In this chapter, I will discuss what I feel are three of the most important things I have learned on my path to help me keep going and stay in balance. I am going to be the first one to admit I do fall off of my centre, I do have my own obstacles, I do get stuck sometimes, I do forget these very important lessons every now and then with only the greatest of the reminders from the universe available to save me from my carelessness. Below are three helpful hints to remember, if you can.
1. YOU ARE NUMBER ONE! YOU ARE NUMBER ONE! YOU ARE NUMBER ONE!
YOU ARE NUMBER ONE!
I truly mean that, in all senses of the word, You are number 1!
You are the best! You are a success! You are what matters and YOU COME FIRST! You are already accomplishing so much and even we are celebrating you (refer to above photographs), you are truly the most important part of your life! On your journey at this time in this life, truly you are the most important being. Some of you may say, this is selfish, this is ego, some may say what about my kids? What about my job? What about my this or that, my house, car, cat? Cat's are really, really important but not more than YOU, Number 1 Y...O...U!
I mean really
You know you all love cat pictures and videos, just look up the stats. Wait! Keep reading first!
We all have the tendency to get stuck in our sacrifice of ourselves for our.... well whatever it is you sacrifice yourSelf for, it's your life, i could write a list on and on but you know your life and you know already where you are making sacrifices for something. You already recognise that part of you which is missing attention or lacking fulfilment. If that does not feel like you and you are completely fulfilled, this lesson is still important for anyone to remember who is living a life of... well for anyone alive, living a life of any kind. You are number one, you are only useful to anyone else if you take full care of yourself, you deserve to be taken care of fully, you are all you can be, you deserve to be taken care of! Remember, you come first!
What can you really offer to others if you have no energy for yourSelf, if you leave yourSelf unacknowledged? I will tell you, nothing, no-thing, a big whole lot of nothing at all. You must start with you, "be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi, this means if you want to help other people you must find the way to help yourself first to feel the best that you can. You are obligated to provide for yourself everything you need to be the absolute best you can be and this will give you everything you wish you could give to others, making the whole giving and receiving process easier, simpler, less complicated.
If you want others to be happy, be happy, do anything you can to start your day off right and be as happy as you can. If you want others to be calm and peaceful, calm down, be peaceful... see how it works, bla bla yadda yadda law of attraction. It is more than that, YOU are your reality, make you the best you can be and your reality has to follow. Your needs come first, on the personal level, emotional level and physical level, you can pray the secret and manifest all you want left right and centre but if none of you is left when it arrives, trust me on this one, you won't have any idea what to do with it or power to do with it what you are meant to.
If you feel like shit, let yourself be, relax, take a step back and release yourself of responsibility to do anything you have run out of energy for, you deserve to take care of you! Meditate, go to the spa, go to yoga, drink more water, love yourself more each day and let each way of loving yourself be an accomplishment. Trust me, it is better for everyone around you if you meditate.
It is better for everyone around you if you can give them those amazing muffins you made with a real smile and not a feeling of "you f^%&s better love this it took me half my day just to make this shit for you" why not choose a feeling of, "wow I feel so great today i should make some muffins and share them with my friends who aren't even expecting it from me and i just do it because i have the time, energy and love in my heart". It takes longer to say but it makes it better for you in the end. Spoken from experience!
2. Eat Healthily!
Everyone has said it before and everyone will say it again. I for one, can hardly convey how important it is to at the very least intend every single day to eat healthily. I also for one am one of the least capable resistors of delicious treats of all kinds made of almost anything especially that blasted gluten!!!!! This is all a mind trick however since at 3/4's (okay maybealf) of each of the last 3 years I have manage to make myself my perfect little gluten free and vegan bubble of retreats, training, and medicine ceremonies leading to many days of dieta, infinite smoothie cleanses, never ending organic vegan treats, especially the kilos of homemade ceremoniously treated cacao turned chocolate divinity! WOW I LOVE FOOD... sometimes i love it too much!
All of these beautiful delights handcrafted by SAHA cheffery, all gluten free, vegan and of all the other good things, made specially within our retreats and training programs!
Photos by: Lady Bouley
This love of food can get us into trouble as yogis,healers, lightworkers, fairies, aliens wannabe/would be/are being vegans for the sake of the consciousness of the world to change and for the sake of returning balance to mother earth, sometimes these principles are easily compromised.Travelling, enough said. Or like the time you are keeping a sacred fire and nearby friends and supporters, guided by the ancestors nonetheless, bring you bison or venison stew (or both), fry bread and wojapi, AHO MITAKUYE OYASIN, was I ever full! Or when a seriously Vegan friend brings you road kill rescued venison and you keep it in your freezer for a month until your house is free of students, retreat guests and vegan principles to bedazzle them into change, is this hypocrisy..... yes, but it is chosen hypocrisy and it is spoken honestly about, like now and all those who have come to be with us, have found out my sneaky tricks by the end. I know most of you are connected to this process.... but it's christmas.... well my grandma made it... well my mom made it .... well it is chocolate, a little milk can't hurt.
