I heard a great teaching from Rolf Gates recently: Choose to be the adult. He gave this teaching to his advanced teacher trainees for their homework assignment over the holidays. This is a brilliant assignment for everyone! As I’ve reflected on this teaching, I’ve had profound insights. Choosing to be the adult is hard work and is usually the last thing I think about when visiting family over the holidays. We all have a need to be heard, understood, and loved for who we are and what we are feeling in the moment. But most adults do not have the skills to offer this kind of listening. When hurt or insulted, we tend to fall into a knee-jerk reaction or pattern of either lashing out (the maximizer) or disappearing and going silent (the minimizer) whenever our feelings are hurt.
Greetings! I want to talk about going for excellence. We sometimes settle for mediocrity, only doing the minimum in order to get by. Especially when no one is looking, we feel we can get away with doing less. But we come from an excellent universe, a universe that rewards those who strive to be the best they can be and make the best out of whatever they’ve been given. Shri means auspiciousness, alignment, or divine beauty, and is the yoga of excellence. When you live a life of excellence, you honor Shri. Shri is the highest intention of the universe. To align with Shri is to create order, clarity, and beauty in order glorify the gift of life.
This month I have been thinking about acceptance. Acceptance is one of the gateways to the heart. It’s the passport to freedom. Only when you accept yourself and the moment just as it is in all of its beauty and chaos can you rest easefully in your heart.
I’m not talking about the everyday variety of acceptance. I’m talking about deep, rich, pure acceptance, which always brings you back to the moment and back to your heart.
In pure acceptance, you are able to let go of regret and disappointment. Hidden within acceptance is forgiveness. Forgiveness is necessary to be able accept fully. Real forgiveness is the capacity to forgive the unforgivable. Until you reach this level of forgiveness you live under the burden of resentment. Pure forgiveness releases the burden from you and fills you with ease, spaciousness, and freedom.
But it’s not always possible to forgive right away. Forgiveness takes time to integrate. If you’re not able to forgive right away, can you be okay with that? Forgiveness comes in stages. Unless you’ve integrated and dealt with the judgment, anger, resentment, and betrayal that underlies the inability to forgive, you will have premature forgiveness. Honor yourself. Accept yourself for the time it takes to integrate and move through the steps necessary to reach full forgiveness. Create healthy self-boundaries. But be clear of the difference between setting appropriate healthy boundaries and pure forgiveness. Can you set the boundary and also forgive fully? This is the work of acceptance.
There are two kinds of acceptance. Passive acceptance and active acceptance. Passive acceptance is mixed with apathy and complacency. Often you accept the situation but you do nothing about it. Usually in this type of acceptance, you have […]
In anticipation of the upcoming teacher training, starting this September, we wanted to start sharing some inspiring stories on how the training has transformed the lives of so many in the past.Â Please feel free to share your experience with us below in the comments!
Much love to this incredible world of seekers that surrounds my everyday.
“I just wanted to write you a note to thank you both again for creating such an amazing teacher training experience.
I feel transformed on a cellular level. The energy block I carried in my throat for so long since my father’s death has dissolved, and I am able to speak from my heart with confidence. I found every session of the training brought me to a new level of understanding, self acceptance and renewed committment. One of my favorite sessions was the one about transformation – how the imaginal cells in a caterpillar transform it into a butterfly. I was so inspired that day to be an “imaginal cell” in my community – to help raise levels of consciousness, starting with myself first and then to any student that was interested. I felt a surge of renewed purpose, reminded of a much bigger picture and connection.
Your method for bringing us so far along in our spiritual growth has been extraordinary and I am so deeply grateful. I also wanted to just thank you for making the final ceremony so incredibly beautiful and special, so much thought and time and effort went into it, we were all blown away.
For your continued efforts to evolve, learn, grow and improve and share, I am eternally grateful.”
- Kerri Howland
Although necessary, self-acceptance is just the beginning. It is the doorway to the heart where the vast illuminative state of awakened consciousness awaits your arrival.
Awakened consciousness is already pre-programmed within you. There is nothing you need to add or remove artificially. It is in your DNA. The slow gradual progressive awakening of your inborn potential comes about naturally. This process of awakening can be nurtured and sped up through the practice of yoga, pranayama, meditation and mantra. As the seed eventually becomes itself as the tree, so too, you eventually become your fullest self as the whole universe.
I am so inspired to practice now, more than ever before, because I have a clearer sense that practice is the sole purpose, the deepest expression of my longing to truly know myself and free myself from the self-limiting beliefs that block me from living every moment in the Absolute. Although I have no delusions about living in higher states of consciousness, I’m beginning to get a glimpse of what’s possible.
I believe this is everyone’s potential, to live with greater clarity, greater strength, with an expanded, unbiased vision of life, with such stillness and depth of perception that you are able to see all that is with flowing compassion and acceptance. From this space within, there is nothing else to do but savor and serve the miracle and great mystery of life.