Svadhaya, roughly translated as self-study, is a brutally challenging and humbling practice that requires the individual to actually take a step back and take a really hard and long look at all the ways they move and rest, connect and detach, breath, think, believe and ultimately BE in their life.
This feeling of shame is something I have been working with for as long as I can remember. I don’t know how it came to be but it’s there and it has grown roots. When shame rears its ugly head, I eventually find the will to relentlessly blaze my way through, even if it is only a spot of light in the darkness.
Opportunity exists in all of life’s experiences. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it has taught me about how much I rely on and need human contact. It has taught me how much I thrive on connecting and working with people, not screens. And more than that, I’m realizing how important it is that I regularly and genuinely connect with the people and places that fill me up.
I study Ayurveda because I feel it is a comprehensive system of communication that breaks down and simplifies the patterns of psychological habit, relational responsibility, emotional conditioning, kinetic action, dietary necessity and spiritual discernment all based on the inherent qualities, and more importantly rules, of nature.
It is said that you manifest in the physical form to fulfill a life’s purpose. The Chopra Center states that, “When you live in harmonious flow of dharma, the entire field of pure potential opens to you. You’re able to create as much happiness and wealth as you want because you’re aligned with the domain of spirit, the unlimited source of all manifestation.”
If I have learned anything in these last two decades it is that teachers come in all shapes and sizes, and almost always when you least expect them but always when you need them most. And each of them, with their own unique gift of realization as to the message of this timeworn practice, whether they realize it or not. All of them have helped shape my understanding and application of this rich concept that is to be in and of the Self.
When I was in high school my English teacher noted in one of my report cards that writing was not my strong suit. I remember hearing him and my mother talk during a PT meeting where he stated, “give Michelle a subject to talk about and she could talk for hours. But when it comes to writing, she struggles with that.”
And just like that, 365 days have come and gone. The proverbial ‘goose’ has been cooked, a fresh new calendar spine is cracked, and I am so ready for a realignment on my personal health and wellness practices.