This post is long overdue. For the record, I attended Baptiste Level Three teacher training in Dec 2018; which was held in Pacific Grove, Monterey California.
For those new to my blog or to me - I’m passionate about Baptiste Yoga, which is a style of power yoga developed by Baron Baptiste, an American, who inherited his love for yoga from his parents (who opened San Francisco’s first yoga center in 1955).
It’s an empowering yoga practice where asanas, meditation and self-inquiry are used to encourage the students to realise their full potential by discovering their passions, igniting creativity, creating authenticity in developing the confidence to step into new and big possibilities in their lives.
I found it difficult to put my experiences into words because most of them are playing out right now in my life. It’s not a bad thing, it just means I’m in constant inquiry mode, whereas after Level One & Two- I had instant gratification.
I got to the bottom of my ‘Truth’, which was actually a LIE that I tell myself (still): “ I’m a bad and shameful girl and I’m not good enough.”
I discovered my new way of being is of courage and love.
I had access to tools what allowed me to re-create myself as NEW every single time my lie comes up just by noticing when it comes up and being willing to focus on on the present moment.
Inquiry - the Gift that keeps on giving
The level of inquiry in Level One & Two was just scratching the surface. Level One was about getting ME out on my own way. Level Two was about dealing with my filters and judgements of YOU - the people whom I interact with everyday.
Level 3 goes deeper. We were asked to go beyond the borders of our mind. It’s not me or you anymore; it’s not singular. It’s much bigger.
It’s about “We”. It’s about the community. It’s about how we can impact the world we are living in.
It’s about being with humanity.
THE Essence of being human
It’s a big word - humanity.
I can feel your eyes glazing. Mine glazed too, and there was heaviness at the back of my eyes; I could feel myself shrinking, because I thought: “Who am I to stand up for the whole of humanity? I’m not good enough. It’s not me. It’s not going to be me.”
And then I checked the definition of humanity…
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines humanity as compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition.
And of course, humanity literally also means the totality of human beings, human race or humankind.
It doesn’t sound scary at all.
I understand it to mean now it’s about having empathy with ALL, because we are all humans. We are just people. We are all the same.
Cue Michael Jackson’s song - Heal the world, make it a better place…
IT CAN BE ME!
I can be compassionate, sympathetic and generous. I am all that!
What is your life for?
First day - out front, big and bold - that was the question.
3 years ago I would be stumped. "So cheem ah?” which is Singlish for "what a deep thought-provoking question?” or in other words “What the hell! How can I know what my life is for?"
But I’ve been doing the work. Brene Brown in her book, “Daring to Lead”, talked about vulnerabilities and among many things, defining my values. What resonates with me most was of how Brene is living her values of courage and faith.
Oxford Dictionary defines values as a way of being or believing that we hold most important.
Initially I was trying to be clever with the words - went with selflessness, mindfulness then I realised that in order to be mindful or selfless, I need Love. In order to stand up for what I’m passionate about and be fearless, I need to have Courage.
My life is for Courage and Love.
I’ve been practising courage and love in every moment.
It’s not easy.
I acknowledge that my “lie” gets in my way. I get in my own way. I’m the source of all my sufferings, as the wise Buddha once said.
My fear of being judged, worrying about what other people would think, of getting it wrong, of being seen - that takes me out.
And when I’m not living my life, I create my own bubble of loneliness. I become numb, detached, cynical and suspicious. I make other people wrong and I make me wrong.
"It’s not my problem. They don’t care. I’ll do it myself. Oh they don’t love me. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. It doesn’t matter. It’s ok.”
How can I be for my family and my community when it’s all about MY fears, MY woeful stories, MY issues?
The question is how?
How do I drop the “ME” and discover what else I can do to heal? How can I stand up for myself right now?
Right now, my heart is saying to keep doing the inner work and hang out with people who inspire you be the better version of you.
We are all whole and complete
We are born whole and complete. Our environment, society, external forces made us believe otherwise.
That’s the beauty of the inquiry work. It is not to fix what is “wrong” with us - there is nothing wrong with us. We are only human. The inquiry in Baptiste Yoga is simply to bring us back to our real selves, version 2.0.
The work doesn’t stop there - what if, WE interact with everyone as if they are whole and complete? What if WE drop what the judgements, drop the stories we have about about them. See them as they are - that they are the same as me and you. WE are all the same!
Then it’ll make the world a better place.
No wars because your religion is not better or worst than mine. Humanity comes first before religion.
Everyone working together for the benefit of those who can’t help themselves.
Mum is not wrong, and neither am I right and vice versa.
No judgement. No altercations.
No hidden agenda.
No fear in speaking out.
No fear in being yourself.
The what ifs goes away.
Healing the world, one person at a time.
Anything is possible, where there is kindness, compassion and generosity.
But first we need to be intentional in creating that physical foundation, and it can start right here, with YOU. We can’t save the entire human race right now, but we can save what’s in front of us, our family, our friends, the people whom we surround ourselves - touch them one at a time with your story - the real truth that you are enough and that you have all that you need right here, right now.
What is my life for?
My life is for empowering my family and my community to live life courageously from the heart. With purpose and kind determination.
I will keep:
sharing from a place of love and support through yoga and writing
smiling every morning
hugging others first
introducing myself and asking people for their names
acknowledging that I am enough as I am.
working on my relationship with my mum.
I will start to/practice:
Show up big in my community, be it with my family, friends or yoga peeps.
Choose courage over comfort
Being kind and selfless to others
Making essential requests for myself when needed.
I am blessed because I have friends to remind me that I’m a contribution. My husband says “You’re beautiful” and “ I love you” everyday and re-reading Marianne Williamson’s beautiful words in “Return to Love” - that never fails to make me tear and be resolute to be brave to live my LIFE.
ASK YOURSELF THIS:
What is your life for?
In light of your life’s purpose, what can you keep and what can you start doing?
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