There's soooooooooooooo many books to read!
There's the SELF HELP section, or as we call it now MOTIVATION..... where I spent a lot of my teens and 20's mooching around in. But I was there earnestly! Trying so hard to work out a strategy to deal with one very sticky and tricky human, whom I loved. One that I couldn't in my conscience, distance myself from. So I spent a lot of my time (and money cause books aint cheap!!), trying on new ways, new angles, and really..... did it help the relationship? Nope. But it served me, the words supported and inspired me to keep going, maybe even motivated me.
Then there's the ANCIENT WISDOM section (usually tucked away near Religion) up the back corner of the bookstore. I found this section through my love of Yoga, which goes way back to my Revlon days. "Hello, Revlon customer service, how may I help you?". From the pain of a favourite shade of coral lipstick being discontinued to the elation of Top Speed Nail Colour launching....I was there.
However I found the most comfort and the most practical wisdom and teachings in the Vedic Texts. They felt like home, like I had landed in a familiar place.
I fell in love with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,
I crushed big time on the Radiance Sutras (aka The Vijnana Bhairava Trantra)
then I swooned on the Bhagavad Gita ...
and that's pretty much where I've been hanging out for the last few years, with Arjuna and Krishna.
Why would a modern woman, who loves stars on her sneakers, sweet lipsticks and cute scarves ... well why would she love this ancient wisdom? Good question.
SO, these texts, these ancient books, they inspire motivate and comfort me BIG TIME!! They are full of the most beautiful characters, of drama, fall outs, panic attacks, passion, purpose, integrity and really the list goes on. But, they illustrate in so many ways the pain and beauty of life, from thousands of years ago. The old Rishi's and Sages, they had problems too. And they worked out strategies for dealing with these issues! How many times does Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras suggest ways to meditate!! Oh my gosh, there's so many suggestions.
Which now that "modern science" has validated that Mediation actually works (OMG!!) can help so many human beings. .
If your passionate about Yoga, you must take that feeling and read some of these texts! I would suggest you start with The Yoga Sutras. You must do the practice some justice by diving in a little deeper than asanas. Phlease.
The Bhagavad Gita, the "Song of the Lord" is the most jam packed text on relationships, on purpose, on strength and integrity. It will challenge you, it will push you, it will wake you and shake you up! This book is my Jam/Nutella/Peanut Butter sauce right now. It has expanded my way of thinking and feeling, it has strengthened me, and it continues to be my little companion for inspiration and to be my True North.
Here's two of my favourite points, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:
Chapter 3, sloka 35: "It is better to do your own dharma (calling) even imperfectly, than someone else's dharma perfectly". (BE TRUE, BE YOU). Your dharma is what your truly called to do! Yes, you have a calling, you have a certain something that the world needs (more coming on that later). You have gifts, inclinations, talents and they are yours to bring and weave into this lifetime.
Chapter 2, sloka 40: "In these practices, no effort made is lost. Even a little practice of this dharma protects one from great fear". (So, walk toward, stretch into your goals, even effort in this direction will keep you inspired & happier than if you didn't).
There's more coming in this space on dharma, passion, purpose and I hope that you enjoy it.
Om Tat Sat (a wish to live in truth and integrity).
* The Living Gita by Sri Swami Satchidananda was book I referred to for the above points.
This is a big question I've been working with.
Can pain become a place that I step toward?
Can a painful relationship, become a place for me to grow?
Can a hurt benefit me in some way?
These are some serious questions that I've asked myself. I have wrestled with this for a LONG TIME. I have thought, for sure the answer is no. How on earth could the pain of a relationship be a place for GROWTH!! No way, I want out.
How do you feel about this suggestion and teaching that our pain can become a gift, a place to grow or and.. mercy, or a blessing? Do you feel like its possible? Have you experienced this?
It took me a long time wrestling with this (even longer maybe to write about it). A LONG time! Many months have most likely been logged here, thinking and feeling into this. As a human being, I don't want to think that pain is a gift.
A gift is a warm hug from your dearest, its a cute pair of Golden Goose Sneakers, its a long lunch with a bestie... its NOT PAIN, its NOT DISCOMFORT, its not HURT.
Lorin Roche wrote in his translation of the Radiance Sutras, Yukti Verse 70:
.... A stab of betryal,
The boundary crossed.
A trust broken.
In this lacerating moment,
Pain is all you know.
Life is tattooing scripture into your flesh,
Scribing incandescence into your nerves.
In this single searing point
Of intolerable concentration,
Wound becomes portal.
Brokenness surrenders to
Crystalline brilliance of Being.
Have we all felt a "trust broken", a "boundary crossed"? Lorin suggests that in this point, this intolerable pain that your wound, can become a place to step toward and through. Not side stepping, not ducking, not ignoring or coming up with a fancy quick witted response.... but to trust yourself and go toward it!
If life is tattooing itself into our flesh, our heart, our body, why not let it be something worthy of its permanence, of a long term stay. We can't keep carrying injustices with us throughout our life, if we do it becomes us. It embeds itself within us and we carry this through our life, to THE END.
April Green in her lovely book Blooming For Yourself writes in a passage titled "A Conversation About Self Worth":
"Accept this as the truth: you are enough just as you are.
You are whole an unique and beautiful, just as you are.
Accept it as the truth - say it over and over again
until this concept of yourself is
pressed into your bones like sacred scripture".
I love this idea, of what we are scribing into our flesh, our bones, our souls. Our bodies are a diary of our life experience so far, so it makes sense that we we go through is pressing itself into ourselves. We are the sum of our life experience so far.
If we don't step through the pain, what are we tattooing into our lives? What are we discussing with our selves, our friends? What are we carrying, permanently? To Yoga class? To meditation? We are keeping it close, feeling like it protects us.. but it makes us small, it keeps us where we think is safe, but it doesn't let the light in, it doesn't tattoo anything great in our bones and hearts and soul.
This is my experience. I'm not writing on behalf of all, this is my space for sorting these things out and then sharing them.
I'd love to know what you think or feel about this?