...Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place?
I feel like this quote from Paulo Coelho sums up the work we are all here to do. Right now, in this very moment, we are in a very potent time for shift and change. The truths we have held dear are beginning to unravel and unwind; a new way will be born whether we like it or not and it won't be comfortable unless we are willing to shift our perspective. I can see it unfolding all around me in my social circles, I see the unwinding occurring within my students, I see it unraveling in the greater collective, and I can feel it unfurling within myself. I am beginning to recognize the old stories still held deep within my own being, the stories that I've held tight in an attempt to keep me safe and small. I naively thought that all the practice and work I have done over the years had weeded out most of my limiting beliefs and although I have uncovered quite a bit, I am discovering so much more potential to un-become who I have thought I was. At first the thought of releasing everything I know to be true was terrifying; that is until I realized how I was limiting myself based on who I thought I was and what I thought I knew. I was choosing to put myself into a box with limited possibilities and limited outcomes. Once I realized that the stories I had created to keep me safe were actually keeping me from living a full and whole life, I have made it my mission to uncover every last one. Here is one of my stories I recently uncovered; perhaps it can help you unravel some of your own.
I am not the kind of person who takes selfies and posts them on instagram. I am a fairly private person and I don't feel the need to share photos of myself. I am not the type of teacher who wants to be popular; I don't need a hundred students in class or to teach at a yoga festival. I don't take credit for what comes through me while I teach; I am merely a conduit for The Divine. Seems fair enough; right? When I dove deeper into the why of this rationale I discovered that part of this story is laced with my integrity around remaining humble, but at the core is a wound I have around being seen. I have been slowly peeling back the layers of this wound for a while and I'm finding that seeing myself and being seen by others is extremely difficult for me and it is a profound practice.
I usually respond to comments that give me any credit whatsoever by offering it up to the Divine. I let the words pass in one ear and out the other, nurturing my subconscious fear that maybe one day the compliments would stick and I would have to admit that my experiences have given me a wisdom worth sharing on a larger scale. Allowing myself to "see" myself through the reflections of others has shown me many of my gifts that I have kept hidden or have chalked up as "no big deal". I have also had shadows revealed; pieces of armoring illuminated that were ready to be surrendered and thrown to the ground. My practice has been to receive all reflections open hearted without pushing them away or pulling them close. I allow myself to marinade in the words being shared, along with the emotions that arise, and then feel into the reflection. I feel in for both resonance and fear allowing myself to be curious about both. By challenging the story that I was a private, humble person that didn't need to be validated by instagram likes or class sizes and by putting myself out there, I have allowed myself to see how others see me. I can honor and respect that my teaching impacts the way my students choose to live their lives, I am humbled that my sharing and my transparency actually helps others to see themselves more clearly and they find comfort, resilience and Love through what I share. Through this practice I have recognized the gifts I have to share with others and that my fear of being seen is actually hindering my ability to serve. My story is keeping me from living my full Dharma. By stepping out into the unknown I give myself permission to un-become the ordinary little girl who feels unworthy and scared of being seen. Does this mean I will start posting selfies or applying to teach at yoga festivals? Yes I think it does; I'm avoiding it because there's a part of me that is afraid to do it and I'm a big fan of exploring and expanding my edges. AND, I'm doing it because how will I know I am not the kind of teacher who posts selfies on instagram or teaches at yoga festivals until I actually give it a go? And really, this isn't about instagram or yoga festivals at all. It's about owning my gifts as well as my shadows and allowing myself to be seen in all of my glory. It's about discovering who I am and most importantly who I am not.
What do you need to un-become in order to welcome in who you are destined to be?
What stories are you telling yourself that keep you safe and small?
Where have you adopted societies expectations of you and made them your own?
Are you ready to challenge all you think you know to discover who you really are? Where can you push your edges?