I just returned from 7 days of yoga and meditation in Santa Fe with one of my master teachers, Tias Little. During this week, three of the days were spent in silence, with no talking, no TV, no cell phones, no computers. The silence was profound, if not deafening at times. But as I spent these days of quiet, alone time, with just me, myself and I to contend with, I was able to reconnect with myself and the person who I know myself to be, but often forget that I am.
Because we were there during Halloween, Tias tied one of our days of silence with All Souls Day, and reminded us that each and every one of us is on our own soul journey. It was a time for us not only to honor those who have impacted our lives and since passed, but also the souls of all of us still here on earth and traveling our own unique path, with lessons to learn and grow from, heartaches to endure and joys to lavish in.
As I practiced yoga and sat in silence day after day, the settling of my mind became easier. My connection to my deeper self, removed from the chatter of technology, the voices of other people, and finally the thoughts of my own mind, was almost within reach. Although there were only brief moments of time that went unnoticed in my mind, I think it was in that space, that I understood and accepted myself fully as I am. As fleeting as those moments may have been, there was recognition that despite the struggles that I might have in my daily life and in my mind, that’s not really me. And while we can choose to stay there in our minds, we have the power not to.
So often our ego tells us who we are. What we’ve accomplished, what we’ve achieved and what we’ve lost. What has happened to us and what hasn’t. Where we’ve been, who we’ve met and what we’ve done in our lives somehow makes us feel as if that’s who we are. While those experiences certainly enrich and flavor our lives, in reality, they are just aspects of our lives. Not who we are.
While trying to describe to you who I am is probably not possible, I can say that I’ve met her throughout my life, over and over again. And that version of me is my true self. And despite my unconscious efforts to derail her, I realize she’s actually ok. Yes, I’m actually ok! And although I cannot tell you who you are either, I can venture to say, you’re ok too! In the quietude of your own practice, if you are able to access that truest version of yourself, I hope you’ll remember that too.
As you travel along your own soul journey wherever that may take you, may you trust and be consoled by the truth of who you really are.