Throughout my journey around the world the last six months, I have come to terms with the fact that I just don’t know all that I thought I knew. I have no idea what is going to happen past this very moment, so I have stopped trying to pretend that I do. I have transitioned from a place of trying to constantly be the ultimate creator of my reality to seeing that I am a child of the Divine and that I do not really have control over what is divinely planned for me. I do not always know and understand all of the answers that I receive but I trust that the divine is with me every step of the way no matter what. I have returned to a beginner’s mindset, empty and ready to be filled with Uni-versal knowledge. When you come from the space of feeling that you already know all of the answers, you are full and not really open to receive anything new and you limit your growth.
I am currently in the yoga capital of the world – Rishikesh, India, on the Ganges River at the foothills of the Himalayas. I am participating in a 300 hour Hatha Yoga teacher training and spending three of the last six months in India has certainly been life changing. I found from the moment I arrived in India, that I no longer felt like talking about my spiritual beliefs. For once, I wanted to be quiet and deeply listen to what others had to say and felt with no desire to express my own opinion. I also practiced deep listening to the divine during my meditations. This time spent in inner silence has left me like an empty container, ready to be filled with new thoughts, new ideas and even more love. It feels so nice to be the student again.
In my yoga teacher training theory class we had a discussion on what yoga really is. We were told that we do not have to accept anything as our truth; we can test it and see if it works for us. I feel the following definition resonates deeply with me and brings deeper layers of love and truth into my practice.
Yoga is how we merge our individual spirit with the Uni-versal spirit. On the deepest level our souls already are one with the Uni-versal spirit and Yoga is the effort that we make to feel that oneness. Yoga is not only what happens in class when you sit on a mat. Yoga is a way of life; it is being present moment by moment. Yoga is for everybody and is not just for creating more flexibility in the body, but more so for trying to become flexible in the mind. Flexibility in the mind allows you to open and expand your awareness. The ultimate goal of yoga is reprogramming so we can let go of the lies we were told and rediscover our truth!
Spending 300 hours practicing Hatha yoga has really expanded my awareness. I feel the most powerful part though has just been being in India. You really have to surrender to the nature of India while you are here as everything is so unpredictable. The power and internet will often randomly go off and just when you think you make one plan, next thing you know you are off on another plan and you don’t see why until afterwards. Not knowing has allowed me to stay in presence as the experiencer. I am here having an experience and I am a child of the divine, so I do not have to know every step before it is laid out in front of me. As long as I keep my faith in the divine I know that I am always brought to exactly where I am supposed to be.
Rishikesh is on the Ganges River and sometimes at night we go sit on the river and meditate. The Ganges River is so massive and powerful because the motion of the current just keeps flowing. I feel it whispering to me softly….let go, let go, let go. The more I sit by this river and expand my awareness, I feel my truth expand in my heart.
Traveling also helps you reprogram as everything is new and different. You have to become accustomed to a new way of being as you dive into another culture. We are convinced that we do things “right” in our culture, but then you travel and see that others are convinced that they are the ones who really have it “right.” Who really does? I believe everyone is right in their own way and if we only see OUR own way the whole time, we don’t really expand our perspective on life. Putting yourself in a situation where you are experiencing new things and seeing new perspectives is how you become like a child again, filled with enthusiasm and wonder for the unknowing. You ask questions more freely to satisfy your endless curiosity and life seems so fresh and new because you realize that there is still so much that you don’t know or understand. You see that it is in the not knowing that you really know. There is so much innocence in the beginner’s mind and it truly leads to life with more inner peace.
My dear friend used to always use an analogy of my dog to further demonstrate this point. She would say that your dog thinks she knows best and everything that is going on, but you ultimately know that you are the one who is more aware of what will happen and how she will be taken care of than she does. The same concept applies to our relationship with the divine. The more we surrender to the fact that our minds do not know all that they think they know, the more we open up to possibility. When we flow like the river holding onto nothing, we are presented with so many options and we are actually open to see what the divine has in store for us! And what actually shows up is often much better than what our minds ever thought possible.
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Hillary Pike is a 500 hour certified Kundalini and Hatha Yoga Instructor and Meditation Guide. Her mission is to provide you with techniques that will help you expand your awareness and remember your Grace. Hillary is hosting Awaken Love Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica this November. For information on her events or for Inner Bliss Guidance visit: www.beingrace.com
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