled into the undertow and are now blaming that something or someone that once held us afloat. Do you see the craziness in this thinking pattern and behavior? Do we really believe that something or someone outside of ourselves can save us? At what point in our lives do we realize that placing another person or thing on a pedestal or judging them as "bad" is only contributing to our suffering and delaying the time that we could be connecting to our source?

Community is GREAT! Relationships are a fundamental pillar of a healthy life but often times our relationships are based out of a mindset of scarcity and fear. We are constantly thinking, "What can this person do for me?" or "If I act this way then maybe he or she will want me." or "I could save him or her if he or she would just let me help." Again, do you see the craziness in this pattern? The purpose of yoga, meditation, selfless service, prayer, and self-study is to help us find our inner knowing or our "Ishta Devata" as taught in the Vedas. For many people here in Alabama that Ishta Devata or personal God is Jesus. For others that Ishta Devata may be Mother Mary, Krishna, Saraswati, Muhammed, Mother Nature, or any other name or form chosen. There are as many paths into the forest as there are hearts in this world and I want to encourage you to seek...not outside of yourself as you have been taught by modern society but INSIDE. I encourage you to explore as a young child would explore with curiosity, joy, playfulness, and selflessness. I encourage you to keep surrounding yourself with other seekers and nature, and quiet time, and nourishing foods, and uplifting friends because in the end you will feel much happier about the time you spent moving from a place of love instead of a place of fear. When you move from a place of love you touch others, you heal, you no longer feel separate or contracted. You are here to make a difference. You are LOVED.