One of my clients asked me how long I have been practicing Kundalini Yoga, and if I am still learning from it.
The answer is, just over 11 years, and yes.
I am not the same person I was 11 years ago. In fact, I've become a better version of myself many times over (most of you didn't know me back then). It would be fair to say that I've had crash moments when it felt like I took too many few steps back, but like a typical stock market chart with its ups and downs, the lifetime Savitree chart continues to go up.
We all have our monsters-- those things we have struggled with most of our lifetime. Mine has do to with this recurring sense of SHAME, that somehow I am a complete fraud and I don't know, and I am not what or who everyone thinks that I am, and also that I can't take care of myself. I was raised believing that everything I said was stupid, and I need to make myself good enough (through education mostly, and also by playing my role as the oldest daughter perfectly) to find a husband willing to take care of me, and if I am not, even my parents would abandon me. That is what I believed, anyway, and I had sealed it into my belief system.
Just months after I started practicing kundalini yoga, I learned that I was okay, and in fact perfectly capable. And as I learned to walk this Earth from my inner compass, I really was okay. I felt it safe enough to say that I "kicked" my monster! I doused it with water and it melted away like the wicked witch of the West.
I kept up with my practice. My life got better. I became a teacher and I wondered how I was going to make a living from this. Students liked me. I created a business, and everyone was coming to support it and me.
At the moment that things were really good, my monster came back. Shame. Fraud. Fear of abandon.
The misunderstanding would be that I didn't learn anything. Otherwise, how could my monster return? Is this practice working?
One of my teachers explained that we don't really ever get rid of our monsters. Instead, we learn to conquer them.
My teacher pointed out that I now get to conquer my monster, not from my past self, but from my current, more evolved sense of self; the one with more tools, a stronger nervous system, and a more developed neutral mind, subtle, and pranic body and an expanded magnetic field. And I know that my future self gets to do it again, hopefully with the same, even more chiseled and readily accessible tools.
Each version of me gains more tools, depth, inner stability and experience. Each version of me learns to communicate with, and relate to others, better. Each version of me creates a more supportive environment, a workable daily structure and a community that helps me better deal with my monster. That very monster ironically was what pushed and inspired me to search and learn, at the end helping to shape my personality, build my strengths and reveal my talents.
As my life opens up to me with more opportunities and challenges, my monster (read: ego) will want to rear its head again to, bless it's "heart", keep me safe and reign in on my efforts to step into the scary, vast, unknown ocean that promises a manifestation of a Self that marches to her own drummer despite the pathless path to which it points. As more opportunity opens to me and the "stakes" get larger, my ego will remind me of the shame and abandon that comes with failure that was the experience of my childhood that keeps me small. It means well. And as I deepen my toolbox, my ability to thank my monster for its misplaced sensibilities and move forward despite its fears becomes more and more automatic such that it almost feels like that monster no longer exists. Of course, as soon as I start to believe that, it roars loudly, LOL.
I continue this same practice of Kundalini Yoga day after day, year after year, because I know that that monster, given the opportunity, would rule me day after day, year after year. Each time I return to a specific kriya (sequence), I experience it from a different version of Self, and I experience new tantrums and glories. And I learn new things.
Kundalini Yoga Quotes:
“I’d never felt anything like it; it was just an opening of energy and a feeling of such liberation.” -Marika Bethel, owner, Glowing House