For years, I thought I had to be a “good girl” and a “good yogi.”
I never allowed myself to be a messy human or (God forbid) a messy woman. That was not part of my self-image.
Actually, it was the complete opposite of my self-image of a mature, responsible, grounded, and self-confident person—and I used to get really triggered by any frivolousness when I witnessed it in others. That is, until I realized that I am missing a really big piece of myself by denying and rejecting this so-very-human “messiness.”
By this, I mean my readiness to be fully and completely open to experiencing the present moment and allowing it to move through me in all its different delightful and painfully expansive ways, giving myself permission to touch places in my experience which do not at all feel safe—places that are unknown territory, experiences that might just get me and others hurt or in trouble.
So, this is what I’ve learned from allowing myself to finally be a messy human.
1. Our self-image is a prison. In spirituality, we learn that ultimately our self-image—and any sort of attachment to our perception of ourselves—is a prison. But, what I mean specifically is: if who we think we are prevents us from opening up to the bliss of our being, we’ve created a cage. Be aware; it might be time to break out of it.
2. To be consciously “messy” means to stand grounded in truth. I have no interest in being regularly confused and all over the place, while wrapped in ignorance from following old behavioral patterns. What deeply inspires me is bringing awareness to that space of chaotic possibilities and finding how we can be true to what this moment brings without reacting in fear, prejudice, judgment—or hurting ourselves or others. How can we be anchored in integrity while still experiencing the fullness and possibilities in this moment?
3. Don’t dramatize—learn to experience life fully. There’s no need to always be completely swirled in the ideals of the mind and the ego, creating stories and holding onto the romanticized ideas of what things should or shouldn’t be like. Developing the capacity to be the eye of the storm creates the right environment and circumstances to enter each experience in totality by also bringing in our human rawness.
4. In pure presence, every feeling and impulse is welcome. This is touchy and slippery ground. When we choose open curiosity and trust—our bliss instinct—we recognize that there is nothing that should be excluded from this rendering of reality. The “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” are actually the things that go out of the window. Pure presence in everything means readiness to be a totally raw and tender human being, who does not need to suppress anything that might come up.
5. We won’t crack open in our comfort zone. Here is the ultimate risk: even when practicing “conscious messiness,” things can often get really confusing, and we can get hurt, as well as hurt others. These are the moments to ground ourselves deeper still in truth—put down any masks, shields, or other protection—and allow everything that we are to be seen, met, honored, and embraced exactly as it is, grounded in integrity and truth. I am talking about real vulnerability and trust.
Being a consciously messy human being is just about the most delightful, wholesome, and expansive experience we could gift ourselves, the ones around us, and the world as a global community. It is creating a space within us, where every part of who we are and every experience are welcome exactly as they are. It is being authentic with what is. As Jeff Foster put it: “Cry, laugh, shake, vomit, doubt the ground; you will never be abandoned by the heart.”
Author: Arpita Hackenberg
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Taia Butler