Svadaya/Losing the ego
Svadaya (pronounced sva, die..ya)
Is the sanskrit word for selfstudy. This is a practice that yoga encourages thru the oft repeated question of "who are you, really?"
This whole life is given to us and everything we experience provides us with the fodder to help us know Ourselves better. How do we respond in a stressfull situation?
It is not to judge ourselves as guilty of not fully living up to our potential. But rather to learn to notice and be aware of those times when we act unskillfully and to learn from them. If I am one to become impatient or angry when I am stressed (I speak from experience) Then, by knowing that my pitta dosha is strong, I can have compassion for myself and for others who respond with anger or impatience. Instead of beating myself up for having these responses I can say to myself, well, that was not helpful. Great Spirit, thank you for this lesson and please help me to do better next time. We all have formed patterns of behavior and these are called samskara. This is along the lines of what Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher, calls the "pain body". Once we recognize our pain bodies, we show compassion to ourselves, and then we try to transform the pain body... thru awareness and appropriate action.
I am talking now about svadaya because I celebrated a birthday recently and there were plenty of opportunities to practice letting go of Ego. Am I alone in wanting to be the center of attention on my birthday? This Ego rears its ugly head almost every birthday and I have to relearn the lessons of humility and loving others more than myself every year.
I am posting a photo of me as a young teenager. I hated this photo. And I believed I was ugly. I was, and still am, shy. I often hold back in social situations. I questioned myself this birthday season about why I do this and I discovered a deep hidden belief that "only attractive people should speak up. If you dont look your best, you dont want to draw attention to yourself." Hmm. Well, I do know that my mother and her generation paid a lot of attention to how to dress correctly for each situation. And in her day, it was much more ok to judge one by their appearance. I understand this about my mom. But I rebelled against those tenants as a hippy teenager!
But who would think that as a 66 year old person that I would still feel squelched by an internal voice that tells me not to speak up because I dont want to be seen... because I dont look my best?
This is one belief that I'm going to try to leave behind in 2020.
Who are you... really ?
What belief will you leave behind?