Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.  Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.

Since I got injured earlier this year, I haven’t really been able to practice much. For the most part, the quality, as well as quantity, of my practice has been greatly affected…so much so that now, I kind of feel like I’m starting from scratch again. All the poses that came so easy to me already at the height of my daily practice is gone, even downward facing dog, which was much like home to me, feels so foreign to me now. It’s saddens me. It frustrates me. It makes me angry, too, because I lost that which I loved the most.

Today, however, I pause and recognize, or at least try to, that I can be grateful that what I knew a few months back has shifted and is different now.

As I shared in the class I lead today, sometimes we need to un-become, to become that which we really are meant to be in the first place (side note: coincidentally, this was a quote I had seen written on the board at the Byron Yoga Centre café while I was there for training). In my lecture classes at the University, we watched a movie that ended with this quote: Every story has an end. But in life, every ending is just a new beginning.

And so this evening I chose to come back to my mat, with the humble intention to un-become and allow this story to end in order to welcome a new beginning. And what do you know, the theme of this evenings class was so in line with my intention. It was a Jivamukti class and this month’s focus is wildness and the teacher talked about how embracing our wildness means liberating ourselves from the roles and perceptions that we have grown accustomed to (ergo have become). To be wild means to break away from that which limits us. To be wild means to be free and to, as Teacher Nancy put it, to break away from the mold and grow with no apologies

It’s not just my practice that has shifted completely, but my career directions and life goals as well. I feel like everything I have built up is slowly crumbling down. Perhaps if I had my cards read today, I would draw a death card or something to that effect. Suffice it to say, since I’ve come home from Australia, I feel like I am shedding the layers of the person I knew myself to be. The disconcerting part, at least till today, was simply not knowing what happens next. After all, we build these layers for a reason, right?

As those layers dissipate, however, I realize I have discovered new things about myself. I have grown more confident in my practice (or lack thereof) and have come into a more quiet and deep sense of a practice. Maybe my asanas are still rebuilding themselves, but because of my injuries, I have unlearned a lot of what I first learned (both the good and not-so-good) and now approach with a new set of eyes. My understanding of alignment and anatomy, for example, has shifted from theoretical and structural, to one that’s more practical and functional. Though my poses do not look as “deep” as they used to, it’s integrity and quality is different. It’s come into what it was meant to be in the first place.

This is exactly what working my way back from injury, as well as my current life changes, has taught me. To embrace my wild side with abandon, but not take my asana practice wildly to the point of abandon. Rather, it means to me to step away from the conventional and to listen to that voice in me that knows way more than what my head does.

And so yeah, while a part of me feels that I have come back to square one, a bigger part of me is grateful that I am in this new square one. I guess it’s true that when you need to learn something, Universe will not be subtle about getting that message through.

Here’s to the next phase of the journey of becoming and unbecoming.

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Since today was a semi-day off for me, I decided to settle in on the studio couch and decided to work on some playlists for class, mainly because I finally caved and subscribed to a the free Spotify premium trial. I decided to check out songs from one of my all-time favorite shows, and if you’ve been to my class enough, you’ll know what it is. Anyway, as I played them, I came across one that had this line: If this was the last day of your life, what would you do to make things right?

As is typical of me, I took that to heart and began asking, what is it I would do to make things right if this was the last day of this life I know now? Admittedly I am in a good place now, and I owe a lot of that to my gratitude practice, and so I do try to make the most out of every little situation that comes my way, but I’m sure there are things in my life that I could make right.

As the day progressed, and I ironed out my sequence for class and tried to link the themes together, I got to asking myself, what is it that stops us from doing the “right” thing in the first place, that we need to make things right? What stops us from standing up to what it is we really want and instead go another direction?

For me, I think it’s fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of not being enough or correct or accepted. Fear.

Fear stops me from flying. Fear stops me from claiming what is rightfully mine and makes me give in to what is expected of me (or at least my perception of me). It clips my wings and silences my soul, leaving my spirit caged and confined. It cripples and binds and hold me captive.

But if today was the last day I had, would I want to stay that way?

I don’t. And so what I would make right is choosing to break away from that which binds me and I will spread my wings and fly. Not just fly, actually, but soar. As C. Joy Bell C. put it, “I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to, but the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”

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