Who Are You?

I’m just finishing an exhilarating 2 days at the Fields of Yogis festival in Cedar Rapids Newbo district.  People’s openness and desire to grow, transform and be a brighter light is infectious.  It is so helpful to spend time around like-minded people in sangha, or community, as a powerful reminder of how good we can really feel.

This weekend, one of the questions I explored with students was “who are you”. If we know the stuff we’re made of, we function better in the world.  Our western culture has taught us that there is something wrong with us.  We are led to believe that if we can just figure out why we are suffering, and then “fix it”, that we will feel better.  (The billion dollar self-help industry is predicated on this idea….let me explain what is wrong with you and then here are the 10 steps to fix it).

The yoga tradition has a completely different vantage point for answering the question “who are you”. It believes that each of us is fully whole, unbroken, and containing a basic and intrinsic goodness.  Furthermore, because of this we all have the capacity to live from this more joyful and blissful state.  Whenever I explain this philosophy, it’s as if my students (and myself included) take a collective sigh.  We all resonate with the idea that we are intrinsically good people with great capacity for happiness, even if it’s not the current state we find ourselves in.

We forget who we are and suffer.  We come home to who we are and thrive.  This is the game of life.  We keep forgetting but then have moments of remembrance where we feel alive, full, and pulsing with joy.  It’s these moments we all live for because it’s when we are truly aligned with who we are designed to be.

These moments come for all of us, and they come more often and with greater consistency when we are dedicated to our practices of yoga and meditation.  The practices clear away the blockages and stress that block our connection to who we are.  Even yogis forget who they are, just less often!

As you read this, remind yourself how amazingly whole, beautiful, balanced and powerful you truly are.  The world needs all of us to remember our greatness, come alive, and shine brighter!