Elke JohnsonOwner/Instructor @ Joha Yoga
While growing up, I had recurring nightmares of an unknown woman. Her face was blurry and indistinctand her head would float in a circle, round and round. She said nothing to me but it seemed like she had a lot to say and couldn’t. Her anonymity was frightening, and yet she felt akin.
One night, many years later, the woman’s face returned. She was no longer blurry, her face centred, patient and still. Her eyes were luminous, kind, and soft. Her smile compassionate and warm. She felt like pure love. She was me! I was looking at the beautiful, powerful, radiant me. All these years I didn’t even recognize myself. Years of shame, guilt, fear, anger and false perceptions had kept me from seeing the real me. I realized that I no longer had to be tethered to false perceptions or follow my negative, fearful thoughts. The time and effort I had put into pleasing everyone else didn’t matter. From now on I would put the time and effort into finding my own identity and live with happiness. I could live as my free, authentic, amazing self.
Finding yourself is really loving yourself, and it takes time and practice. It’s not easy to unravel years of misconceptions and stop negative patterns but I started simply by witnessing my thoughts as many times as I could. I allowed myself to see the thought, without judgement or any story attached. Every negative statement I made to myself I took a breath, felt into the sensation, and then said thank you and moved on. My thoughts gradually changed to more positive thoughts about myself and others. Gratitude began to grow. Every time I allowed myself to see, softly listen to my breath, and to feel with gentle recognition, my heart began to open wide. I leaned into my own inner resilience in my darkest of times. My own awareness transcended my fear, anger, pain, and replaced it with love and acceptance.
Sit in your own magnificence and be your own witness. Practice gratitude everyday of your life. Be thankful for all of your experiences and live in your own truest, authentic, beautiful expression.