We are rapidly approaching the season of insane consumerism, greed and waste. The spirit of Christmas has been lost in a whirlwind of marketing and money-making. And the greatest tragedy is quite possibly the fact that of all the gifts we receive very few if any at all will hold any value for us just a few weeks later. We will be feeling the same emptiness, ordinariness, the shine and promise of the new having vanished as rapidly as it materialised.
Why does this happen? Why does the long-desired new dress, car, phone (insert your own 'stuff' here) never fulfil the feelings we thought it would bring while we were yearning, saving, planning, subtly, or even not-so-subtly, hinting for it?
The issue with 'stuff' is that it's outside of us, and ultimately, things outside of us can never truly fulfil us. Whenever we look outside of ourselves for satisfaction, fulfilment and acceptance (and this applies to our relationships too), we are both missing the point that we are each responsible for our own fulfilment, and are laying the responsibility for our happiness in a 'thing' or another person, who, no matter how precious, reliable, beloved, could disappear at any moment. We completely disempower ourselves to make ourselves happy again.
You can imagine that your heart is a cup. Every time someone asks something of you, or you want to give freely, or you have to meet a deadline, you dip into this cup of energy. With the speed of the world, the demands of work, family, society and the pressure to be perfect in all that we do, this cup very quickly begins to feel like it's empty.
What many of us don't know, or we have forgotten, is that this cup can be filled up again and again and need never run empty in the first place. How?
Yoga is a gift, which like the magic porridge pot, just keeps on giving. Yoga - or meditation, prayer, mindfulness, loving kindness, any kind of sincere spiritual practice - is the process of giving to ourselves on a daily basis and keeping our cup full. When we practice, we put ourselves first on our daily to do list, we effectively give to ourselves before anything and anyone else, we keep our own cup overflowing with energy and love. and then there is no problem giving throughout the day.
If you want to give a meaningful and lasting gift to anyone this year - especially yourself - begin a sincere practice of self-love; book a series of meditation classes, buy a yoga voucher, arrange to go on a wellness retreat.
I can say without a doubt, that my first steps on the path of Kundalini Yoga, were the most important ones in my entire life. My practice over the past 13 years has sustained me through the hardest times; when I doubted if I could even get out of bed after my mother died; facing and challenging the crippling effects of my ego after setting my first world records; dealing with blackmail and extortion from the project manager building my houses in Egypt; as well as the daily self-doubt, negativity, and tendency to isolate and over-work.
What really made the difference, what has kept me consistent in my practice and therefore been my greatest support, was the journey of the teacher training. It taught me through experience just how essential this process of giving to myself on a daily basis really is. We start the training again in January so if you want to give yourself a gift that costs less than a new 15" MacBook and that lasts not just until after your Christmas tree comes down, but for the rest of your life, this is something you should seriously consider.
I am here to serve and and guide you to a place where you realise your own happiness is in your hands, and that the crippling feeling of helplessness and overwhelm is, at worst, something you can now confront and overcome in a positive and practical way, and with time could even a thing of the past.
Contact me here for ways in which I can support you in learning how to self-gift this Christmas, or sign up directly online for the Level 1 teacher training.
With love and in service,