“I don’t want to have a breath of hate, jealousy, anxiety or fear in me. I want to live completely at peace. Which doesn’t mean that I want to die. I want to live on this marvellous earth, so full, so rich, so beautiful. I want to look at the trees, flowers, rivers, meadows, women, boys and girls, and at the same time live completely at peace with myself and with the world. What can I do?” ~ J. Krishnamurti
Whenever I have an opportunity to share my journey, I meet incredible individuals who also share theirs.
I’ve found that our stories aren’t new, and often they aren’t original. But to us they have been transforming and stifling, and in many ways, they have defined who we are.
Our collective journey is one of understanding where freedom and joy live in our bodies and moving through tough situations from that peaceful place. I have been on a journey of self-discovery and self-awareness in earnest for the past year and a half.
On November 7, 2015, I had my own personal earthquake.
Things were thrown upside down and, at the same time, began to align and show themselves for the first time.
I was at a yoga retreat and in the middle of intense hip openers when I remembered that I had been sexually abused somewhere around the age of 14.
All of the details weren’t clear, and still aren’t, but for the first time who I was started to make sense. Why I had always looked at affectionate, loving people, longed to be them, but never could. It made me crazy that there was some unknown thing holding me back.
Now I knew. But, how was knowing going to help me push forward and open the door to becoming that person?
Sometimes it takes huge realizations like this to start us down the road of self-awareness and forgiveness. Like many others, I tried incredibly hard in the beginning to forgive the person who thought it was okay to treat a child this way.
Then I realized that was not my journey.
My journey is one I share with many of you, the journey of forgiving ourselves and accepting our stories as just that— stories.
There is power in recognizing that we never truly leave our stories behind. In fact, we shouldn’t, because they have shaped who we are today. Our job is to change our relationship with them. Change how they show up in our bodies and our interactions.
Our job is to retrain ourselves to move through difficult situations from a place of self-love and freedom. This sense of freedom can change our lives and elevate the greater consciousness.
There is an entire world waiting on the other side of fear and sometimes you have to go through the muck to step out on the other side.
The next time you wonder what difference one person can make, realize that the greatest impact you can have on the world is finding inner peace. Moving through the world from that place of peace and freedom will change the future for us all.
Four steps for recognizing inner peace. (I recommend spending one week focused on each step)
1. Understand where your stories and fears live.
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position and begin to breathe. Take deep breaths into your belly. Use your breath to relax. Notice if there is anywhere that breath is getting “stuck” and breathe through that blockage. Then recall a time when someone or something stole your power and made you feel small. Sit with this memory until you are aware of where it is showing up in your body. Do you feel it in your belly, your heart, your head? Use your breath again to expand into this area with the inhalation, and release on the exhalation. Spend this next week becoming aware of when this shows up, when your body begins to move into this protective state. Who and what triggered it?
2. Change your response to your story.
Now that you are familiar with that feeling and where it shows up in your body, spend the next week recognizing when your body is moving into this trained response, before it actually does. Before your belly becomes upset, your chest gets tight, you get a headache, breathe into that area. Use your breath to change your response. Notice how this changes your interactions, conversations, and relationships.
3. Find your happy place.
The next part is fun. Sit in a cross-legged position and breathe. Begin to bring your breath into your belly. Expand on the inhalation and release on the exhalation. Once you have found that relaxed state in your body, recall a person or time that made you feel complete joy. Remember a moment that brought absolute happiness. Sit with that memory. Recognize where that lives in your body. Choose your word to describe that feeling. Is it freedom, openness, release, or expansion? Spend the week starting each morning with this feeling. Sit for a few moments and breathe into this feeling. Notice how it changes your day.
4. Move freely between the two.
Now that you’ve had a week of feeling into that sense of freedom in your body, sit down and call that feeling into your body. From that open space remember the initial story that made you feel bad. The work here is to call in your negative triggering story while maintaining that sense of freedom in your body. Work on moving into situations that could be negative or triggering from that space of expansion.
When we learn to move into our past stories, or into triggering new events, from a space of inner freedom, we find inner peace.
You now have the key to changing your world.
Get to it!
Author: Laurie Benson
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
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