November 5, 2013

“I, in Humility.” ~ Rikki Iwanowsky

If I come to my life from a place of humility everything looks more beautiful, especially you.

This is a habit I got into, I don’t even know how, during a yoga practice a while back. I hope you can relate.

It is so easy to get caught up in the chattering of the ego—the voice in my head that tries to convince me to judge myself and other people, to compete, to be perfect, to act a certain way, etc etc.

I notice this in my yoga practice when I feel a bit wobbly in tree pose or my standing leg is burning through the longest balancing sequence known to God or man. The mind says, “come on, you could do this yesterday!” and “if you can’t even do tree pose what kind of yogi are you?”

One day, out of nowhere really, I started to repeat what has become a mantra for me in my yoga practice and now in my life. I find that these words quickly bring me back to my centre, essentially by returning me to my sense of humour and lightness.

This mantra goes: “I, in humility.”

That’s it. There is no ending to the sentence in words. It is given meaning by the action I am doing. For example, “I, in humility” ‘stand on one leg and look upwards’. “I, in humility” ‘attempt this unthinkable feat of strength in my already burning leg’.

Or, “I, in humility” ‘write these words’. “I, in humility” ‘communicate with the person I am with.’

When I invite humility into my practice with these words I am reminded that I am human, both strong and flawed. Perfect and vulnerable. Thoughtful and playful.

I find that the result of this practice is usually first that I laugh at myself for taking myself so seriously. Then I am less hard on myself, my mind stops racing, and magically, whatever I’m doing becomes hundred percent easier and more enjoyable. It’s like shrugging my shoulders and saying, “so what, I’m only human.”

Why do I bring this up?

Good question…I am searching for the answer…

I suppose I am bringing it up because in my own journey of personal growth, I am finding that there is a vast difference between sharing your own experience with someone and speaking from a soapbox, that is, advising them of what they should do. I have been on both ends. I have both given and received unsolicited advice. (Haven’t we all?)

If I am being really truthful and honest with myself, I know only one thing about you. I know nothing about your history, your spiritual path, your desires, the other people in your life, all of the moving parts and endless dialogues that may or may not be running in your own mind. Even if you’ve told me, I can’t know what it’s like to be you.

The one and only thing that I know about you is that you are the same as me. You are a dynamic bundle of energy, growing, shifting, looking around all the time for the next experience, great or small. If I allow myself the pleasure of standing back and looking at You, what I will see is utter beauty unfolding before my eyes. I will see an incredible capacity to form opinions, make decisions, take action, be wise, exhibit qualities I didn’t know you had, be unpredictable, and most of all, be human.

To give advice from a soap box is to miss seeing that truth and beauty.

So in my interaction with you I want to stay in my humility, because only from there can I see the truth of the radiant being you are.

When I apply the mantra to my interaction with you, “I, in humility” trust and know that you will find all the answers you seek; you will get where you are going; you are ok. The I who is in humility sees things as they are and doesn’t need to fix anything, especially you.

“I, in humility” watch you dazzle the night sky with your shining light.

“I, in humility” shine my own divine light into the world.

“I, in humility” exist in this world as the only thing I know how to be…me…not you…Me.

I can see so much more from down here, having stepped carefully off my soapbox (again and again and again).

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Assistant Ed: Judith Andersson / Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Waylon Lewis

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