Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Personal Revelation in Yoga

I experienced a personal revelation during the Saturday morning session of the Rusty Wells workshop at Moksha Yoga last weekend. Rusty suggested that we dedicate our yoga practice to an individual person that we love. I chose my Dad.

My soul story came out of my parent's, just like my body was built based on their DNA. By the words "soul story" I just mean all the things that make me me. Things like my personality, my emotions, and the stories that create the background for what I am able to express today. I realized on Saturday that I honor their souls or spirits with my life path, even though I can't please their egos or minds. They both have seemed to want things from me that are fantasies.

Just looking at their life-stories and their challenges in the broadest sense gave me some insight. My dad is physically disabled with cerebral palsy and my mom has schizophrenia and depression. Seeing this in the way I did helped me make sense of things for the first time in my life somewhere around savasana at the end of the yoga session on Saturday morning. I seemed to see things from a vantage point that was a bit further than my own suffering. I was seeing my life from a distance that allowed me to see how different forces guided me gently to be who I am today. With my life I have devoted myself to understanding the processes of my mind, honoring my mother's path. And my dedication to the physical aspects of yoga honors my father by pursuing my physical potential. So I am truly related and connected to them even though we are far apart in many ways. I am grateful for this sense of connectedness. It's what I have been wanting. I can live my life dedicated to what they sacrificed for me in a way that is healing for me, and helps me to have something to offer other people who suffer with their minds and bodies.

And just seeing that really seemed to take a burden off of me. I deduce that some of my "not good enough" feelings have been based in a desire to be embraced by my family, and for some complicated reasons that I don't think I fully understand this just hasn't been possible on this earth so far. But now I have the sense that spiritually I am doing the right thing, and fulfilling my mission as the daughter of these people by doing what I am doing with my life.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Anonymous said...

I hear you, Brooks. What a journey you've undertaken to get to this point of understanding.

You must have struggled so much, as your parents did, too. What a gift they gave you in the form of this life, despite their own difficulties.

And yet, in my own experience I've seen how parents tend to think of children as something belonging to them. When in fact, children do not belong to anyone except themselves.

Having not had kids myself (yet??) I can only imagine how hard it is to see children as something seperate from you. They are after all, made of your own blood and bones and tissues. Sort of. The rest of the miracle of children being born is not something we can confirm, really.

It must be natural to extend your wishes and desires onto these little versions of our Selves. Or so we think! But they are not our Selves, they are their own Selves.

This is the struggle of growing up and away from the family, I think.

Ken Rideout said...

That picture and those thoughts really moved me.

We are more than the sum of our parts, aren't we?

Much love always!

RB said...


What you're talking about almost sounds like a samskara acquired in this life. Our parents leave imprints on us--and it is up to us work out those habits and impressions as best we can.

I also think of Douglas Brooks and the concept of Radical Affirmation: every shroud we're given is a gift because of the things we will discover as we remove it.

YogaforCynics said...

Beautiful post, Brooks.

I remember once, when I was really seriously dreading flying home from to spend the holidays with family, saying to some fellow grad students something like "shouldn't your family be the place where you can go to find unconditional love and acceptance?" and one of them said "if that were true, you never would've left home." Maybe. Nonetheless, in recent years, I've gone from a rocky and very distant relationship with my parents to mourning one and increasingly being a caregiver for the other, and, when I think deeply about the conflicts I had with my father, they seem indistinguishable from the conflicts I continue to have with myself. It's strange how these things can turn out...

Cristina said...

Thank you for what you shared.
During all my life I felt to be the daughter of my parents before to be just myself, even who am I ?
No I try to accept my story but in the same time feel free to be other, different to overcome all the imts they transmitted to me.
"What was your face before the birth of your parents ?" It's a Zen Koan