Can we really see clearly?

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Living in San Francisco, also means living in an incredible city with the big red and impressive Golden Gate bridge in our backyard. When you don’t live in this city (or country) you often don’t realize that the city and the bridge are often covered in fog, which leads to a beautiful metaphor for this blog.

When the sun shines in the city, the Golden Gate Bridge shines bright and is a beautiful site in the city, it looks magical, connected the city to the impressive Marin Headlands. However, a lot of days, the bridge is covered in fog and is nowhere to be found in the skyline of the city.

When you live in the city you know where to look for the bridge, even if the thick layer of fog makes it impossible to see. You know that you can cross it and get over safely. But if you have never seen it, it almost seems like the bridge isn’t there. And even when you come close, you can’t see the full bridge, but only parts of it – the parts close to you.

The bridge can be a metaphor for the Self, because often the Self is covered in a layer of fog. We know it is there, we most often know where to look for it, but it can be really unclear. And even when we come close to the Self, we cannot always see the complete road leading from one side to the other.

Yoga is a practice where we turn inside and we try to find a deeper connection with the Self, with our own shiny and strong Golden Gate bridge – which I will continue to refer to as your inner diamond.

The more we focus on our diamond, the more we want to clean it and the deeper the connection we make. However, the more we focus on it, the more we realize that life and living is messy, so the cleaning is an endless job. There will always be dust, there will always be a veil of dirt, and there will always be splatters.

We can see the diamond as our internal world and the splatters as the external world. It is the relationship between the internal and the external that makes it hard to keep our diamond clean. The cleaning process focuses on what goes in and what goes out. The stuff that sticks is what clouds the mind.

We often get trapped in cleaning our external environment, because it creates that feeling of space in the mind, clarity. And exactly this is the moment when we have to turn inside and start doing the dirty work. The clearer we get about ourselves, the more dirt and disgust comes up about ourselves.

And however much work we do, there is no promise you are going to be perfect. You need to recognize where behaviours come from, you need to work on the gunk that is covering your diamond. You cannot beat yourself up over what is being presented to you, this is a process without judgment, this is a process of acceptance, this is a process of finding your one true love: the Self.

So can we really see clearly? Who knows, but the clearer we see, the more space we will experience. The clearer we see, the calmer and more focused the mind will be. The clearer we see, the more content we can be with where we are and who we are, because we are able to make decision based on deeper layers of our self and in connection to the Self.

So polish that diamond, put in the work, un-dust yourself, and step in the light. Let your diamond shine as bright as it can be!

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The power of having a choice

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My life lately has really been upside down. So many things have changed, so many things happened. And it shook me up. Big time.

When life takes turns you did not expect, we can become overwhelmed not being able to see clear. And especially when we are overwhelmed with the circumstances we often ‘forget’ that we have choices. Because it seems like this circumstance has taken over our life and there is only one way to deal with it: your default way.

One of the most powerful things in the past few months to me was the reminder that we do have choices. Often we cannot change the circumstances. If we are in traffic to our work everyday, we cannot change the traffic. If the train runs late, we cannot make it arrive earlier. If your friend cancels for dinner, you cannot make him un-cancel. But we do have a choice in how we deal with things.

You can choose how much it will affect your life.

You can choose to give up or you can choose to keep on going.

You can choose to focus on being the victim or you can try to see what you can learn from this circumstance you are in.

You can choose to deal with it alone or you can choose to get help from friends/family/therapist

There are so many choices you can make, but still we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed. We allow ourselves to dwell in what is in front of us. We choose to not have a choice. We choose to not deal with the circumstances but complain instead. We choose to not accept. We choose to take medications. ALL choices we make, without us even realizing we do so.

I am most definitely to blame in this too. I noticed I did it quite often. But once I rediscovered the power of choice, that’s when I was able to turn my life back around. I was able to flip the switch, feel powerful, strong, knowing that I was in charge. And even though I did not have control over what was happening in the external side of my life, I did have control over the internal side of my life.

So this blog is just a simple reminder to all of you out there. YOU are in charge of your INTERNAL world. You have CHOICES. You can choose to be STRONG, you can choose to be POSITIVE. You can choose to LOVE. You can choose to LEARN.

Self-love

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I am going towards the end of my yoga teacher training and I have to say that what I have learned has truly been a life changing experience. Becoming a yoga teacher doesn’t only mean you know how to perform the poses and show them to your students. It has everything to do with how you perceive life, how you live it and spread that message out into the world. Without pushing your believes on others, you make a difference by being true to yourself.

My most important lesson has been to practice self-love. Don’t criticise myself, but be gentle and true to myself. I drained my energy and love by taking care of others, before making sure I was strong and stable enough to give it to them. Here, at the teacher training, I found the strength to love myself and be strong from within with all I have to offer.

When I practice self-love I have noticed that I lose my fear of not being liked, that I am able to let go of the fear of what others think of me. I am enjoying life at the moment it happens, instead of worrying about the past or future. I focus on me, and through this I am able to share a lot more joy, laughter and love with the people around me. I am not draining love anymore; I am using it to make myself, and others happy.  The feeling of not wasting away my feelings and love is very powerful and gives me the strength to be who I am, without any doubts, worry or fear.

I let go and enjoy what life has in store for me.

So how do I do this? Here are some tips from my side:

  • Every day before going to bed write down 5 positive things about yourself.
  • Do a daily yoga practice (or any other thing that makes you happy), it doesn’t have to be 1 hour. 10 or 20 minutes suits as well. Reload your battery.
  • Surround yourself with the things you love. People, music, food, nature, sports, etc. It makes your life much easier and a lot more fun!