Lately, I have been doing a lot of yoga. I get myself to class once or twice a week and I also practice at home. I have been dabbling in and out of yoga since I was 18. But something has just been pulling me to this beautiful practice lately. It has been calling at me to get myself there. To lay still and simply listen. There is definitely something larger than me right now that knows I need it.
I love my teacher. At the start and end of my class she always shares some wise words, an inspirational message or some beautiful insights. I have found that in each class, her words have resonated with me, so deeply. It is as if I am being told exactly what I need to hear.
My most recent class was no different. As I lay there in savasana, her words washed over me. She finished the class with this simple message...
"We are all one. We are all in this together"
So simple. Yet so profound.
+ We are all one -- We are all the same. We are all made of the same stuff. Whether we believe it or not, we all go through similar challenges, similar joys and similar experiences. We are not as different as we may think we are.
+ We are all in this together -- This journey. This life. This process. We are all here, just doing the best we can. We all want the same thing. Happiness. Peace. Love. Fulfilment. We are all on the path just trying to carve out a life that makes our heart sing.
Unfortunately, as a society, I think we have forgotten and completely lost touch with this simple truth.
OUR SOCIETY OF SEPARATENESS
I felt deeply inspired to expand on this teaching in a blog post because I think it is a huge one.
We live in a world where there is a lot of separateness, disconnect and competition. There is war, fighting and hatred. There is racism, sexism and terrorism. There is so much you against me, and us against them.
In the workplace, we compete against each other for promotions and pay rises. Our schools breed rivalry as we work and struggle to be better than our peers. Or politicians fight against each other for right and wrong. As women, we judge and evaluate our fellow sisters so that we can feel superior. On the roads we cut in, cut off and zig zag through traffic in the effort to get ahead of another.
All you have to do is listen to the news and you will hear stories of people against people. You against me. Us against them.
We have been taught to be so focused on ourselves. Our wants. Our desires. Our need to be better, faster, stronger, more successful etc. We have forgotten the most beautiful and powerful truth of why we are really here.
We are here to connect. We are here to love. We are here to serve. We are here to let go of all the crap that we think makes us different, and remember that we are all one. We are all the same.
Creating true connection, starts with each of us as individuals. As we each change ourselves, who we are being, and how we are thinking, gradually the whole world will begin to change. It all starts with us. All great change, starts within us.
To truly connect with another being, we first have to master the ability to connect with ourselves. I believe this is the first step.
Someone who does not know who they are, and does not feel secure in themselves, is much more likely to want to make others feel smaller in an attempt to make themselves feel bigger. This comes from a place of insecurity, separateness and fear. However, someone who is deeply connected with a strong sense of self and feels confident and certain about themselves, will feel comfortable to lift others up and see them become their best.
Take some time to really get to know yourself. Get familiar with your good and bad, your positives and negatives, your strengths and weaknesses. Through getting to know yourself you will see that we are actually not that different from each other. When you are comfortable with your own flaws, you will be less critical and aware of the apparent flaws in others.
+ BE VULNERABLE
You cannot truly connect with another human being unless you are willing to be vulnerable. When we allow other people to see who we really are, good and bad, it tears down the walls that separate us.
Anytime we are living in a false sense of self, protecting ourselves with distance and superiority, we make it impossible for anyone to get close to us. We must be willing to be raw, real, authentic with warts and all exposed. Doing this removes competition. It eliminates you vs. me. It creates a space of truth and oneness and allows two people to see each other for who they really are.
+REFRAIN FROM JUDGEMENT
"Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins" -- Sharon Creech.
How often do you judge another person? Label their actions as good or bad? Pass an opinion on who they are or what they have done? By doing this you are separating yourself and trying to give off the false impression that you are perfect.
When you remember that we are all one, and we are all in this together, then the need to judge another falls away. We can empathise and understand that the other person is just doing the best they can. When we can acknowledge that we too, have made mistakes and done things we are not proud of, we can let other people off the hook when they do it too.
There is no better way to connect with another person, than being of service. To do this you have to get over yourself and make someone else's needs a priority. When you are of service, what you want for yourself does not matter. You are simply there to support and enable another person to get what they need. Being of service is simply about helping another.
To do this you must be humble, generous, loving and kind. It may be as simple as listening to a friend when they are in need, letting someone else take a seat on the bus, doing a favour, lending a helping hand, volunteering your time, giving away something you own.
Whatever it is, it is not about you. You have no hidden agenda. You are not afraid about anyone else becoming better than you, or getting more than you. You simply know that you are equal with this person, and that by serving them, you are in essence serving yourself.