An Awakening From My Yoga Immersion
“Spiritual progress is like detoxification. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed then our unhealed places are forced to surface”
On the 15th of June 2018 I travelled to Thailand to complete a 4 week sacred female yoga teacher training. I didn’t go there with an intention to teach yoga, I followed the callings of my heart and had some amazing, incredible and powerful experiences while I was there.
I had a lot of realisations, awakenings and powerful moments throughout that 4 weeks. It would be impossible to describe every single one of them however, this one particular shift in consciousness was so profound I did decide to write about it.
My story of control
I have been exploring my control issues for a long time yet, I didn’t understand the full depth of it, or the impact it was having on my life and the amount of power it had over me. That is until I faced it in a place of openness and feeling raw, vulnerable and courageous.
What did I discover? That control was an addiction and I have been powerless to it. It has been effecting my life in so many ways I can’t even describe, probably in ways I haven’t realised yet. Throughout much of my life every action was unconsciously censored before I released it to the world, every interaction had an agenda and every outcome I tried to manipulate in some way.
There has been no room for ease, for flow and for surrender because I have been in a power struggle with life. It’s tiring and, a truly an existence of powerlessness.
A paralysing and dominating experience that can demand so much of ones life-force and ones soul.
I have had control as part of me for a very long time.
Sometimes I release it yet, until recently it has never completely away. I didn’t even understand it properly until I went to the sacred feminine yoga teacher training.
At one point every interaction, every action was evaluated and censored before I released it to the world. It’s tiring and, a truly an existence of powerlessness.
What Does Control Feel Like In My Body?
A contraction in my heart, a mild to severe jittery feeling in my whole body (depending on the situation), constricted breathing, my throat aching and even closing up, breathing difficulties and emotions of frustration, anger and despair because I can immediately feel my heart beating, my internal world collapsing and hear that the resonance of my voice is not right. It feels like fear.
What drives it?
I have several core fears at the foundation of my need to control including fear of humiliation, fear of rejection and here are the big ones – Of being TOO much as well as NOT enough.
But ultimately the fear is the unknown of what is beyond this place I know that despite not liking it, I’m familiar and safe in it.
What would happen if I let go of the control?
Well That’s The Thing… The Wildness, Rawness, Authenticity And Potency That I Know That Is Within Me.
Yet maybe something I can’t tame, I can’t hold back. Maybe something that would embarrass me, humiliate me and I would feel ashamed of… And shame is something I have had enough of in my life thank you.
So, Where Did This Need To Control Come From?
I don’t really remember because I feel like it has been with me from a very young age. It developed through challenging circumstances that I couldn’t control, shame that I needed to hide, fear that my life will fall apart. It fulfilled a need for a mask, a need for flawlessness, a need to hide who I really am because of the shame buried down into the darkest parts of me.
I remember the laughter to someone who danced as she pleased, the teasing to a girl who was confident and joyful, the patronising to a being who danced to her own tune.
I have many memories of being set up, humiliated, laughed at and shamed even from a very young age.
Mum tells stories of how my maturity, honesty and knowing wasn’t understood but I don’t think my confidence was either. A confidence that really began to be lost when I was around 12 to 13 when I started to look outside of myself and measure my worth by comparing myself to others and, I always found something negative to say and feel. Even now thinking about it that breaks my heart at the conditioning and fear that drove me inwards but trapped me out of myself leading me to live through the safety of a mask.
The mask is safe? Absolutely.
No one can see inside. I’m hidden as well as my shame, my insecurity and my fear.
When you control the outcome you (think) know what it’s going to look like and that feels safe. There is no unknown (although that truthfully is an illusion) because you’re holding on, holding back and only letting out what is acceptable.
No wonder I’m tired! No wonder I feel fear around social situations! No wonder creating an authentic life is hard – there is no authentic life! When you’re having to screen everything you say, everything you do you drain your life force.
That is where I’ve been for a long, long time and although it’s not as obvious as it once was it still slides up at times where there is more of me to reveal and more vulnerability required to reveal it.
Occasionally I am revealed. When I’m in small grounds, when I feel safe, when there is no pressure, when I’m strongly connected to myself and when I’m so in flow with my absolute truth that there is no room for fear yet, sometimes without warning that mask can go back on.
What is the consequence of this mask? This thick armour of controlling how I show up in the world?
Constriction of my being, inauthenticity, falseness.
Controlling how I show up traps the magic inside – the beautiful, spontaneous, powerful, expansive magic.
That fear distorts the message, it reveals just a small fraction of my heart, my potency and my beauty. Although my deepest longing is to be seen, to REALLY be seen it shields me behind a veil of pretence and lies.
Why is releasing control such a challenge for me?
Because I don’t really remember a time when I was truly celebrated for allowing that authentic woman out.
There is just pain.
The teasing, the laughter and the humiliation.
What has been celebrated is just pieces of me or maybe not even my absolute truth because I’ve held myself in for such a long time.
What could happen if I release my hold and set myself free? If I surrender to vulnerability and share my heart? If I let people really see me?
In my logical mind I know it’s what I want, what I need and what I am longing for. I feel that I will be recognised in my light like I never have before and yet, I feel the hesitation.
How can it be so hard to surrender? What is behind that armour is how I want to show up yet, I run away, I shake, I lose my connection with my internal current and I turn into a presenter of a false self instead of a connector with myself and those I’m with.
Where to from here?
I Set The Intention To Finally Surrender and Set Myself Free
I imagine myself and every day spend some time seeing myself free.
I unfold what is holding this back – to no longer be attached to being liked, to not needing to fitting in and the fear of being judged.
I feel my way into letting go and surrendering to the beauty of the spontaneous the magical and the potent.
I stay in my heart and give myself permission to shine.
I welcome the triggers and the lessons as I through the emotions that arise as the layers of armour peel off.
I learn how to trust and embody that trust knowing that everything is always going to be okay.
I spend time every day connecting into myself, my heart and my soul and continue my journey to remembering the courage, the strength and who I came here to be.
This journey is worth every moment, even on the hardest days because when we let go and realise the freedom of expansion we know what bliss is.