I haven’t written for a few months, but remembering how writing became a useful tool for me to work things out in my head this year, here I am back again, curious to see what words come out and what will become.
It’s been a year of learning and self-discovery. My goal at the end of last year was to spend a year exploring myself, to look inside and find out who I am and what I like, and to answer those questions people sometimes ask:
“What would you be doing if money was no object?”
“What are you passionate about?”
“What is your dream job?”
“What are you good at?”
With something other than “I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it”.
I read once that to answer these kinds of questions, you take an hour or so, a few blank pages and write anything that comes up, could be occupations, tasks, ideas, words or short sentences, to the point, keep writing, and the one that makes you cry is the thing you should be doing. I never did that exercise. But I did start listening to myself in other ways.
It’s not easy to listen to your heart when you’ve built up armour over the years. Strength and self-sufficency. I didn’t want any needy crap going on inside, I told “self” to go away and shut-up and not to show any signs of weakness. Not that I am cold-hearted for other people. I love people, I’m empathetic, I always try to understand others and not be judgemental. I hate that “suck it up princess” attitude. Everyone needs nurturing… even me? Was “I” still in there?
July this year: 4 day yoga teacher training retreat. 4 glorious days in nature, to learn more about yoga with amazing people, be taken care of, no cooking, cleaning, no demands from kids, no technology. Day 1 meditation was heart based. ”Feel the breath moving up and down the body moving through the centre of the heart. Feel the heart expanding, feel the heart beating.” Nothing. No heart beat. Straight A’s for yogic breathing and not letting my mind wander off, but I couldn’t sense my heart. But each day I was getting closer. We rose early in silence, meditated, we wrote in our journals, quiet time was like gold for me. I think anyone with kids can understand this. By Day 4 yes there it was, my beating heart. I also found my sankalpa.
My deepest purpose, when I gave myself space, silence, inner reflection, desire to find my heart, mixed with plenty of damn good yoga, expertly guided meditation and good people, started to emerge during that weekend.
Life is hard and we all have suffering, and my deepest desire is to make it a little easier for others. That was the idea that made me cry. The emotion I feel when I say it doesn’t come out in my writing but believe me, I choke up every time. I think the emotion I feel is a recognition that I too have suffering, that it’s perfectly OK that I can feel pain in my heart, and feel needy sometimes, and that I don’t have all the answers and I’m allowed to show vulnerability.
Help others, make their life or at least this moment a little easier. I can’t take away another’s pain, I can’t change bad things that have happened, I definitely don’t want to poke my nose in other peoples lives and give advice or try to “fix” them. But I think, I hope, by being aware of this deep purpose “to make it easier” I can find ways to share a little lightness in the world. Maybe it’s teaching yoga, maybe it’s spending more time really listening to people, maybe tiny gestures like letting someone in front of me at the supermarket who might have needed a kind connection at that moment.
What’s your sankalpa?