November 22, 2010

Letting Go…and Discovering You. ~ Brittany Irwin

What does one have when there is nothing left? The self.

Photo courtesy Beni Ishaque Luthor

Today, I was delightfully reminded while reading the Gita that this very fact is one of the most profound lessons one can ever learn. How often we become attached to the fruits of our actions and to our ego, that we completely forget about ourselves. Some may even feel that they are afraid of looking within, ultimately clouding their true nature.

Yoga teaches us to surrender by quieting the mind and senses where attachment, ego, and desire exist. By allowing this to happen, the self naturally becomes clear to see. The self is not made up of anything but love…this is truly the only way to describe such a discovery. In the Gita, Krishna tells us:

“The person whose mind is always free from attachment, who has subdued the mind and senses, and who is free from desires, attains the supreme perfection of freedom from Karma through renunciation.”

So, should we just sit idle all day long and think about ourselves? Is that what this is ultimately implying as surrender? I certainly think not:

“On action alone be thy interest…Never on its fruits…Let not the fruits of action be thy motive, Nor be thy attachment to inaction…”

Once you attain self-awareness, you begin to act from within your soul. You will find nothing more honest. Notice how difficult it is to live in such a stressed society that demands so much from us every day. This is the very reason the practice of yoga is so essential to maintaining peace from within. It grows so much easier to act from within ourselves, instead of from our ego or senses, when we become self-aware.

Meditation is crucial to this discovery. By letting the mind become still, we are able to separate the self from the mind. So maybe sometime you will sit with yourself in quietness and start to resign from the mind. Perhaps you will begin to discover how insignificant the ego is, and how beautiful the self is. With practice, just by sitting still, we have an amazing opportunity to let go and find peace within ourselves, where it truly matters. So, ask yourself:

What do you have when you’ve nothing left? This is enlightenment.

Brittany has been practicing yoga, on and off the mat, since 2009 and is currently enrolled in a teacher certification program in NJ. Her path largely involves the practice of Ashtanga yoga, which has helped guide her toward self-acceptance and awareness, something Brittany feels is key to living a peaceful existence. Brittany is a lover of all things organic, and is quite a passionate foodie when it comes to healthy eating.You can find more of Brittany’s yoga-related publications on her personal blog, Peace. Love. Yoga. When she’s not practicing yoga, Brittany is most likely planning her next photography shoot where she photographs portraits of pregnancy to child life.

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