Within us all exists a balance of dark and light. When the pendulum swings too hard towards the dark side of life, it will inevitability return back towards the light with equal and opposite force.Recently, as I was rising towards glory, my ego reached the limit of self-righteousness and the pendulum veered back with such great force the opposite direction, it knocked the wind out of my life. As my soul was slammed into the proverbial wall, The Universe demanded I take a good hard look at myself and the ways that I had caused harm. In order to make any sort of last change, I had to see things as they really were, not as I wanted them to be.
Ironically, my students generally credit my method of teaching to be filled with great insight. I am a big believer in using humor, integrity, being pragmatic and sometimes using blunt sarcasm in order to speak of my experiences and challenges in an honest fashion. I do not believe in sugar coating reality, nor do I pretend that the only way towards happiness is to slap on a fake smile and tell you to just “let go” of whatever is troubling you. Life is messy and the longer we turn away from our suffering, the more trauma and dis-ease we will allow into our minds and lives. In order to discover your true Sweetness of Mind, you will wade through the depths of your soul, have your heart ripped out and do the work to recognize your responsibility for all of the negative patterns swirling about your life.
Recently, I had a friend tell me to choose love instead of anger in the midst of grieving the loss of my once revered job managing a yoga studio, as well as the death of a relationship that was meaningful to me. This has to be one of the most unsupportive things anyone can ever say to a friend. In effect, this friend was denying my grieving process because she “couldn’t bear to see me suffer…..it was exhausting”. Exhausting for whom exactly? Try stepping into my world for a minute, because that shit is exhausting. There are many “yogis” out there who pretend to be compassionate, and believe they shit sunshine and rainbows, because they practice yoga. True compassion is the recognition that “we are all fighting some kind of battle”. To turn your cheek in the face of pain or anger, or hurt, when anger is indeed a major step of the grieving process, serves to invalidate the person’s experience. That is neither kind, nor compassionate, that is avoidance.
Avoidance is not a sustainable solution to ending suffering, either yours or another’s. Being happy all of the time is now how one becomes enlightened. If you have been to a class, or training, or workshop recently where they brainwashed you into believing this to be true – please ask for your money back. They simply used you for monetary gain or self-serving notoriety. Maybe they sprinkled opiates on your granola before dousing it with almond milk laced with LSD during the last retreat you were on. I am not one of those kinds of yogis or teachers – I prefer to have my granola served up with a healthy dose of reality, laced with kindness.
If you want to open your heart to let the light in, then you have to stick your hands down in the dirt and get your feet in the muck to do the heavy lifting so can find out whatever it is that binds you. Then, you have to come to the acceptance the moment the light finds its way in, it will set and the darkness will again in your life – and how will you handle the constant ebb and flow that makes up the sum total of life? If you stick your head in the sand when your life is dark, or your friends are in pain, then its time that someone shove a lollipop up your ass – maybe then you will figure out what “clenching your anus” means, and honey – that ain’t Mula Bandha – some poorly trained teacher without the experience or knowledge to back it up gave you misinformation about these yoga practices…..again….