This blog came from an excerpt in a recently published book by Michelle Maue, founder of Clayton Yoga. The title of the book, Tantra Yoga: A Yogini’s Guide to Happiness speaks about utilizing empowerment tools and finding enlightment both on and off the yoga mat.
This blog will describe one of the most important themes to feeling lighter: that of forgiveness. With the Christmas season on the horizon, it’s a great time to speak of spirit and potentiality. In classical thought there is a famous saying and it goes, to err is human, forgive divine. Through yoga, I have gained an incredible method for self-discovery and self-understanding and that is called self-forgiveness.
Forgiveness acknowledges our humanity and grants us a generosity of spirit, a greater clarity and willingness to learn and grow and succeed from life’s mistakes. My friend Lenox likes to say “it is always better to try and fail, than to fail to try. Growing up in a very competitive environment, school, and family, I did not understand the power of leveraging forgiveness and utilizing greater teamwork and collaboration. Life can be sometimes chaotic and rough. By witnessing the problem and not getting caught up, we may send it divine loving energy and watch the situation become greatly improved. Now, there are times when it is important to say something, to intervene, and to set proper boundaries. Yet yoga is about approaching the difficulty and still remaining calm.
Because there is such a tremendous lack of tolerance and goodwill in the world, forgiveness is key to unlocking some of our own hidden power and capabilities. I like the Prayer of St. Francis in describing this pursuit:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith ;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
In the practice of forgiveness, we treat others as we wish to be treated or apply the principle of the golden rule to practice.
Jim Collins from his book, Good to Great for the Social Sector, says that we cannot buy our way to happiness. We can quiet the mind and free ourselves from thoughts of competition when we choose to forgive. Witnessing our mistakes without judgment is how to elevate our vibration. An ancient Hebrew saying shows us that the heart must be broken over and over again until it learns to stay open.
Staying with the spiritual warrior, we notice the present, and trust to live fully and embrace life with all its temporality which leads to enlightenment. Taking care of ourselves literally means “caring” for ourselves every day: caring for our physical health, caring for our mental health, caring for our relationships, and caring for our spirit. These cannot be purchased. There are no easy, quick fixes – just application, effort and a willingness to soften and let it go.
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