As this year ends, I have been reflecting on all that I have experienced this year and the current need to be still. This past year, I have had to seep in my deepest fear so it no-longer had the agonizing grip on me. I have had the immense pleasure and joy of experiencing my efforts in building a yoga curriculum for the past few years come into fruition. Seven amazing humans are about ready to graduate and four other gifted and amazing humans from the Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy portion. I have put myself out into the world fully. It has been lonely at times and knowing there could be rejection. However in the process, my heart stayed open. This year, I have been able to speak at three organizations and two town-hall meetings regarding self-care, trauma, and yoga. However, as the year progressed I felt something was deeply not aligned with how I am called to be as a entrepreneur or a person in the business of yoga.
In our yoga teacher training, each month we practice one of the yamas or niyamas. I participate in this practice as well. December has been Aparigraha, the last of the five yamas of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. It often translates to ‘non-greed’, ‘non-possessiveness’, and ‘non-attachment’. The yamas are essentially moral guidelines by which to live with regard to our relationship with ourselves, and the world around us. This important yama teaches us to take only what we need, keep only what serves us in the moment, and to let go when the time is right.
"Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction" - Krishna
There was a link between Aparigraha and how I wanted to be in the business of yoga. I have been able to do this in my personal life. It has been one of the freedoms I have been granted from self-awareness and an evolving spiritual practice. But, how do I practice this in my business? Especially when it is not yet even three-years old. The basis of our society is wrapped around the possessiveness, over doing, and the ideas of who we think we are or should be. Our ideas insist that this way is right, or that way is right. We defend our ideas. We justify our ideas. And we spend huge amounts of energy being attached.
So, basically, Krishna in the quote above was saying, it's not the destination, it's the journey. After some time, I relented and surrendered the destination completely.
So often I have worried if I will 'make it' or am I ‘good enough’. When I put my Dharma out into the world, I somehow lost the reason why I started in the first place.
Like all of the yamas, aparigraha continues to reveal hidden layers and depths over time. Just being mindful of it, reading about it, and writing about it has helped me to understand why and how to practice it. There is such freedom and spaciousness of letting go of things that we don’t need. Stuff that we don’t need. Ideas that we don’t need. People that we don’t need. As my dear friend, Micah Mclaughlin say's, what opens you keep and what constricts you, get rid of.