It Is Up To Me: Cultivating Self-Love

From Self-Betrayal To Self-Love: Steadiness and Gratitude On The Path

Part 3: It Is Up To Me

Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing here what I learned when I recently found that I was being unkind to myself. My last post was during the first period of Lent, as Christians prepare for Easter. Today I post this blog entry as we enter into the week of Passover, a Jewish festival that celebrates the miraculous release from slavery.

To some extent, we all have parts of ourselves that feel enslaved, whether we are conscious of them or not. It is also a tendency for most of us to want others to free us from these painful places.

But as I was reminded in my recent experience, when I saw that I was turning myself black and blue, it is not for anyone else to “save” me, take away my pain or fix my perceived broken bits. I need to face my inner demons just as you do, just as the next person does – on my own, in my own time, in my own way.

It is a kind of miracle to realize that we have the ability to free ourselves in this way. By turning on our inner light, we invite grace, transformation and spiritual expansion into our lives.

Just as I don’t like to be judged for the pace of my own growth, I cannot judge the way another chooses to evolve. My shadow, after all, is exactly that: my own. It hurts me when my shadow’s energy squeaks through my body, as it would for anyone. Perhaps the shadow is backlogged emotions, or painful thoughts that are trying to move through my system. But they are moving through my system, no one else’s. So it is totally up to me to cultivate an unconditional self-love relationship at a pace and in a way that is true to myself.

More than ever, I see how this process begins by accepting where I am, right now. It does not come from wishing my life were different, or struggling against what is. By embracing this moment as it is, we inspire growth.

Maybe I don’t like what is. That is ok. All of it is a reflection of my choices and my karma. So to not like what is, is actually to not like myself. To not like myself is to cause harm to someone: myself. To turn negatively towards myself is like turning negatively towards anything in nature or the divine. The real pain lies there.

It would be easy to see this kind of pain if I were to act out against a flower. I would be able to see the petals wilt under the onslaught of my recriminations. Yet, I do this to myself! So I need to stop it, because it hurts me.

It does not matter how I ended up with the shadow stuff. I could spend a lot of time trying to figure it all out, finding its source, wanting to pin point blame, all of which would defer me making, in this moment, the sober choice to let painful thoughts go.

What matters most is to fully understand that my shadow is a conglomerate of my belief systems that works against the force of life, which is love. Feeding the shadow, and beating myself up through it, is like putting the brakes on feeling the love I ultimately desire.

Each one of us is a receptacle for universal love. Some receptacles are full of cracks, maybe even holes, so the love comes, goes and does not stay in. Others’ receptacles are strong vessels for the divine. These people can bathe in a mutually loving relationship, warmed by the loving rays of the sun, nurtured by the rain. Through them, I can see a wholeness, a humility and a state of gratitude for all that is. No resistance. Just love.

So this is my prayer for myself from now on:

May I stand rooted in this moment and feel at peace.
May I be in non-resistance to what is.
May I feel a divine, loving embrace in this moment, and feel supported and nurtured.
May I open to receive love and let go of that which does not serve love.
May I know that I am love, that I am loved.

So please, my friends, go to a mirror and say a few loving words to yourself. Or try my new personal prayer out for yourself. Treat yourself with the love you deserve and see how love begins to grow up in and around you. Begin a new life today, a life that is rooted in self-love. Why? For the very simple reason that you are absolutely worth it.

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You are absolutely worth it. 🙂
I’m one of those shattered vessels. Love just pours though my cracks. I love the way it flows inviting my shadows to turn sideways into the light and vanish. All they really wanted was love.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Em. You are worth it too! Interesting take on the cracks in the vessel as being for sharing. I had not thought of it that way. I appreciate your perspective. The reason I meant it more as a leaking of energy like a depletion, is because often giving is not really giving at all, but a leaking, which usually comes from wanting something. This would not be rootedness in self love. That was why I was referring to those who are strong vessels for self love, something I aspire to. I aspire to give selflessly, which can only come from a place of feeling love for other, the Divine and the self. Thanks again for reading. Have a great week. More next Sunday!

I love this blog. So gentle, yet so powerful.
Please keep writing. I look forward to reading them every week.
ps. thanks for the prayer. I will definitely try that out for myself.

Thank you Sunanda…gentle yet powerful. I aspire to that, so lovely to hear. More coming on Sunday!

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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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