My teaching theme in yoga lately has focused in some way on seeing the good – first, because it’s easier, we direct our gaze toward the good we see in others. If nothing else, we feel lighter in certain situations, delicate conversations, disputes. It helps to reduce our bondage to judgment, criticism, and limitation. Seeing the good in others, we experience possibility and potential in everything.
Each of us, individually and collectively, needs to do this at every moment of our day. No matter what happens, or how hard it may seem, immediately find the good in the event, distraction, or communication. If we do this, we immediately shift the energy in ourselves, our mood lightens, the darkness fades as the emerging inner light brightens.
I teach a physical yoga practice to align three parts of our being: body, mind and heart. In this practice, we create space so the heart has room to be prepared at just the right moment of every juncture of every day to see the good. We cultivate this opening, a buoyant and filling space, every time we step on the mat – and breathe – and move – and energetically shift.
So I turned the tables a bit this week. Let’s turn our inner eye onto the goodness within ourselves, I asked. This is more challenging. We are our worst critic. And, we are constantly beat up by an inner voice, one that says, “You’re not smart enough for medical school,” so you go to nursing school instead. “You aren’t good enough for that family,” so we walk away believing we are no good. “You are so beautiful, if only you could lose weight, you’d be so much better and happier!” These are real statements from real people who are living in the limitation of a voice that demoralizes, diminishes and drowns their soul, this voice that constantly whispers, sometimes it shouts as it leads us into actions that usually don’t support us. Each time we listen to that voice, we cultivate a deeper groove of self-doubt. Samskara……the groove gets so deep, the voice so loud, so always imminent, we think it our own and we tremble.
If the voice you hear does not inspire you, don’t listen to it, not now, not ever. That’s the voice of others past that blend into one loud and negative tone. Your voice is intrinsically good. It’s inspirational, motivational, encouraging, enthusiastic – it arouses you to arise and rise and go forth and achieve your hearts desire. Dream big, listen selectively to the teacher within.