I really had to push myself to make the noon gentle class at Jai today–and am thoroughly glad I did. The amazing teacher, Angela Rauscher, talked about Soham: the act of identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality and embracing one’s truest self. It was as if she – and the Universe – knew exactly what I’d been struggling with.
Throughout the class, I thought about how I’ve evolved since launching ITT40 (though I still consider both of us works in progress). I thought about how, a couple of weeks before launch, I hired an iPEC certified coach to help me through the process and navigate any obstacles. I remembered how this person encouraged me to change my announcement (citing my original draft as “too sappy”), advised me when not to launch (“just not on a Monday”), and encouraged me to remove all of the “swear-words” from my initial posts. She urged me to trust my intuition, yet did not allow me to act on it. She wanted me to fit into some mold that only a contortionist could fit into.
Prior to embarking on this journey of self discovery, I’d spent lots of time trying to be what I perceived as acceptable. To fit into that mold. I worried incessantly about being judged, ridiculed, rejected, and/or abandoned if I behaved in line with my consciousness. I worried I might hurt someone’s feelings if I was honest about how I felt. I avoided confrontation at all costs, even if it meant telling a lie. I walked on eggshells and tiptoed around relationships. I was a contortionist, twisting myself in all different ways just so I wouldn’t piss anyone off.
You may have noticed, however, I am no cookie-cutter. I am not mainstream. I am not your average upper east side forty-something. I do not fit into any mold. I am a creative being who has no qualms about talking bowel habits. Or mental illness. Or sex. Or what people are really thinking, even if they’re afraid to say it. At times, I have the mouth of a truck driver. I have an edge, a sense of humor, and a dynamic personality. A personality that someone tried to extract from my writing in fear that it would damage others’ perception of me. Soham: I am that.
After class, I ran into Angela by the cubbies. I thanked her and told her how today’s theme – and her teachings – resonated with me and why. I asked what prompted her to embark on her own journey–her answer struck a chord within me. I was overcome by emotion and, when I began to sob, she comforted me in the most genuine way. I am that.
As I apologized for getting salty tear juice all over her, she reiterated that, as humans, we are emotion. That it was ok to be in this vulnerable space. And reminded me how wonderful it is that I, with all of my humaness, am on this journey, too.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Namaste.