She thought she knew herself. Her wishes, fears, goals, aspirations. So many things on that list. But, one day she woke up and realized that it was not her list. It was a list written for everyone else.
It’s in the Copper Canyons where I began to wake up again. It’s where I began to find Claire again. Somewhere deep in those canyons, she showed up.
I wrote about my trip to Mexico earlier this year. At the time, I hadn’t captured the impact that it was having on me.
In the canyons, I became reacquainted with myself. I first found her in that tiny, Tuscan cottage where I became a Daisy Among Roses in 2010. But gradually, I was slowly losing her again. And in the Copper Canyons, I found her. Not the self I think I am supposed to be, not the one others want me to be, not the one I’m working to be. My true self in the here and now. The one with fears, doubts, but also strengths. And I’m accepting her as she is. It doesn’t mean that she may not change, but the first step is awareness and acceptance of who you truly are.
“When an individual has achieved complete understanding of her true self, she will no longer be disturbed by the distracting influences within and around her.” – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In the past year, I have really enjoyed the fusion of my ultra running and yoga which was guiding me on that path to discover my true self. They have something deep in common. In ultra running, along the trail or road, in the middle of the night, you meet someone you’ve never met before. And on the mat, you discover the truth of who you are. The person who has always been within. A running meditation and a meditation on the body with yoga. They both provide the inner stillness to discover who you are. Even though I came into yoga with a physical goal in mind, the longer I practiced, the more I discovered the true journey of yoga – within.
“Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are.” – Erich Schiffman
Finding your true self is not limited to yoga and running. I write from my experience. I was given a quote by Bruce Lee from a very special person in my life. There are many disciplines where you find your inner stillness and truth. Your insight drives your priorities – not what you hear but what you know to be true to your heart.
“Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself…
it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky,
or I could show you some really fancy movement…
But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself,
and to express myself honestly…
Now that, my friend is very hard to do.”
All one can do is uncover the greatness within oneself, to reveal their true expression, or as Bruce Lee’s called this ‘honestly expressing’ oneself. Martial Arts is thus an expression of the capabilities of one human being, constantly striving to better oneself, to defeat those barriers which limit our true self-expression.
I thought this Daisy Among Roses journey was about me reconciling with my husband. He reminded me that it’s not that. It’s discovering myself. In that little Tuscan cottage in 2010, I confronted myself. She told me to not compare myself to the roses, to forgive myself for anything in my past and to embrace the unique person that I am. That’s where this journey is going. It’s taken me three years to realize that. I wanted to write a book before that, but didn’t realize what story I was actually writing. Now it can be written.
“A spiritual practice is one that brings us full circle – not to a new self, but rather, back to the essence of our true selves. Yoga is the practice of celebrating what is. At the end of the hero’s journey, he finds that he did not need to go anywhere, that all he sought was inside him all along.” – Rolf Gates, Meditations From The Mat
“Yoga is the light that guides you home.” – Rolf Gates, Meditations From The Mat
“If you don’t know yourself, you can’t be yourself.” That is what my yoga teacher, Rolf Gates, reminded us last weekend. Rolf even had a recording of his sweet, six-year-old son talking about finding yourself. With such great influences in his life like his mother and father, he is already wise beyond his years. The kids in his school feel his light even though at their age, they don’t understand what it is their experiencing except a peace by being around him.
I had the privilege of speaking to both of my great yoga mentors (MyLinda Morales and Rolf) last weekend about my self-discoveries. I encourage you to find others that you can talk to about the true path where you are meant to be. We think we know ourselves, but it is often a false self that we think we should be. Not who we are. My months of yoga teacher training and years of yoga practice have encouraged me to find the light.
“As you follow the eight-limb path of yoga, it’s a journey from darkness to light.” – Rolf Gates, Meditations From The Mat
From a seed to a tight bud to a blooming Daisy, I am finding the light. The beautiful thing is that the more you learn your true self, the more you can help lead others to theirs. In our practice, what is false is being slowly stripped away over the months. You find it with regular practice and in inner stillness. Knowing yourself and being yourself is a result of regular practice which is why the more you have a regular running practice, yoga practice, martial arts practice, the more you will discover you. The more you practice, the more your true you will show up and you can embrace and accept it.
I hope you are on that path. And my wish is that you are happy with what you’ve found.
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