Broken Open

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You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.
Louise L. Hay

It was at the age of 21 when the foundations beneath her started shaking. Nothing like this ever happened before. Within the last year of University is when life got very real. The month was December; her grandmother had just passed away. She was in the midst of writing mid-terms, and on her way to a family wedding In Europe. She did not understand the implications of everything that was happening to her internally, until her body began to send her signs. All those events caused this soul to evaluate her life as she became broken open.

From the experiences in December, it caused upheavals to her mind, body and spirit. Things fell apart and needed to at that point in life. She was shattered into a million pieces. Fear and anxiety got a hold of her, and it felt like a lifelong sentence. This soul had to confront her past and make peace with it. She was quite good at pretending everything was fine and that nothing bothered her internally. It was now time to confront everything that she had avoided. It was essentially time to let go and walk forward.

What is anxiety? It is living in the past and not being centred in the totality of the present moment. Everything that happened to you is over now. I will not go into medical terms, physiological effects, or statistics; however there are many of us who have experienced these symptoms. You will rise from this and see the light, this I promise you. She had to stop carrying things inside her that were weighing her spirit down. Looking back she was holding onto experiences that were not serving her anymore. She had to set herself free like a bird, spread your wings and fly.

It is our birthright to uncover the soul—to remove the layers of fear or shame or apathy or cynicism that conceal it. —Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open

She labelled herself and within the mid-twenties decided to go on medication. It worked for a bit but that even took a toll on her body as she felt the side effects internally. It affected her stomach, sleeping patterns and things just didn’t feel right. By her thirties she went down in dosages, exercised regularly, began to mediate and take control. She began to rise after the storm and shine like the exuberant sun. Coming off medication was the best thing she did for her soul. She was wide awake, and felt every emotion that she needed to feel.

How did I stay grounded and centered during this shift? I dedicated my time to spiritual growth – this encompassed prayer, reading material on inspiration which directed me towards yoga. I became a certified yoga teacher in 2014 and knew that my purpose was to help others heal. Yoga elevated my spirit and I wanted to share this gift. I had to confront parts of myself that I did not want to. It was terrifying , however I felt the veil had been lifted. This was my life and I needed to find peace and surrender to the circumstances. Faith, family, friends and having a clean diet are elements that assisted to healing.

This is my personal story, and what I want to reiterate is that you will rise. You are not alone; everyone faces challenges at some point in their life. Understand your emotions, they are here to guide you and help you foster internal growth. Uncover the layers of yourself, reclaim your soul and never lose faith. Do not see any setback as a limitation, you are braver then you know and stronger for everything that has happen to you, bless you.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

–Jimmy Cliff

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The Spiritual Path

"The further down my spiritual path I go, the less I am able to define.  When I turn inward, I find no words.  Only Light; only Love." ~Laura Jaworski

One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind. —Osho

Walking the spiritual path is within each soul if they chose to follow. It is a deep understanding and appreciation of all religious faiths and ideologies. The emphasis is on love, peace and non-judgment. You begin to realize that there is something greater then yourself. An inner awakening occurs; you are being led by your soul. Spirituality is a calling; once you are aligned to living this way you become awake. Your faith will be tested, challenges will come and you may face adversities. This is all happening to show you how incredibly resilient you are. The trials and turbulent time are there to facilitate your ultimate growth and healing.

I once read that the first 40 years of our life, we are trying to get over the first five years. What does this mean? We all have baggage, past grief, or had a childhood that may have not been the most encouraging. Always remember with each experience you have had in life it shapes your destiny. Observe each experience whether being positive or negative as valuable lesson. Try to always see everything as a blessing as everything is happening for your highest good. You always have a choice and each chapter of your life has significance. You are creating your story each day you are here.

Spirituality is like climbing a steep mountain. You start at the bottom of the hill, as you grow through each lesson and experience you get closer and closer to reaching your potential or even enlightenment. The goal is not to reach the mountain top but to bring awareness of everything that you have learned along the climb. You will learn every day of your life and continue to for as long as you are on the earth realm.

Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.– Richard Rohr

How did I embark on the path to spirituality? I was born into the Sikh religion, and as a family unit we would attend church each Sunday. Prayers, mantras and religious hymns were always played throughout our home. The virtues of faith, compassion, charity and love are aspects of our culture that my parents have passed along. Spirituality has been within me since I was a child not until I was in my teenage years did I really start to question life and its meaning.

It was the summer just before high school was to begin; we had family visiting from Montreal. After having a family brunch each of my siblings and I were presented a narrative from my uncle. It was called Unlimited Power, by Anthony Robbins. I remember reading it and felt so inspired. It was at the pivotal moment of my life I understood that the universe was working for me. I felt protected by angels, assisted by the higher power and a deep connection to my soul.

By my twenties I started to question more about life and its meaning. A dear friend of mine gifted me with the Holy Bible and another part of my soul awakened. Teachings of Master Christ resonated with my soul deeply and I had a deep appreciation for his teachings. I read anything spiritual I could get my hands on from past-lives, angels, and self-development. I wanted to absorb all the material I could and now realize it was all here to foster my growth. Yoga came into my life and changed my spirit in so many ways. It allowed me to feel so alive and fostered inner healing.

The Spiritual path has many twists and turns and bends in the road. There are many times when I question the higher power to why I face challenges. When the obstacles arise, I have learned to become silent and sit with meditation. I listen to the divine messages that come within. I chose this path for a reason, not only for myself but to guide others along the way. We all hold the miracle of the holy greatness within us. The path was chosen for all of us, cherish it and always know that you are a blessing to everyone you meet.

Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives. —Brené Brown

 

 

Sacredness of the Root Chakra

dsc02230Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. – Kurt Vonnegut

The Root Chakra is the first chakra of the Vedic Chakra energy system. This is known as the as the Manipura Chakra energy centre in Sanskirt (ancient Indian language). This energy centre represents your connection to your ancestors, tribe, family and the beloved Mother Earth. For many, I included 2016 was a year of trials, tribulations and a great deal of inner transformation. It appears that there were lessons to be learned, understood, and to keep self-love in the forefront. I kept hearing of unexpected illnesses, unpleasant news and misfortunes. With realizing all of this chaos happening around me, I decided to delve into learning more about the Chakra system and what they really mean. I would like to invite all readers into an introduction to learn about chakras.

What are Chakras?

Chakras are seven energy centres in your body that draw energy from the earth and circulate through are physical body. They circulate from the base of our spine to the top of your head. When one chakra is out of balance we feel it internally and our health can be affected. For example, my root chakra has become weak since May 2016. I had felt pain in my lower back and developed a form of sciatica. This tells me that I need to support myself and practice ways to enhance self-love and deepen my connection with nature. They beauty of chakras is that there are various ways to enhance our energy centres and begin to restore them. This can be done with aromatherapy, mediation, yoga, reiki and more.

Root Chakra:

The Root chakra anchors itself to the earth. It is located in your back moving down towards your legs as well. Qualities related to this chakra are patience, structure and the ability to make your dreams come true. Questions to ask yourself with regards to your root chakra are: Do you feel supported in life? Are you living your passions? It is known as the mother archetype and associated with Archangel Michael. When one is feeling off balance it is important to nurture thyself just like a mother would to their child. It is essential to adhere to your intuition, follow your gut. Be your individual support system and love yourself immensely through any upheavals you face. We all may encounter additional tests during the the course of 2017, please remember to stay positive. Your dreams are manifesting and time has come for you to take the leap of faith and fly, don’t look back and ascend above it all. Keep focused on your desires, the universe will provide the rest

To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.–Simone Weil

Health associations with Root Chakra:

My root chakra has been stagnant, run down and fragile over the last few months. Aliments that can happen when we are not grounded are with the kidneys and skeletal system. You may feel pain in your legs or hips as well. It is so very important to connect with your inner child and write down how you feel on a daily basis. Where this is pain coming from and is there an emotional feeling behind it? Question your present circumstances in life, learn to let go. Try to find answers on your own, go internally and listen to the authentic voice inside. After months of going to health care professionals I finally have decided to just sit with the pain and realize that my body is actually talking to me. The questioning has intuitively brought forward things that I need to work on. These areas of insight are to do with; healthy boundaries, self-worth, speaking up for myself and releasing fear.

