In my twenties, I was a student and an adventurer, in my thirties, life’s hurdles made me know my invincibility and my weaknesses. Now, in my middle thirties, I have, finally!, set up boundaries and reflexes that activate when things don’t align with who I am and what I need in life. I have only come to know who I am and what I need through the positive experiences and the difficulties. Sitting with the experiences in my life have helped my true self’s core be recognized as my own. Yes, sometimes I fall back into old patterns, but slowly, I am catching them before the investment is too great. No matter what, you and I, our true selves, have 100% average of getting through stuff, so if an old pattern resurges it is only because there is a lesson to be learned.
According to yoga philosophy, this unchanging part of you is known as the “seer”—the cit, drasta (drg), or purusa—that which experiences or “sees” the world through the lens of the mind. As Patanjali explains in the Yoga Sutra, the mind—which includes your thoughts, emotions, and even the sensory input you receive from your body—is the instrument of perception through which the seer engages with the world around you.
The seer is what you might think of as your inner voice or guide. It’s often referred to simply as the Self. It’s your true essence, and yoga teaches that this essence remains stable no matter what happens around you or to you, whether you feel connected with this part of you or far removed from it.- KATE HOLCOMBE
Occasionally, we aggrandize tumultuous experiences, pain and unhealthy relationships because we see them, in retrospect, as lessons we had to go through. I believe that the universe puts the same person, situation, event in front of us over and over to see if we have evolved enough to not make the same mistake again. There are three things I do to identify if a situation or a person doesn’t provide positive growth in my journey.
- Become aware of your thoughts. If you are having to talk yourself through emotions that aren’t positive because of doubts, insecurity or not feeling safe with vulnerability, take note of why they are coming up. What actions have led to them? What can you do to quiet them and make them positive? Talk to yourself like if you were the person you love the most in the world, you should be. Also, listen to what they are saying about the situation. Do they feel hurt? Are they worried? Is it positive? Negative?
- Ask yourself how you are doing? If your first response is ok, ask what is ok? Do you feel content, is this person’s attitude or space’s energy weighing you down? Do not be a bull blinded and forward moving, know what you are stepping into and what you are stepping away from.
- Step into silence. If you are always on the go you don’t get to experience and process your self’s truth. Today I went through a million emotions and activities, but until I decide to step into silence and meditate I wasn’t able to realize that I was hurt. Tears flowed and I realized I was falling back into patterns. The universe was testing me again. I then connected to my self through more meditation and asana.
Finally, there comes the time where you have to make the choice to walk away or stick it out. This can be hard and scary. It can mean leaving a job, a relationship or moving to a different country where the culture is more aligned to the life you want to lead. I have learned that we can’t embody happiness or positivity for any space but the one we hold. That the choices of who you surround yourself with can become cathartic to our evolution or keep us stagnant.
Listen to the self in silence.