Yoga leads you to the magic of authenticity. And now you may be thinking, oh of course I'm me! That's all I've got. And you may think that's all there is to it.
But not really. Stay with me.
Typically we grow up in a family environment, maybe a split one like mine was, and so there are other people that will be of influence. The people that raise us, the adults (haha mostly!) have their own unique life experiences, their own DNA, their own values and opinions on life. And without anyone really noticing, as we grow we often inherit/absorb those values, sometimes habits, and often samskaras (psychological imprints or experience that lives in our body).
So with these inherited parts, we take them and fold them into ourselves and they become part of who we define ourselves as. Honest example here. My mum hated Avocado. I know, how!! Anyway, I for some reason, probably not even consciously took that judgement on, "no thanks, I don't like avocado". This hummed along for a few years, until I inherited a step family, who, you guessed it LOVED the humble avocado. Still I persisted that I didn't like this poor green gorgeous vegetable. Until THIS.
Big family lunch, think about 12 for lunch.
Dad: Sara, have you tried this green cheese?
Me: No Dad I haven't.
Dad: Give it a try, I think you'll really like it.
Me (again) Oh yum, thats really good.
Dad: HA ITS AVOCADO!!!! (and a chorus of step siblings laughing and cheering in the background)
Hmmmm, bit of humble pie for me, victory for my dad, and a new vegetable!!!
So, what's Yoga got to do with this story. ALOT. Yoga, can if we let it, let us begin to peel all the BS away. It can begin to make its way into our soul and our hearts with its philosophy and whether we practice Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa, Slow Flow, Restorative, Nidra or Nude (haha) we can start to feel "more ourselves". There is a process in Yoga of working through the layers of our being, we call these the Koshas. They are like a map that the Yogis' discovered, its totally awesome and takes you way beyond the blahness and blandness of "Mind Body Spirit" (even though I'm heading to that festival tomorrow LOL).
With this renewed sense of vitality, good breathing, skillful movement, focus, of really dropping into our own body... often arrives a GIFT!
And this gift is called Authenticity. It's the practice of being your most true self, of shedding the layers of what you think you "should" be doing/thinking/wearing/saying and really being your most original self. Once people start Yoga I see that theres often an opening, an A HA moment, more courage, more depth, and an alignment with what they feel is most true for them. And people get to "see you".
But for many of us "people pleasers" this can be totally unmapped territory and can FREAK YOU OUT. Often this can be the making of us, the revealing, the shedding and this is where the magic begins to happen! THIS point is where we can begin to align with our heart, by reviewing life:
What activities your doing?
Whom your hanging out with and why?
Where your spending your time?
What are you reading and why?
What are your "real & true" values?
What are you spending your $$'s on?
And lets take this one step deeper....
if you weren't trying
if you weren't busy pleasing everyone
if you weren't "giving a lot"
if you were just dialling things right back to what feels true, what does that look like? If you were just yourself, and really authentic what does that feel like?
What about if you came to each relationship with your most true self, your integrity, your uniqueness and totally owned it. What if? Its a big brave and bold question.
When we do this, things shift. It's as if "pleasing people" dilutes you, your authenticity, your gifts, your uniqueness. One must put something aside, or give more, or say less, to "please". It's a step away from being yourself, a disconnect, and a step toward pleasing others which in your heart "dilutes the room". It pollutes the room/relationship with disconnect.....connection gone, as you've stepped away from taking that chance for a really honest and true exchange. Something changes. Pleasing disrupts the truth of any relationship (as does avoidance and a host of other stuff, but for today its about authenticity & magic).
I know this as I lived this. This is from my own life. This is felt and true.
Authenticity is about being brave, its a wholehearted approach to living a full and true life.
And from the Bhagavad Gita "On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from great fear".