Greetings! I hope you are having an awesome May! It’s so nice to experience a shift in the weather as we move toward warmer days.
I recently taught in Arlington Heights, Illinois (near Chicago) at Pulsation Yoga Studio. Thanks to the owners, Jim and Kathy, for creating a beautiful sanctuary for the practice of yoga. The weekend was so empowering. The workshop was called, “Light On Ganesh”, where I tie in the teachings of Ganesh (the elephant-headed God) into the asanas.
Ganesh is known as the lord of auspicious beginnings, remover of obstacles, and the “gatekeeper” of your mind. On the last day of the workshop I taught a session called, “Elephant Power”, based on this: As a spiritual seeker, you need to cultivate strength like that of an elephant, to follow your heart and stay true to yourself against the greatest odds. This life is not about sitting back waiting for something good to happen. This life is about standing in your power, figuring out what truly lights you up in life, and then setting an intention for yourself and following through every day with action. That’s the beauty and gift of this life of embodiment. When you act from a place of connection to your heart, karma is actively purified and changed. Ganesh is telling us that we have the power to change the course of our lives. Whatever you have created that you are not proud of, you can dis-create and recreate something better, something you can be proud of.
I believe there are stages to living a life of empowerment. We must move through the set of beliefs we all have that are disempowering and habitual. A common disempowering belief goes something like this, “Life sucks, then you die.” Okay. Maybe this is an extreme example. But realistically, we all walk around with disempowering beliefs, such as “I’m not enough. I’m unworthy. I’m unlovable. I don’t have what it takes, etc.” We need to move from being a victim of life to being empowered by life. We move from “Life is happening to me”, to “Life is happening for me.” When life is happening for you, life has your back. You feel uplifted and supported by life. You embrace challenge and failure as learning opportunities. The stumbling blocks in life become stepping-stones to success. From Positive Psychology, “Learn to fail or fail to learn.” You must learn to fail well by receiving the lesson, picking yourself back up, and moving forward, or you will fail to learn and grow yourself.
Life is about growing yourself. Life is about learning. You take on the attitude of the yogi, “Everything in life is for my awakening.” Ganesh urges you to take it one step further. It’s not just shifting from “life is happening to me” to “life is happening for me.” It’s: “I am happening to life.” When you are clear in your heart intention, you happen to life. Life is like an empty white canvas upon which you imprint your unique expression. You “infect the quantum field” with your energy, which changes the field. This summons the universal energy to align with you.
To live with purpose takes strength, fortitude, and tenacity. Strength in this context does not mean brute strength, as in efforting your way through something, but rather, strength as the resiliency of the heart to bounce back. If life has knocked you down seven times, you get up eight times. You need to have a bounce-back attitude.
Palm trees are a good example of strength as resiliency. During a hurricane, palm trees get blown over to almost a horizontal position. While buildings, telephone wires, and the like all get blown down, once the winds subside, the palm trees gradually return to their upright position. And here’s the coolest thing: their roots are strengthened in the process. Living through a storm that threatens their roots, they become stronger. This is true for human beings as well. Yoga is the practice of using everything in life for your awakening. How can I use every challenge I have to make myself stronger? Working through challenges gives you character. Challenges never come to flatten and keep you small. Challenges only come when you are ready for a promotion; when you are ready to rise higher.
Moreover, strength does not mean perfectionism. The strength I’m talking about comes from your inner conviction to stay true to your heart, regardless of your perception of imperfection. Another name for Ganesh is Ekatunda (one tusk). Ganesh has a broken tusk. He, along with several other deities, exhibits a flaw of some kind. Hanuman has a broken jaw. Astavakra was born with the curse of a crooked body. Even with Ganesh’s imperfection, he is still a great being. He is still strong, powerful, and offers his blessings abundantly. Likewise, what would be the possibility for your life if you could embrace your own flaws and imperfections, and not let that stop you from following your heart and offering your gift to this world? If you wait until you think you are perfect, you will never begin.
This hits home for me on so many levels. I’ve been preparing for years to write the first of many Ashaya Yoga™ books, and I’m happy to announce to the world, I have formally begun writing. I commit to complete the first book in about 18 months. I’ve made great strides in my personal process around managing my own dysfunctional perfectionism which caused me to hold off writing for fear of rejection, criticism, and fear of failure. But I can no longer hold back my fire to express my heart through writing. The universe is calling me.
The story of Ganesh’s tusk really speaks to me in that—I’ve been waiting until everything is perfect (i.e. I have the time, inspiration, and courage to speak my truth) before writing the book. Now is the time. Now is the only time. Even with my flaws and imperfections, I choose to write. I align with my heart’s deepest desire. Writing is the most natural thing for me. I’ve been writing music my whole life, sitting at a keyboard (the piano). I’m still sitting at a keyboard, but it’s now a computer keyboard, and I’m writing the music I hear coming through me, which is taking the form of words rather than notes.
Thank you for listening. Thank you for all of your support. I’m excited about the future and I extend my love to each of you to encourage you to have the strength, fortitude, and tenacity, to follow your heart and live your dreams—to live your life destiny path now. Do not delay!
From the Abode of My Heart,