I just got back last night, myself and the boy, the boyfriend, Chris. We went to Martha's Vineyard for a few days, and it was a wonderful time. But, it really had me thinking, and not even thinking, but just an understanding that I have really held in a lot of areas of my life, what I would say is extreme rigidity. There's a joke that's often talked about in yoga that no one ever gets happy, right? From being rigid. It's not the way. Yet, you know, I think based on who you are as a person and myself, I can [inaudible 00:01:36] speak for myself here, is that when I hear about how to do things or the best way to practice yoga, or what book is telling us what to do, and how much practice, and what kind of food, and what kind of diet, and I can really, especially if something works, I get really, so deep into it that I think I lose sight of my ability to be pliable, my ability to roll with life and to experience life.
You know, specifically, I was looking at this one particular sentence in a book that I'm reading right now on Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the science of life. It's an age-old science 5,000 plus years old. It says, "Ayurveda is world-embracing. In many ways, the only thing that is renounced is renunciation itself." This just hit me, you know? I talk a lot in yoga that change happens instantly, you know? In moment that we hear that, we have to think about something scary, you know? The car accident, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, just something that is a negative thing. But, I'm a firm believer that it happens both ways. I've had the experience. Change happens instantly for an elevating purpose as well.
You know, I had a moment, and it was one of those aha moments. Nothing special or particular happens, but you know, it was said to me, two things were said to me, is that the first was that part of what ... Well, let me say this. One thing was said to me. I think that's the better example. One thing was said to me, and that was that I was complaining about something sad, about something as, you know, as whatever it was. I was having some sort of personal internal struggle that was self-created. I will say that.
You know, the person that I was speaking with, he looked me directly in the eyes and with actual care and concern, you know, no level of sarcasm, said, "I'm so sorry that you are so tortured." It was like this light bulb went off inside of me and I felt my entire internal being shift, because in the past there may have been times in my life, and I will say that there have been times in my life where being tortured was part of my ... what I thought was part of my gift to be dark, and to be self-tortured, and to be in pain, and that was how I could be creative in the world.
When this was said to me, it was such an interesting moment because I thought ...Immediately, I just said, inside, I was like, "No. Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no. That is not me. That is not who I am." It may have been a part of my personality at a certain point, but I thought, "This is not what I want. I don't want for a second to feel or to be seen as a tortured soul."
In that moment, it was like this, all this rigidity just left. When the rigidity left, it's very clear to understand that there's a difference between rigidity and discipline. You know, being discipled in your practice. For me, that means getting up almost every morning and having a personal practice. It's so deeply meaningful to me, and it's grown over the years. I mean, it is my connection to source, to something higher. It has nothing to do with, you know, sharing what I did in the morning, or letting people know that I practiced, or an Instagram picture, you know, time and place for all that stuff. But for me, this is my connection, and that's a discipline. You know, eating a certain way is a discipline. Enjoying whatever, whatever it is that your practices are, you know? We have so many disciplines that are healthy.
But, what happened for me is that I realized that I missed this world-embracing. The whole point of the Ayurveda, and particular yoga philosophies, depending on which area you are studying, is about embracing the world. I mean, this is your life and you are here to experience it. I went away on this trip, and it was very clear that for me I was at peace. The peace did not come with bickering at times with my boyfriend, and Chris and I having our human moments, but what it came with was this level of I don't have to pretend to be anyone other than I am. I can take these, this moment, and I literally in a moment took everything I've heard and was able to know deep in my gut, in my core, what that meant for me.
You know, I've lived my life and I talk about it a lot in teacher training. You know, I'm sure it'll still come up again, but I talked a lot about it. I talk a lot about this idea that we're always doing what other people are telling us to do. You know, so what do the yoga text say? What does your mom say? What is, you know? What's the expectation for you, for me, as a 42-year-old woman and living in New Jersey, you know? What is it that I should be doing, you know?
I spent all this time trying to please other people. Really, I think I got a little bit of the polite case of the fuck-its, you know? Fuck it. This is what I'm going to do. This feels right to me in this moment, you know? I'm going to have this for breakfast and this for lunch. I'm going to enjoy the beach. It wasn't like, "F it. You know, I'm going out drinking until 4 AM, because you know, that's embracing the world." That's not useful. It's not helpful. I have no desire to be disconnected from my feelings and no desire to wake up not feeling well.
I want to take care of my body and I want to feel well, but I think inside I've created so much. I had all this high, high level of cortisol and stress hormones that just not only were having me break out in extreme pimples, but I was extremely stressed, you know? Nothing really was going on. This was all self-induced, which, you know, you could argue that it always is.
But, I just I got so deep. Just as an example, I got so deep into the Ayurveda diet, which this is not what Ayurveda is saying, but I was pretty much eating kitchari morning, noon, and night, you know? Which, had me, I think, depleted of some nutrients. It have me very under weight. It had me cranky, and depressed. Just by shifting and broadening my diet, and being like, "What the heck, you know? You know, I'm going to out. You know, at the beach, and to each his own. But you know, I'm going to eat seafood and enjoy." Because for me, that was enjoyable in that moment, you know? It was extremely not only fully ... It was like ... I felt satisfied, like satisfied. I felt full. I felt complete, and I was not pretending to be what I thought a yoga studio owner, or a yoga teacher, or someone that's, you know ... Again, this is other people's expectations.
