Updated: Jun 9
We’re all on our paths of learning. We are all learning and waking up because we must live in harmony with nature, not against it, to survive on our planet.
We all crave love and connection.
In my third year of University, the teachers went on strike. I had months of free time and had just returned from a trip to Europe for two and a half months with my boyfriend. We broke up soon after our return. During this time, I decided to stay with my family for about a month in North Vancouver. It was my first time living with them again in four years. During this time, I was also beginning to experiment with micro-dosing mushrooms. My biggest fear was about expressing myself and my creativity around them. I did not want them to think I was crazy. Fear keeps us hidden from love. If we can not express ourselves, we can not love ourselves or others. In a state of fear of judgement, we become more critical of ourselves and others.
I learned from my yoga practice, the art of mindfulness and the fact that you can’t solve problems by thinking harder. You solve problems by softening and letting go of the outcome. Writing, for the sake of writing, with no plan or promise to show anyone else, allows for this softening and letting go. From there, space appears for there to be a different path forward. Like when the tidal wave comes in and washes out the beach, the streams choose a new way down to the beach. Writing in a journal for merely writing is like allowing a new path to walk in your mind. Water will always choose the path of less resistance. You will find you do too in your journal. Hopefully, you may learn to follow the path of least resistance in your life as well.
My parents always seemed to tell me, don’t worry, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s a nice sentiment, but not precisely effective phrasing. Teaching yoga has taught me instead to tell myself, ‘let go; everything will unfold in time; you are always exactly where you need to be.’ Visual art in the form of doodling, or finger painting, is a beautiful way to practice letting go. When I host get-togethers, I’ll often have my friends try to draw something for themselves.
“It’s just for fun, don’t have a plan, just draw,” I will tell them, handing them paper and whatever colour drawing utensil they request. Some of my friends get nervous and have a hard time picking a colour. Often, they get frustrated when it doesn’t work the way they expect it to. But eventually, they all come up with something. I am impressed. And they are visibly proud of their work.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for feelings of reward and satisfaction. When I began to bring my yoga practice off of my mat and into my daily life, it was easy for me to notice this natural satisfaction that I would derive from having completed something. I also noticed the lack of happiness and the gripping of desire from the overuse of social media and too much sugar. So why did I feel guilty for doing the things I loved to do?
I believe I had mother culture’s voice too strongly in my head: a cycle that persists, the more time spent scrolling the news feed.
Hearing this voice but not listening to it, I began to tell myself instead, I am beautiful, I am brave, I am here to do what I love to do, what you want to do is calling you too.