How to Choose the Light of Your True Nature, Part 1

Parvati | How to Choose the Light of Your True Nature, Part 1

Image credit: Hartwig HKD

DOES IT SUPPORT YOUR NATURE?

I grew up in a house full of chocolate lovers. My dad was the main catalyst in this desire, encouraging me, my mother and my two sisters to choose something chocolate any time dessert was an option, be it in the form of ice cream, cake, pudding or cookies.

Until my mid-teens, I was convinced that chocolate was the best choice for me in any range of desserts. After all, it is what I was taught, encouraged and knew. In a Pavlovian way, whenever I saw chocolate, my mouth started to salivate. I was convinced I wanted some!

But with puberty, I was given an opportunity to learn to perceive differently and make choices that honoured my more authentic nature. As hormones ran through my veins and my body grew in new ways, I also developed debilitating migraine headaches that would leave me sick and bedridden for days.

The doctor told me that I needed to stop eating certain foods that were well-known migraine triggers, one of which was chocolate. I thought my world had ended. In some ways, it had; and as it did, a whole new one opened up.

Life with my family became an opportunity to grow into my own choices. It was clear to me intellectually that chocolate was not good for me. I did my best to white-knuckle the temptation that seemed to grip me, only to find myself giving in from time to time and getting sick again. Eventually, however, what I once understood as mere medical advice arose as a willing directive from within me. Chocolate was not good for me, so I did not want to choose it anymore.

With new understanding now resonant in my cells, I was able to perceive chocolate differently. It no longer seemed to call at me, beckon me, and weaken my will. Instead, it became a potent reminder for a young teenager, of the power of choice. I began to see all chocolate as poison, rather than delight. I knew it would make me sick, just as poison does. I very quickly lost all desire for it. What once was a tough choice because of my conditioning, became an easy one because of my willingness to make different choices and understand the situation clearly.

AT FIRST, CHOICE IS EFFORT

In today’s busy digital world, we simultaneously face a wider range of choices than ever before, yet may feel overwhelmed and powerless in the face of it all. In truth, we have never had a better opportunity to put into practice the power of our free will. We may convince ourselves that we don’t have a choice in a given situation. We may feel, for example, that we need to stay in a job or a relationship that feels empty and unfulfilling, because we feel we have no other options. But not doing anything about feeling unhappy is a choice in itself.

As I shared in my Being In the Wake of Violence series, no matter where we are, or what we are doing, we do have the choice in how we react to what life brings. The idea of having choice can feel uncomfortable to anyone who is attached to feeling like a victim. But life is never happening to us. Everything we experience is the result of choices we have made in the past, our previous karmic tendencies. What we think and believe affects how we perceive, which determines how we act, which in turn creates the trajectory of our lives.

Our state of awareness is in constant co-creation with the moment, which manifests our experience of being alive. When we perceive that life is happening to us, we limit our field of awareness. When we believe that our source of power is outside of us, we give away our ability to make choices.

But when we see that we are in constant co-creation with life, that whatever life brings is grace, we become receptive to this moment as it is. We awaken to greater possibilities. We move beyond limiting beliefs and habits, and begin to make choices that support the light of our nature. Such choices always feel rooted, vital and expansive. But they may not always feel easy.

At first, making healthy choices can feel difficult. That is because the habits that do not support our greater good have momentum. We likely have invested energy in them for some time, often lifetimes. They keep moving in a certain direction, while we go along in auto-pilot.

Once we are fed up with feeling lousy about our lives or ourselves, we become willing to make changes. When we are willing to make better choices and soberly realize that we have some habits to overcome, we do need to apply some effort. It takes willpower to not get up in the middle of the night and go to the fridge for a piece of chocolate cake, or to not bring it home at all!

The same applies for other habitual choices we may have that pull us away from our true nature, such as shopping beyond what we can afford, watching TV when we would be best to socialize, study or tune into what we feel, or compulsively checking our phones to see, ultimately, if we are loved; or even deeper issues such as losing our temper, procrastination, self-judgment, getting involved in unhealthy relationships or acting in ways that pollute the planet.

Next week, in preparation for Earth Day, I will look at these in more depth, as we continue to explore How To Choose The Light Of Your True Nature.

JGP_9231__naturalI post a Being Love Letter every Sunday from my heart to yours. If you have enjoyed this, you may wish to listen to my musical works, check out my upcoming book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker, and find out more about me at www.parvati.tv.

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Love,
Parvati

 

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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WHAT LIGHT GETS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY?

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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