Who we are – Really

Posted on Feb 15, 2011 | 0 comments

What makes us who we are, or more correctly who we think we are?  When we really stop and ask ourselves this question lots of answers come to mind; husband/wife, daughter/son, father/mother, accountant/yoga teacher, etc.  But does this tell the whole story?  Absolutely not. From the time we are born we are labeled.  We see a newborn baby and the labels just start to flood the air; cute, sweet, angelic, etc.  And they don’t stop throughout our life.  In the end we may be labeled; feeble, strong, nutty.  Any number of descriptions from everyone around us including those who know us and those who do not.  Society is full of labels that stick to us like glue; single, married, single mom, divorced.  And we actively participate by labeling ourselves; fat, skinny, ugly, beautiful, good, inadequate.  And of course the list goes on and on.  The labels that we stick on ourselves are often the most negative and surely the most fixed. All of these labels get stuck to us to make up a kind of shell that in the end calcifies to build up our persona.  This shell is our ego and we work hard to keep it in tact because we don’t know who we are without it.  Some people even go so far as to bolster their ego with material possessions like cars and houses.  In this economic climate we see many individuals suffering because they have lost part of this shell that has been built around them and they feel exposed.  So who are we really if we are not these labels or things?  We are the person who is hidden under all of those labels and things.  We are like an onion with many transparent layers and when we peel those layers off we get to the heart of our true self.  Yoga and meditation help us to peel these layers away.   When we come to the mat and integrate our body and our mind through the breath we meet ourselves.  On our mat we face our limitations with our mind fully engaged in the action of the pose and we are humbled.  Humbled first because we find a seemingly easy pose as actually very difficult.  And we are humbled again when we find that our body can do this difficult thing and we see the miracle that the physical body truly is. In meditation we find the silence that is so very rare in our world today.  At first the silence is scary and the ego scrambles to fill the space.  But it is in this silence that our true self speaks.  The silence creates the space where Divine can be heard because – Divine speaks in a whisper, never a shout.  The basis of Yoga is that Divine resides in each living being.  The practice of Yoga is the search for that Divine in ourselves and others. The road of Yoga is long – life long.  But on the journey we meet ourselves.  All of ourselves, including the pleasant and the not so pleasant.  But if we take the journey with an open mind and heart we will be able to answer the question: “Who am I?” with more honesty and clarity. Namaste “The Divine in me recognizes and salutes the Divine in...

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