I’ve been hiding for a long time.
It might not seem like this from the outside since I stand in front of crowds of people speaking and teaching, yet it’s true. I have learned the art of hiding in plain sight for many reasons, but mostly because it keeps me safe inside my inner sanctuary. I am experiencing an undeniably insistent nudge within that I cannot refuse anymore. I have to trust this inner persistence and pray this writing is part of the Shakti’s call for each one of us to come out of hiding and step into our truth and power
I believe that the vibration of the world is changing. The way of learning is changing. The use of technology and social media is bringing the people’s voices to an escalating rise of speaking our personal truth and putting it out there. There are so many ways for us to be seen and heard.
Sometimes it comes out gracefully poised and sometimes like an intense spewing forth, and both can be of service. We need the raw, the real, and the gritty to see ourselves in each other; and we need the refined, the polished and the integrated wisdom to see what is possible in the way of transformation.
Last year’s crumbling of Anusara yoga put so many of us to the test and straight into Kali’s cauldron. Our soul family was cooked in a most fierce stew of emotions. It played out in different ways for each of us, exposing our personal hurts and karmic threads, opening our wounds and mercilessly revealing our vulnerabilities. I have come to realize that this dissolution was pushing me full throttle forward into saying yes to my own power.
When I was a young girl, I could see certain dimensions of the spirit world that others did not seem to see. I’m sure many of you know this experience. At first I would share with others and try to initiate spirit games with my friends, but I quickly learned this was not the common ground for most people. I learned how to retreat inside myself while living in the world.
Quite simply, I learned how to hide. The samskaras run through lifetimes, and this is one of the particular samskaric threads that I must personally go to battle with. Throughout my life, there have been intense episodes of nightmares and memories about being tortured, burned and ruthlessly questioned by assailants. This is partly collective consciousness at work with memories of witch-hunts, concentration camps and other sordid events in our recent human history.
We are all connected and our memories also connected. Even if we did not personally undergo a particular traumatic experience, it lives in the collective consciousness. We all learn coping mechanisms to keep us safe. We are all in this together.
Yoga appeared in my life at the darkest hour. Yoga arrived as a warrior of truth. Yoga captured my whole being like a thief in the night. Yoga put me on my own funeral pyre and then lit it on fire. I have been burning ever since as a yogini on fire.
I went in. I left everything else for yoga. I plunged, plummeted and spelunked to the bottomless bottom and it never ends.
As people began searching for me as a teacher of yoga, I felt conflicted: how would I give a voice to something so utterly personal and completely intense in my own life? The journey of teaching yoga has been one of my most confrontational encounters with my own self. It has pushed me in front of people and calls my voice into action. It demands that I dig deep within, be real, accountable and a radical truth seeker. It takes me to my edge every single time I want to hide and be invisible.
I keep learning how to walk the edge of studentship that is humble, honest and strengthening to my own container without giving it all away. I must recognize when deferring to the teacher is beneficial and when it is draining of my own power and reinforcing my pattern of hiding behind another person as my shield. Sometimes it feels unbearable and yet it’s the most perfect exhalation when I step into my power.
I feel we are in the midst of great change from the guru paradigm to a more collective paradigm. It is less about one guru to many devotees and more about each of us stepping into the circle of power. In order to accomplish this, we must each do the work within, encounter ourselves fully in our own inner battles, be accountable for our mistakes, be willing to come out of hiding and emerge victorious with our voices bravely speaking our heart’s knowing.
We need our teachers to help remind us who we are, show us the skillful path for our awakening, and then cut the cord when the right time comes. The role of the teacher must serve the awakening of the student. It is imperative that all of us who choose being a teacher keep examining ourselves with full inquiry and purify our intention and purpose on a daily basis. It is easy to become overly inflated with a false sense of power and likewise it is easy to hide behind our power as a way of protecting our tender places.
We are all one living ecosystem of consciousness and we can flourish together. My personal inspiration word this year is Activate. This one word keeps repeating itself within me like a mantra. It motivates me to purify and revitalize myself, and absolutely commit to my practices so I may be of service in the best way possible in this life.
I pray these words are a call to each of us to do our work, show up fully, serve the greater whole with our particular gifts and skills, and join each other in the circle of power.
Thank you for your own bold leap into this human body. May our journey be for the benefit of All Beings.
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Asst. Ed: Renee Picard/Ed: Sara Crolick