How to enhance the Root Chakra:

The colour red is associated with the root chakra. Wear this colour when you feel like you need to get centered. Yoga postures, mediation, being in nature, will all help this chakra become balanced. Nature is free medicine and available to everyone. Always know you are in charge of your life and can change anything at any given time. Reflect on this year and make the changes you need to move forward. Adhere to your inner spirit, recite affirmations and keep yourself happy! Nothing is permanent and you can move mountains.

When you touch the celestial in your heart, you will realize that the beauty of your soul is so pure, so vast and so devastating that you have no option but to merge with it. You have no option but to feel the rhythm of the universe in the rhythm of your heart.
― Amit Ray

The Not SO Conventional Yogi

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Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.
Amit Ray

Who and what makes a Yogi? I contemplate over this question frequently and feel I stand in the middle. Google search defines a Yogi as someone who is proficient in yoga. I have been a yoga instructor for about two years now. In the beginning of December 2016,  I participated in a Restorative Yoga Training in Toronto, Canada. It was absolutely enlightening to be around other yogi’s, to learn from one another and share stories. One thing was evident; there are many of us who may not fit the conventional definition of a yoga teacher. I believe this translates to honoring thy authentic self. Not every spirit is the same, we are all unique individually. This was an ongoing topic of discussion while on training, one that held my attention.

My path to yoga started in 2014 when I pursued a dream on becoming a yoga instructor. The message was clear to my soul; I’m at service to others while teaching. It is an electric surge of energy which happens internally when I teach yoga.

Now here is my truth, I thought for the longest time that I needed to be a vegetarian, only be positive, wear less makeup, purchase particular yoga brands and resist my passion for fashion. I was in utter denial of who I actually am. I thought that in order to be a part of the yoga community I had to be all of those things listed. Truth is I’m not the most serious person and think I’m a comedian with my jokes.! I sometimes say “bad words”, consume poultry, and love clothing. Dressing up in a little black dress along with a pair of high heels is exhilarating! I have layers to my soul and I think we all do as humans. Comparison happens from time to time and it’s perfectly normal. We often label ourselves on who we should be or not be. When I started owning who I’m is when I felt liberated.

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. — Brené Brown

Years ago, I remember watching a film called Shrek, — the two main characters Shrek and Donkey were having a conversation on life. (And yes I’m reflecting on a children’s movie for they really offer insight about life!). To recap Shrek and Donkey were having a conversation how Shrek is like an onion; he has layers to his personality. In hindsight we all have layers, I can honestly tell you that there are times when all I want to do is meditate, practice yoga and be in complete solitude. On the contrary there are occasions when I want to have a glass of wine, surf the internet for fashion trends and get out for a night of dancing. Our personal layers are a gift and by owning who you are, you come into alignment in body, mind and spirit.

I read an excellent book that has always resonated with me. It is called Spiritual Junkie, by Gabrielle Bernstein. What made so much sense is that I’m a spiritual being in the modern day world. The author was real, emphasized how she mixed and lived in the spiritual vs. not spiritual worlds. To me that is sheer brilliance and I admire her for being so true to her core. I have so much comfort knowing that when practicing yoga it comes from my heart and that all which matters. I have not been to an ashram, and have only been to India as a baby, however I love yoga. It’s really about finding the fine balance within yourself and doing what works for you.

Being a yoga practitioner is an inward journey. It is accepting who you are wholeheartedly. I learn something new each time I teach about myself and others. It has nothing to do with the material world or anyone else. Love yourself for what you have to offer and share your gift of this beautiful practice. You can be a fashionista, love Mc Donald’s but be the best darn teacher in your city. What ultimately defines who you are—is your soul, the light within.

You are like a seed; your greater beauty lies not on the outside, but within.
Matshona Dhliwayo