“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson
Thanks to my friend, Jeannie, for a reminder of the above quote. It reminds me of the Rumi poem about "why are we still in prison when the doors are so wide open?" Why, when we are limitless, do we so often limit ourselves? Fear? Money? Guilt?
We often create myths about ourselves: who we think we are, how we present ourselves to others, to the world, to our parents, co-workers, spouses, friends. We put boundaries around what we can or cannot do ("I don't cook. I'm not a morning person. I don't work well with certain people."). We create a character of ourselves that others can be proud of, show off, live with, etc. Sometimes, this self gets so blurred into the "real Self", we often start to feel lost. Which is when many turn to spiritual or inward practices, such as yoga, meditation, self-inquiry, and/or therapy. When we begin to, once again, ask "Who am I really?" "What the hell is the point of all this pretending, acting, and myth making?" "Why am I limiting myself to these constructs of myself?"
In some way, these myths make us feel secure-enclosed in our own self-made box. As a wonderful, recent teacher of mine said, "Boundaries can be freeing," both in the context of asana practice and life itself, and I believe this to be true, as well. But I also believe we can go overboard with those boundaries and start to suffocate under the rules and restrictions we might impose upon ourselves, if we are not careful. I feel that boundaries should be malleable to a certain degree and we should always discern when they can expand or contract, as needed. We are constantly changing; the world is constantly changing. Shouldn't our boundaries go with that flow? Or are the boundaries necessary to stay on a certain path, to maintain a practice and a routine?
I notice that this post has more questions in it than answers. As always, I am happy about that. God forbid the questions ever cease. And I am also pleased that I hardly ever know the answers to these questions. This continues to make life very interesting. The inquiry, the exploration, and the curiosity ARE the essence of my practice. May it always be so...
Happy to be teaching, learning, and loving life, observing the myths I create about myself and noticing when and how they change.
Love and a happy Full Moon,