You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?
Do you ever feel stuck in a rut and kind of small? Kind of unsure about and incapable of accomplishing your dreams or tackling a challenge? I do.
I can’t quite explain why, but moving to New York last year left me feeling very small. Like itsy bitsy. I hadn’t really identified (or confessed) that I was feeling this way until a few months ago when I was having dinner with 3 of my Brazilian friends who were in town. As we spoke about my new life in NY and what I’ve been up to, they quickly sensed a tone of fear and doubt in my voice. They know me as their confident and successful yoga teacher in Brazil so the doubt they heard in my voice immediately caught their attention. One friend said with great compassion in her voice, “You know Greta, I think somehow you are afraid of New York. This city overwhelmed you. But it shouldn’t. You can handle this.” (Thanks A, H, & S!) She said in a sentence everything I had been struggling with internally for months but I was afraid to admit.
At times we all struggle with insecurity and feeling incapable of accomplishing our goals and dreams.That is what happened to me. It is like I suddenly forgot my strength, courage and everything I have accomplished in my life and I reverted back into a scared and helpless child. I felt very small, incapable, and afraid. Luckily, I had my yoga practice to remind me of something very important.
Yoga teaches that we are powerful beyond our wildest dreams! It teaches that despite our human flaws, trials and tribulations that we are in fact made up of consciousness, total bliss, and pure potentiality. We have everything we need to make our dreams come true. Our desires and dreams, in fact, are the whisper of the Divine trying to create through us. So if the Universe has our back, how then could our dreams be beyond our reach?
Much of the time however, we don’t walk around feeling very powerful! But you see there is this little caveat to the yoga teaching about our bliss and power. It is called forgetfulness. Yep. We forget again and again who we are and what we are truly capable of.
In the popular Indian mythic image of Shiva Nataraja, the great royal dancer, there is another little critter who the dancer stands upon. Apasmara. He is the demon of forgetfulness. The fantastic thing about Indian mythology is that demons aren’t always “the bad guys” just as the Gods and Goddesses are not always “perfect” – in fact in most stories they are far from it! In this iconic portrayal of Shiva dancing, if you look closely enough you will notice that the demon on which he dances is not dead. No, the all-powerful King of the Dance does not kill or eradicate forgetfulness. He lightly dances upon it. Forgetfulness is permitted in the wild, ecstatic dance of creation. You see, when we forget our own light and worth, we have more motivation to engage in the dance of remembering. The dance of remembering is our yoga, prayer, meditation, and all spiritual practice.
The yoga path is a path of remembering, of finding out again and again who we really are and what we are capable of. It is a little like “hide and seek.” Our illuminated nature hides, we seek it, we find it… Then it hides again!
When we feel a little lost and afraid or “small” we can simply remember that this is part of the dance of life. Feeling lost is an opportunity for us to dive more deeply into our practices, prayers and meditations and to remember who we really are!
As Marianne Williamson famously said:
“You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
If you have been feeling a little down, a little broken or somehow small, recognize this as an invitation to recommit to your practice and step fully into the power, beauty, grace and potential of everything you are and everything you were meant to do, be, and create in this lifetime.
Your dreams and desires were given to you for a reason and you have everything you need to make them happen. Look within. You just might find what you’ve been searching for.
You’ve got this. You are made of pure light and joy. Do whatever it takes to remember that and shine on.