Life will always have its ups and downs. This is inevitable. In this continuous change, in this unpredictability, life meets beauty in its entire dimension. Here is where I ask myself and I invite you to do the same: how am I dancing with life?
Am I meeting life with a balanced and peaceful mind and an open heart, no matter what? Am I seeing that on my side of the fence the grass is pretty green? Am I treating my fears, self-doubt, self-judgment and shame with kindness and compassion? Do I love myself just the way I am? Or am I constantly comparing myself with others who seem more successful, more attractive or more spiritual than me? Am I indulging in the 10 million distractions of the world in order to hide and run away from what’s going on inside? Am I pretending to be someone quite different than who I really am?
I find that it’s easy to love yourself when everything is going your way, when life fulfills your desires, when you find yourself at the peak of the mountain. But it doesn’t last; life constantly and kindly shows us where we have yet some growing to do.
What about when you get embarrassed, feel criticized, vulnerable or exposed? When you find yourself in that dark tunnel feeling that there is no light at the other end? How do you deal with that conversation in your head that keeps putting you down?
If you are seeking a deeper truth, ask yourself these questions; you can do that now, even if it means to stop reading this article for few minutes. This process of self-inquiry opens up a new understanding of yourself. It can give you a road map to deal with the conditioned mind that constantly falls into the cycles of self-doubt and self-judgment. This sheds light into the dark shadow.
We constantly hide our most sacred ideas, our most sacred secrets, because it’s easier to shelter them than exposing ourselves. To bring them out, whether that means opening a conversation, looking for help or finding practices to undo our own cobweb, means to make ourselves vulnerable, and this can be scary at first. So we wear masks and pretend not to be ashamed, but we’re always scared to be found out. For example, we may have thoughts such as, “if they knew what I was really like, they would never speak to me again.”
This is the tragedy of this world: we have lost access to our brilliant hearts and live dominated by fear. That’s why we suffer so much.
Loving yourself the way you are is like being on the peak of a mountain and knowing that you can merge with the vastness of the sky and the nature around you. It is being at peace with reality, however reality shows up. It is being kind, so kind with yourself that even in those moments when you can’t stop the self-punishment for what you have or haven’t done. It is dissolving the voice that says: “it is embarrassing to be me” or, “men don’t cry” or, “I’m not good enough” and so on.
The truth is that it is not embarrassing to be you. It is quite the opposite. It is freedom to expose your true self, it is liberating to feel vulnerable and to allow what is. It is an act of honesty, with you and with the world, to show your sensitivity, your happiness or sadness, and your compassion. It is courageous to show what is hidden behind that mask. It is an act of love to be authentic.
Keep this sentence in your mind: The most attractive thing about a person is his or her authenticity!
To get to the peak of that mountain (which ultimately is the realization that you are what you seek to become), you need to start climbing, step-by-step. Stop when you need to take a deep breath, perhaps look back to see how much you have advanced…and continue climbing, with that deepest driving desire in your mind. Allow yourself to be like water and move with the flow of life. It’s ok if you slip down a few meters. No need to panic. There is always a new opportunity to begin again.
Be aware and listen when the ego is telling you that you are going too slowly, or that you should climb faster.
Stillness, even while moving, can help you to distinguish the voice of the ego from the voice of love. It is wise to acquire what you need for your quest: the companionship of fellow climbers, the necessary tools to make your climbing easier, the skills that make you stronger. Listen to the guidance and experience of those who have gone before you and check in to see if they work for you. And most importantly, know that in this quest you are completely supported by a caring universe.
All minds are the same until they get educated for happiness. That is your task. If you are conscious enough to understand this, then you are capable of doing it. You are capable of turning your life around, so completely that not long from now, you will have a laughing fit when you remember how miserable you used to make yourself today.
Unhappiness is optional, but only for those who get serious about happiness. And when I say happiness I don’t mean the meaningless chase after distractions that serve to keep the ego fast asleep. I mean the complete wakefulness of the spirit. I mean the full realization of the immense brilliance of what you are. I mean the full miracle of you!
You must discover your heart if you want to enjoy the kind of relationship you dream about and deserve. The tensions created by insecurity and self-doubt will inevitably spoil the greatest experience. They must create conflicts in all your relationships and they will cause you to sabotage yourself every step of the way.
But when you feel bad you push your heart away, you try to bury it, and it always comes back. You live in escape mode from what you believe, from your truth, but you can’t get away from yourself. These are the moments when you need that open and authentic heart the most.
Remember: The most attractive thing about you is your authenticity. When you can be who you are, you are naturally fulfilled and others will notice. There will be a shine around you, but you won’t care. It is just the natural way you are.
You are already what you seek to become, only you are unconscious of it. Your bliss and your love are already fully present in you; you just haven’t discovered them yet. In you, lies hidden, the totality of all the love that is possible in this world. It is the true nature of the heart.
But in you lies also the enemy of forgetfulness You have fallen asleep. You do not remember you. And there is another factor alive in you: your ability to awaken from the trance of your unhappiness, from your distraction of mind and your closed heart. That spark in you is reading this article right now. It can go to sleep again, or not. It is up to you.
If you decide to act on the impulse to awaken yourself, be prepared to see your life change.
With the knife of self-love you will cut out the decay, you will stop in its track the tendency to indulge in what makes you suffer. You will realize that you—and no one else—create all your suffering. And that will set you free.
Your view of life will change rapidly as you discover nothing but kindness around you. You will want to dissipate the habits of sadness and fear and learn healthy habits. You will want to love yourself in the places where you now hate yourself. You will want to embrace yourself with only pure love.
It’s too late to promise yourself you’ll do better when all hell breaks loose. It’s hard to find peace in emergency mode. The time is now, or when will it be? Your higher potential is staring you in the face, when will you look? Find out what happens when you give yourself the support you have wanted. Let yourself be around people who dare to assume that they have the courage for freedom.
Take a jump and you will notice the ground rise up to meet you.
Ram Giri is a spiritual teacher, innovator, accomplished yogi and psychologist. He offers down-to-earth help in overcoming the challenges of life to create profound, quick and lasting solutions. Whether you are dealing with depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship conflicts, or more, his Skills for Awakening® can guide you in the most direct way to joy, courage, inner peace and unconditional love—the true antidote to all pain and confusion. Ram Giri’s direct guidance, in groups or personally one-on-one, is a unique service to spiritual seekers world-wide who struggle with personal challenges. You can reach him at 305-567-1406 or at www.ramgiri.org. Follow him on FaceBook.
Julia Sanchez is another human being who has found yoga deep rooted in her heart. She is an architect by profession and a spiritual seeker by life-long hobby. Steady and slowly –like a turtle, she is stepping into the foothills of Kirtan and sharing her nature as a singer. She has found in Ram Giri the teacher she prayed for, every night inside of her small walking closet. Now, they work intensively together to share with humanity their contribution: Skills for Awakening.