While I believe this to be 100% true, sometimes it feels like I am running uphill, against the wind, with no shoes, while other racers throw marbles at my feet. I am blessed to at least know that I am running in the right race; for many continue to show up for the wrong race.
This morning I started my day like any other. Took time to read and meditate, relax in my chair with my dog and my coffee. I felt gratitude and peace. As I began to write, I noticed my mind began to shift to a place of defensiveness. There was an urge in my gut to combat something that was said to me that related to my business. I wrote the words, how can I stay genuine and vulnerable at the same time without getting kicked in the gut? Does being vulnerable give license to others to use our insecurities against us? Can we really lower our "shields" and let others in without getting our feelings hurt? Am I the only one?
Knowing my thoughts were going to get me nowhere but pitty-ville, I looked to the TV for a distraction. It wasn't a distraction at all, it was the God Nod I needed. Joel Osteen was on Super Soul Sunday. Gotta love Joel with his cheesy smile and smooth southern accent, he just always has the right message. At a time when I felt like I should be able to defend my honor against the critics, Joel came back and said, "I am running my own race." Did you know that Joel had critics too? Opposition is not there to stop you, it’s there to establish you. Sometimes we must look at what is happening as a way to move forward. "This is not happening to me, but happening for me." There will always be critics, there will always be someone ready to throw marbles at you while you're running your race. It is time to get up and keep going. You must, because this is your race. Even Jesus was beset by fear and demons as he moved unfailingly towards his dharma. He was able to meet the challenges and move on.
As I continue my journey of self discovery, I see a commonality among all of us. It seems as though our deepest hurt as a society is a feeling of rejection when we are open and authentic. This is why we live with so many masks and heavy amours to protect us. It's human nature. But it is also human nature to be able to "run our own race" to write our own story.
The biggest poison in our world right now is gossip and judgement. Each time we gossip or judge someone, even those we don't know, we release a poison. Even if you are only "listening" to the gossip, it is affecting you. In the book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes, "Be impeccable with your word. Your mind is so powerful that it perceives the story that your create. If you create self-judgement, you create inner conflict." Our words are powerful, they don't have to be spoken to hold that power. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God... I will quote again, Father Phil, "Lord be in my thoughts, Lord be on my lips, Lord live in my heart."
Yoga has changed / saved me in many ways. One very significant way is that I am more open. It is a daily practice for me. I said to my husband today, "Can you imagine my life without yoga?" He laughed as he reached over to my hands and un-clinched my fists. Like I said, it's a daily practice. Every time I come to the mat, I am a work in progress. I don't have all the answers, but I come from a place of allowing. I am not perfect and I don't preach from a complicated philosophy. I'm human and doing my best. I'm doing my best to stay true to my dharma. I accept that confusion and challenges are also part of the path. It is a journey inward. A journey of releasing fear and choosing love for myself. Yoga is not a workOUT but a work IN. We all have the capacity for growth. We all share this potential and awaken it each time we step onto our mat. Mastery is who you become in the process. Will you listen to your inner GPS or will you stay stuck in one place? Will you learn from each challenge or stay resentful? What makes you come alive? What brings you joy even in the midst of challenge? Will you stand in Faith or limiting beliefs? Will you be YOU?
"I am running my own race and nobody can beat me at being me!" (Thanks Joel)