Today I had a moment to reflect — a bit of a delayed new years resolution — on who I really am and who I want to become.
It all started when I was revisiting some old writings and courses on Udemy and realized that there were a lot of comments and student feedback I hadn’t seen yet that were, despite all my current beliefs, actually positive.
It made me realize something interesting about the power of thoughts. These original writings and courses were done almost 7 years ago, now that we are entering in 2019. That is kind of crazy to me, considering the past 3 have been a complete whirlwind since I became pregnant with my first child and we finally realized that my husband was facing chronic health challenges.
Anyway, because of these last years’ unique challenges, it has been difficult to keep up fulfilling and deep yoga and meditation practice. We’ve also had to move from our spiritual community as well despite our consistent efforts to go back, the window hasn’t opened yet all the way and at times it makes me feel guilty that I’m not doing enough or attracting what we need to be there energetically. Because of that, I became — what I now realize was — extremely hard on myself. Perhaps others can relate?
Oh, how delusion can so easily take a hold on us!
The realization about the power of such thoughts showed me just how deeply I had dug myself into a metaphorical pit of consciousness, where I thought of myself as a pathetic example of a disciple. Or at least a pretty bad one you see, because I don’t do so many things as perfectly as I should. And I don’t do this or that as others may think I should…
What a trick! Maya is truly a master of negativity. Maya can easily take hold of our mind and persuade us to believe things about ourselves that actually prevent us from later achieving success and returning to a state of inner balance, or acting from our higher Self.
Luckily, by Grace, I was given a reflection through others’ eyes to see more clearly what a silly mind game I had been engaged in with between the good and bad team residing in my thoughts!
In truth, each of us does have strengths — yes weaknesses too, but so often we focus on those instead of how we can be a channel for the ray of inspiration we aspire to share with others.
But we lose the power to do this if we do not believe in the light within us and its ability to draw more light and spread that light into the very fabric of consciousness — or Spirit — all around us. Even better, we can cultivate faith or inner knowing that in reality we are that Light!
So what I am hoping to share from this “aha” moment with all of you is that we need to really, really wake up so that we can stop those negative energy bodies from continuing to swirl around or within us. We need to stop them in their tracks and keep them from impeding on our spiritual progress and, more importantly, on our happiness!
Moods are tricky emotion-based beliefs, for example, and if we give into them, again and again, they can take up tricky patterns in our brain and even create new pathways that take the negativity route. Blame is another example of those routes. Yikes! (More on forgiveness practices here.)
Even the belief that we need a certain amount of sleep or food can hold us back from feeling our true potential and awakening to it. This book, How to Awaken Your True Potential is an excellent source of encouragement for anyone hoping to take this idea to the next step.
One of the stories I find most empowering from its author, Paramhansa Yogananda, is the story of the little lion. In this story, there is a little lion who was orphaned shortly after being born. He was taken in by a flock of lambs. He soon began to eat like a little lamb, make little lamb noises, and jump and play like a little lamb.
Sometime later, a great big lion roamed into the area of the flock and, being hungry, gazed out at the many lambs before him, from which he hoped to make his next meal.
Suddenly he noticed the strangest sight — a grown lion acting just like the other little lambs amongst the herd.
“Impossible!” he thought.
Eventually, the great big lion put aside the thought of his meal due to his curiosity. He chased down the confused lion, who had of course been running away from him, and held the little lion down demanding answers for how he had come to live this way!
Indeed, the little lion, now grown, had to be forced by the great lion to gaze at a reflection of himself in the little pond nearby to discover the truth:
“Do you see?!” the great lion roared. “You are like me! A lion!”
At first the “little” lion refused to look at his reflection. When he finally opened his eyes, he was astonished to see that yes, he and the great lion were of the same breed.
The big lion demanded, “Now ROAR with all of your lion power!”
And the “little” lion roared! Never again did he doubt just who he really was.
Yogananda shared this story as a metaphor for those who are the little lamb-lion: not yet awakened to their full human potential, who still see themselves as meek or weak. He said that in fact, we are all inherently the strong, great lion in spirit – if only we awaken to that Truth!
This story also serves as a visual affirmation that I will resolve to bring into my daily life. I would like to challenge those of you who can — to do the same. In those moments where we usually see ourselves as the little lamb, let us instead replace it with the image of ourselves as a true spiritual warrior — roaring with the power of calm love and courage to live righteously and beautifully into this year.