OR could it DUN DUN DUN...... http://watchdocumentaries.com/cowspiracy-the-sustainability-secret/
I choose to consciously eat what my body tells me to and I choose to pray to every part of what I am eating whether it comes from plant or animal, i choose to be aware of all of my choices and to do as much as I can on a personal level to offer balance to a system which is based on the slavery of animals, that is for sure. I also choose the moments i am overtaken by cravings and eat a whole bag of chips and 4 ounces of smoked salmon to myself (sustainable catch, locally produced, prayed to as a sacred gift from god) none the less, i eat that with all of the love and all of the guilt wrapped up in a nice little bow of, I forgive myself, and I pray that we all learn to bring ourselves into the best of health and happiness. I am not offering that i condone the system as it is, but I am also not one to be rigid %100 of the time in any way. I am learning that even our choices of belief which feel good to us to fulfil some purpose are actually often blocking us just as much as our other issues, emotional or otherwise, so to let go into the flow has actually proven to provide a much more loving life of forgiveness for myself in all aspects of my creations and choices. Try it: "I apologise, I forgive myself, I thank Myself, I love Myself, I am love, I am love, I am love" then throw that hamburger to the dogs and say HARE KRISHNA, Govinda Gopala, I am free! ;-)
Either way you flow, what is to remember is to eat healthily, in balance of your needs! Know that the top inflammatory foods are, gluten, potatoes, white rice, white sugar, sugar, alcohol and all of your other favourite, you know to be less than good for you indulgences you just can not resist! SO put that shit down and buy some buckwheat, cashews and spirulina and you're flying off to the races! There are so many ways to make life better and to make food treat you better in your life. You can do it, eat more plants, spare more animals, eat organic, change the market, eat Fairtrade, what would you want to get paid? Every bite of chocolate is someone else's poverty if it isn't fairtrade! So do your best to remember, this is your life and you want to enjoy it, when that bad mood strikes, what did I eat yesterday/today is probably your first indicator of where you may have gone wrong? Feel trapped? So do cows! Feel lost? So do baby sheep without their maaaamaaaas. Feel anxious? Check out a chicken farm? Feel fishy? That can't be so bad, well at least that's what I keep telling myself.
Some of you might make the argument that vegetables have feelings too, which yes of this I am certainly true, but as a spiritual medium and a mushroom lover (all the kind) you learn that plants actually agree with you eating them when they talk to you and say, please use me for this, please use me for that, eat me, i love the sun, thanks for the water, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy i get to be part of a salad! They sound like gnomes really, and they wish also not to be enslaved, always to be asked for their bounty and to be taken care of with love and compassion. If you can talk or play music for your houseplants before you snip off some herbs why not jump into the nearest slaughter house on packing day and sing the pigs a song, it's gonna be your bacon!
Some of you may make the argument that I must be absolutely VEGAN 100% of the time, and I say to you, yes I agree, I am loving myself along the way to that transformation, taking one day at a time in all aspects in order to purify myself and re-align my physical needs to support the conscious evolution of this planet! Thank you also, so much for doing your part!
3. BE YourSelf
Sounds simple right, Be yourself, "well I am me so that should be easy"! Yes it should be and I hope for you that it is! In this modern day and age of instagramBots and facebookAds and linkedins-whatever the hell linkedin is for- there is so much pressure around us to at least be something. What is the something if it is not you? Is it the best online marketer this side of Timbuktu, seems to be the requirement these days, no? Maybe its to #InstaCamera your best #InstaYogaPose for your #Instawhatever account (stay tuned for instapickle.com) to get the best #hashtag as instantly as all the world can see it. Maybe you are just sharing your passion and you want to be noticed so you do whatever you can just to satisfy the need to see as many thumbs ups as possible... i hear they call those "likes" now. Thumbs up still means, "hey friend, great job", but is it really if it doesn't actually reflect who you REALLY ARE.
Who am I really? One of my absolute favourite questions to ask all of our "healees" "students" and otherwise... Who am I really? I feel this question is one of the most important you can never really get an answer to, but to affirm within yourself that whoever you are you want to BE YOU and be authentically WHO YOU ARE. This choice comes with the understanding that you are great, you have lots too offer and you are the one people want to see, your authentic Self is what people want to connect to, or they wouldn't, if they already don't maybe you are in a place of self discovery to decide Truly who you are. That is a magical and wonderful place to be in and you deserve to discover your essence and let it flow forth like the fountain of awesome that you can be when you let yourself just be. Remember, You are number 1!
Below is me being who I thought I needed to be, It didn't work:
Clothes and lack thereof, yes mine (old and from thrift shopping or gifts), yoga yes me, nature and being on top of rocks yes me, InstaYoga, not me. These were all taken in my attempts to train more men as Yoga teachers, i thought, well look at all these handsome yoga men doing half naked arm balances with 20000 followers on instagram, ego says "wow look at all of those likes, i need that" #desperate #failed. I am totally okay with that as, this was not me, this was me scrambling to be what the now "Yoga Industry" demands of me. This inauthentic presentation of who I am, literally lead to nothing, or did it?
Below is me now, being myself, in whatever life presents me even though i still don't really know wtf is going on half the time as I am just in the flow of the universe itself and holy om is the flow as BIG as the universe itself.
In my life now, BEing mySelf means being whatever I can to connect to myself and others in a good and healing way as much as possible. This goal is one that I falter from when i get lost in my mind and my illusions of non-success. The age old question: am i enough? Am I good enough? Am i valuable? Don't pretend you don't share these thoughts sometimes, all I have learned which helps these feeling is just to keep BEing mySelf and letting go of the feelings which hold me back from shining, it may be less than easy when I have a million billion things going on in all of the worlds, multi-dimensionally and physically, but it is my work and it is my lesson. My authenticity and honesty is all I have left, I have done everything else I can and that everything else is running out of energy, now all I can do is BE ME and offer you mySelf to help you learn about BEing yourSelf. So: I AM ENOUGH, I AM GOOD ENOUGH, I AM VALUABLE, I AM MYSELF!
Love yourself, Be yourself, Live Your Life, BE YOUR POWER AND DESIGN YOUR REALITY. Remember you are NUMBER 1!