Stay In Touch

Listen to this post:

“Yoga begins with listening. When we listen, we are giving space to what is.” —Richard Freeman

I began studying subtle yoga–listening–in 2010, but I still consider myself a beginner. I try to maintain a beginner’s mindset because the most fruit develops when I stay open to and carefully listen for the present-moment cues and messages around me.  I have found that when I drop this beginner’s mindset, I make dangerous assumptions about what I think I know.

Recently I picked up a ten-year old journal and read some very wise words, words that happen to be as true today as they were then. Upon reflection, I realized I had lost something. I had put aside pen, paper, and innocent curiosity to focus on what I’d learned, what I thought I knew.

Three years of working on a book, creating a website, and learning the never-ending intricacies of social media, etc. left me missing the fruitful inquiries with my inner teacher, and the timeless wisdom that comes with listening for them and learning from them. I decided to begin journaling again to reclaim my beginner’s mindset. 

I’d fallen for a familiar catch-22 that occurs when we stop listening within to pursue our external goals, to share our knowledge. In our attempts to share with others, to know things, we can lose touch with our deepest essence, our Supreme Light. 

This Supreme Light is called by many names: Source, God, Consciousness, etc. Regardless of what name you prefer, it is the same sustaining force that nourishes all of us, everything. It is inseparable from our inner teacher because it is our inner teacher! 

I’m intentionally choosing to come back to this inner place of wisdom teachings, to employ discipline in limiting my external focus. Realized masters and gurus teach: God exists just as much within us as around us. That this unending, cyclical fountain of goodness, when tapped, reveals whatever is needed for well-being at any time—when we begin to listen in order to stay in touch. 

Perpetual external focus wears us down. There are many forces counting on this means to gain control over humanity. The failsafe antidote to this external pressure is meditation and keeping the company of like-minded souls who want to remain deeply, spiritually committed to kindness and compassion throughout their lives, regardless of the outer trends and threats.

True spirituality lies in seeing what’s in front of us and deciding to do the right thing, even if doing that right thing is unpopular or difficult. We can endeavor to acknowledge other’s points of view, without adding charge or venom, even if we do not agree with them. Their world is appearing as they are. Collectively, this world is appearing as the multitudes want it to. 

I will not be persuaded of a narrative in which evil wins. I am not weak. I know there is a bigger picture, a love story, for me, for us, to write, paint, dance, and create together. To achieve this, citizens of this planet will need to attune back to their inner wisdom, even if long forgotten. 

All indigenous cultures have some form of these teachings: observation, respect, care, preservation, reverence, sharing. To recollect these wise ways, we must stay in touch, literally. 

Here are a few ways how we can work toward this goal:

  1. Notice the natural world every day. Observe the trees, sit under one, feel its shade, its bark, its roots. 
  2. Discover birdsong. Listen to the birds sing. What are the different tones and melodies? When do they begin singing in the morning? Let the vibratory quality of their call be felt within your body. 
  3. Feel the quality of your clothing’s fibers. Are they wool or cotton? Do they feel light or heavy? Soft or scratchy against your skin? 
  4. Connect to fire by looking for the sun. Is it blazing bright or hidden by cloud cover? Light a candle, or an outdoor firepit (if safe!), and become absorbed in the dancing, metamorphosizing flames. What makes you feel fiery in life?
  5. Touch water. Drink a glass of it. Is it warm or cool? Appreciate its life-sustaining properties. Go swimming in a lake, naked, alone, or with safe friends. Feel how the water bathes, cleanses, and caresses your body.

We are not designed to be in front of a screen all day long. Much to the chagrin of all those who profit from this tendency of over-stimulated, under-nourished individuals, we are sensing, feeling and keenly intuitive animals. 

If you do not feel in touch with yourself, you CAN remedy this! Grab your childlike innocence, your beginner’s mindset, and discover the timeless wisdom that exists within. It feels good! It signals to your body that you care enough to protect it. To begin to listen to and love yourself through your innate inner wisdom. 

One by one, as we heed this truth, we become happier, more peaceful, and beneficial human beings, to ourselves and to everything we touch. 

Please stay in touch. This is what all great mothers ask of their children. And for good reason. 

Image credit: Laeton & Sanderson