Forever the Student, Never the Master
"Life has many ways of testing a person's will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once " ... Can you be ok with either, neither or both ?
I came to my Yoga practice years ago not knowing anything about breath, mindfulness, meditation or “where my center exactly is” ( ;) )… What I did find because of my practice is the ability to delve deeply into introspection and self-reflection. Within this space where the body, breath and mind become interconnected there is a “stillness” that settles, which allows for complete honesty regarding self and how you show up in the world (both perfectly and imperfectly) Not only did it allow me to find an element of self-compassion/forgiveness (if you will) toward myself for many, yet not all things (enters human messiness and things still being processed) but the connection that was instilled with self – led to a deepened connection in my faith. God does not say when or where he will meet us, only that if we are willing to listen (truly listen) that we will be able to feel his presence. God chose to meet me on my mat, it is there that I feel His presence within me the most. As the world for a moment just disappears and everything becomes so very quiet within – it is then and there that I connect deeply and profoundly to my Higher Power. Now, this isn’t meant to be a religious discussion at all. My practice and belief within my sessions is that no faith, person, race, or social class will be excluded from connection from my sessions if they choose to join as everybody and all is welcome. Your practice is a profoundly personal, intimate practice. It is yours and will not be judged by me.
On the mat there is no judgement, but ones own … On the mat movement and breath gives rise to allowance of emotional release. The process of this moves with one into one’s day to day. Breath moves with you, always – It never leaves you. If considering where the breath came from, how you came to be, the breath … your life, is such a gift and requires your acknowledgement and continuous awareness of this fact. It can fill one with a tremendous amount of gratitude as self-compassion gives allowance for grace toward self for all the human messiness that we tend to bring into our lives. The thought processes instilled on the mat, moves with you. It is called a yoga “practice” for a reason though. Practice suggests that it requires continuous commitment, dedication, and work (as most things in life do) if progress is the aim.
The phrase, “forever the student, never the master” is one that I heard regularly within the yoga sphere – It is, however, only as of late that I fully grasp the concept in its entirety. We remain human. We will forever be affected, changed, and influenced by not only our “roots”/what shaped and molded our way of thinking to what it was before we came to the mat but also by present events (both positive and negative). Our mind (brain) remains something which needs to be safeguarded against what we allow it to have access to, always. And thus, it is a continuous process of both unravelling/unbecoming as well as becoming. As time has gone by, there have been moments where I “paused” my practice because of external life influence just placing too heavy a demand on the fragility of my heart and mind. Rather than staying true to who I am, my understanding, compassion and empathy for others has at times not been my friend.
This I can say honestly because that is just how I am stitched together. Perhaps I have also reached a point where I am no longer interested in pathologizing this or searching for the psychological reasoning within my past that led to this. I also don’t feel the need to fix this at all …. I find there is absolutely nothing wrong with caring a lot or being brutally honest. I care, I am deeply empathetic, and I understand this about myself now, and it’s ok (forever the student). This DOES however require me to be mindful of the connections that I allow to enter my inner heart space, and to guard it with ferocity. It requires a mindful balance of safeguarding my heart and mind – Continuously pouring into self is an absolute necessity so that I can continue to be who I know myself to be. Loving, caring, compassionate, understanding.
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, emotional dysregulation, mistrust in others and self-related to PTSD symptoms can wreak havoc on one’s emotional and mental well-being – How do you regain equilibrium because of external influence? Don’t allow your symptoms to control you. Whatever it is that you find on your mat, it will absolutely be nothing but beneficial.
I have learned some extremely valuable lessons as of late. I am deeply and profoundly grateful – deeply and profoundly touched – deeply and profoundly in love with the process of becoming … as well as deeply grateful and humbled toward the connections within my life who believed me brave, strong, and resilient enough to endure (knowing that nothing but tenderness lies at the root of me). Life will keep throwing us off course (that is just the nature of existence) and will find “many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once … can you be ok with either, neither or both?”. When we replace “why is this happening to me, to what is this trying to teach/show me about myself” – things change…
(Forever the Student, Never the Master)