Whybe a Yogi - Take Back Responsibility
While our reality plays a role in shaping who we are, I’ve learned that it’s our beliefs, feelings, perception of the experiences in our lives, and what we say about it all that create our reality.
Our words & thoughts can be used
to produce the reality we want, not just describe the reality that we’re given.
This used to be a foreign concept to me. Somewhere along my years of navigating my way through puberty, I started telling myself that things happened to me, rather than as a direct result of me. To my preteen self, my life was shaped by what others generated around me. I thought that I was “messed up” because of what happened to me in my life, and I was constantly a victim to my “problems.” Essentially, I gave up and lost my voice – I let others speak for me, their words and actions define me. This has caused me in the past to make assumptions about why people acted how they acted – that a cancelled coffee date meant they didn’t like me, that a bored look on someone’s face during a yoga class meant I was a bad teacher. This behavior exemplifies ways I used my words and thoughts to describe events in my life, not the other way around.
My yoga practice and being a yoga teacher has taught me how to take responsibility to manifest the life that I want – that power is in my hands and nobody else’s. I’m no longer stuck confined by my past beliefs. Every time I step onto my yoga mat, and every time I intentionally take a breath in or out, there is an opportunity to start over and create what I want to create. Taking responsibility has empowered me. And this empowerment comes from the freedom of choice - we all have the ability to choose our actions. No, this doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it does mean it’s worth it.
Yoga gave me my voice back.
Specifically, it gave me the confidence that my thoughts and words matter and make a difference for myself and others. Rather than getting caught up in the rabbit hole of describing (which most of the time is negative), I’m learning to use my voice to find clarity, connection, and the truth. When I notice a look on a student’s face in class, I use my voice to speak what I know to be true, whereas before I would have reactively spoken self-sabotaging comments to myself in my head.
My practice has allowed me to take events in my life as just that – events in my life. A fight with a friend, a breakup, going to college, a failed test, even a passed test. Good, bad, exciting, dull: events can be perceived as anything we make them out to be. They happen. Period. They don’t happen to us; it’s not personal. And when these things happen, it is our perception, translated by our words, thoughts, and voice, that shape the way we experience those things.
And when these things happen,
it is our perception,translated by our words, thoughts, and voice, that shape the way we experience those things.
It's important to notice, though, that we can sometimes get so focused on one aspect of what we're saying to ourselves (the part that paints you in a “good” light), that we may not even realize how what we're saying elsewhere is ultimately being reflected by our actions.
Therefore, even when things that happen to us feel that they are out of our control, we have to recognize that we are not victims to our circumstances. The circumstances have nothing to do with who we are deep down at our core, what we know to be true about ourselves.