I hope I'm doing a little bit of justice here, because I can't explain totally what it was like, but I'm going to try, is that what has shifted for me is I just am okay being me. So, will I listen to other people? Absolutely. Am I going to read the books and study the text? Absolutely. Am I going to ask for your opinion of those that I highly respect? Absolutely?
But, ultimately, I'm not living my life for other people, right? I'm living my life for me. As this is happening, I'm, oh, I'm being just flooded with ideas of things that I want to create and bring into the world. I feel like this light switch went off and I'm like, "This is me. This is me. This is me sitting across the table talking to my friends at dinner. This is me thinking about business and what I'm going to do as I ... You know, what do I want to do as yoga instructor, as a yoga studio owner, as someone that's about to go back to school for Ayurveda? What am I doing, and why not me?"
You know, it's overused word, but it's such a valuable word is balance, you know? It's about the balance. I was able. I'm just feel like this shift. And again, do I have it handled? Absolutely not. Do I expect that some time in the next few days something's going to really come in front of me that's going to, you know? I mean, it's all about the lesson and the opportunity, right? I'm going to get lots more opportunities to really see, you know? Am I able to hold to my center and my center of this path? What's the world-embracing path and what am I here to do in this moment, and who am I here to be? I, you know ...
We know that we can't please everybody and not everyone's going to like you. The reality is that the more that I've stepped into my own truth, I think the more that people openly don't like me. At first, that was really kind of hard and hurtful, you know? But, the reality is is that this is life. I have a purpose, and you have a purpose, and we all have things that we're made to do. We have people that are there that need the things that we have to offer, and other people that will have absolutely no interest. It's just, that's, you know, the groundedness, the self-confidence, the ability to know what it is that, again, is right for you in each moment.
You know, I'll just quickly say when I was looking at rigidity, and I was just curious, you know? What does it say on the internet? And just some of the things that came up, right? The inability to be forced out of shape, which is so funny because that's actually what happened to me a lot, is I was constantly like, "You know, I just ... You're not going to force me out of shape," right? Which, actually most of the time could be a good thing. My lens became so small. You know, this is what I'm having for dinner. This is what I'm doing for this. This is what time I'm getting up. You know, forced me out of shape, and all the sudden I can breathe. You know, it's like it's just opens and expands your lens, again, world-embracing, right?
Each moment, the whole path of yoga and the Ayurveda is each moment has its opportunity. This particular food is not right for you every single time, this particular spice, this particular exercise, this particular meditation. It's we got to mold, and we got to be able to adapt to what is happening so that the ability, right? To adapt, because otherwise we become inflexible, and stiff, and non-pliable. That, I think we can all agree on, is not being at peace or content, or having an internal happiness. How can you offer the best of yourself when that's the way you're feeling?
So, this idea of being flexible, of being open to the bend, right? And to reduce your rigidness, like what a gift, right? World-embracing to have peace and contentment with who you are and not with who you think you should be or who you think other people think you should be, or even what other people are telling you that they think that you should be, right?
Simpler said than done, but I guess the one thing that I'd like to really be clear on is that I can so speak for the teachings and the practice of yoga, and the practice of Ayurveda. It works. It just works. So you know, new little insights get revealed all the time. Then, they get covered. Then, they get revealed. It's part of the play, and this is the life.
There's one thing that I can pass on is that just keep playing with that idea. Where are you rigid in your life, you know? Where can you offer a little bit more pliability and where can we be more world-embracing, right? To embrace all that this world has to offer each one of us individually and the true fucking courage, and the true just like gift to be who you are unapologetically. It does not mean you have to be a jerk, but unapologetically, because the truth is, when you are who you are, it's not ... You know, we just don't care if other people don't agree. It's okay. There's no judgment, right? No judgment on that, and that's ...
These things, like non-judgment and ... They're true gifts that are results. People always walk around not going to be judgmental. I'm not judgmental. I'm not judgmental. At least in my particular yoga world, right? But, the truth is most of the time we are judgmental, and we are too damn afraid to say it, right? So, when you're judgmental, say that you're judgmental and then you'll have this such appreciation when you have these moments, like I'm having right now where I'm truly not judgmental.
You know, I'm truly having an experience, a result where I get to be who I am. I know what the heck that means. While I have little glimpses of like, "Is this really the next thing?" but the reality is it is the next thing, and I know it, and I'm going after it, and I'm going to offer with all my heart everything that I have to put into my next creation. All of these kinds of things, the pliability, the flexibility, the confidence, the self-care, the ability to be who you are is just going to not only create greater gifts than what you're offering maybe in a professional worlds, but holy crap, what about your personal relationships, you know? What about your personal relationships to not be so wound up in all the things that you have to be doing that are just right?
The yogic lifestyle is, you know, from the tantric perspective and is living and experiencing your life. Maybe oversimplifying, but what ... You know, what better gift is that? How else can you say thank you for the gift that you were given, right? We can't do it any other way except to be who we are, have the courage to be who we are, and be the freedom in that. Well, I believe, and I'm experiencing, give you greater peace inside, but care in your relationships, and care in your friendships, and care in how it is that you're creating, and it gives you a lot more courage to go big. So, to being less rigid, to being world-embracing, right? Ayurveda just once more. Ayurveda is world-embracing and many ways the only thing that is renounced is renunciation itself.