This week I'm reflecting on the work of Donna Farhi in Bringing Yoga to Life. You can read previous posts here:
Day 1: Box of Monsters
Day 2: Relationships
Day 3: Sitting Quietly
Today's quote makes me think of the story of Pandora's Box. I think everyone knows that Pandora opens this mysterious box and all this crazy, terrible stuff comes flying out, right? But guess what I learned a few months ago. After all that stuff has left the box, there's one thing left: hope. Hope is at the bottom of the box. Funny that I'd never learned that before.
Words of wisdom from Donna:
"Unfortunately, what we want is what we most fear: we yearn for a larger life, but we're not so sure we want the consequences. Thus our little self almost always perceives the recognition of this larger Self as a threat...We may find that in opening to this larger life it is bigger and more chaotic and more filled with intensity than we'd like, and fear invoked by the possible spaciousness of such a life sends us running back to our old stomping grounds. Our very sense of separateness and feeling of being cut off may impel us to defend the life we know even if it is filled with misery. We may even feel that to open ourselves up to life is to risk self-annihilation. In truth, it is the purpose of Yoga to destroy this limited sense of self so that...we can discover the joy not only of being alive, but of letting life be who we are."
Yeah. What she said.
I know so many people who've gone down the yoga path and it sort of blew up their lives, but mostly in good ways. There are trade-offs. Once you open your eyes and start seeing things from this new mindset, you can't go back. I compare it to the scene in The Matrix when Morpheus offers Neo the red pill or the blue pill.
"You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."
When treated as a spiritual undertaking, yoga is like taking the red pill. In many ways, I feel like the last three years of my life have been a series of daily spiritual surgeries. I've faced things about myself would've been a lot easier to ignore. But as the saying goes, the truth shall set you free. I am more myself now than I have ever been, but it's hard sometimes. Sometimes I long for ignorant bliss.
Chipping away at the ego is so uncomfortable at times. The ego fights back y'all, for real. It's relentless. It's a crafty chameleon. But then I breathe. I have a practice. I close my eyes and zip my lips and listen. And then it's good, then it's worth it.
I have a few, close friends who I can talk to about this metamorphosis that we are going through, but most people don't want to talk about these things. Which is fine. Everyone has a right to be where they are on their own journey. But the blue pill can be lonely sometimes. I guess that's one of the reasons that I chose this quote to write about today. There are SO many amazing quotes in this book and I could've easily made myself crazy trying to choose five to write about this week. Instead, I really tried to trust my intuitions and instincts. This one spoke to me this morning and asked to be shared.
I've been doing daily work through Gabby Bernstein's May Cause Miracles, something I'll write about more in-depth when I complete the 42-day program. Gabby is a student of and teacher of A Course in Miracles which also addresses this process of shifting from an ego mindset to a miracle (or yogic/Self) mindset. It involves a minute-to-minute practice of choosing love over fear. It's no joke, but what's the alternative?
Thanks for reading and thank you Donna for writing and living and speaking. Last post in Donna Farhi week will be tomorrow. I hope you'll check back. Namaste friends.