Back from Bali
By Becci Grant, Sun 24th Mar 2019
Grab a cuppa. It’s a long one!
So I am back from village life and having to take baths in the ocean and the hose pipe on the street. I survived Nyepi, didn’t contract rabies and my body is still in one piece so i’d say that is a success but what an experience, I know many of you thought I would never hack it and I would be home after the first week.. well I did it and now being back I miss Village life! I miss that simple life, the people, oh god the people.
I genuinely went and thought that I would not meet anyone and I would be socially awkward but I was blessed with 24 other humans and then I found some inspiring, beautiful, wholehearted individuals who were my saving grace, who helped me more than they will ever even realise. I developed a massive girl crush on my teacher (Leah you are amazing). I haven’t laughed so much in a long time and that we did whether it be watching poor people trying to get on a ‘boat’ but the waves were just not having any of it, they were not getting on . I think I peed myself laughing more at the laughs coming from the others. We then cried and then laughed when we seen a rat in the kitchen but then we were told the bigger the rat the better the food so then it was a case of looking for big rats in kitchens to get a good feed. We danced unapologetically, well most people call it dancing, many might refer to it as having a seizure though and this was in the middle of the street and no-one cared, everyone in the restaurant were just looking and laughing, I’m not sure if it was with us or at us but same difference, they were still laughing. I got my self a Codi Robinson. Then another amazing thing happened, this human (who turned out to be one of the most funny, loving, inspiring humans I have ever met. You only need to spend 5 minutes in her company and im not joking you will feel like you can take on the world, like I was running for president and im not even American haha) just randomly came up to me and gave me a flower, I was so confused and then she did it the next day and next day and and next day. Hibi you are pure magic. Get your ass home now.
I cried everyday surprise surprise haha mainly just out of sheer gratitude and being overwhelmed like everyone was just so kind and authentic and happy. I nearly killed my fellow teachers and students in my class. It was 6565666 degree heat and after 376375572635 hours on the mat, everyone was exhausted and I was trying to be adventurous but they literally just nailed it AND they didn’t even curse me out. (They might have after though but thanks guys!)
I think though you meet some people in your life and you just click and you soon realise that they’re keepers when you start exchanging ‘on the toilet’ selfies ahem Codi and then you find the ones who are all about the 53 course meals and you’re like yessssss. Relief. Another fellow food monster. Katherine. I love you. Like some people were saving half of their lunch and I do not know how any of you managed to do that! I was starving!
But anyhow wasn’t I just a cocky little so and so?
There I was thinking, I had managed to gain a bit of flexibility during my 2 year of ‘yoga practice’ so I must be a yogi and I knew it all…. I had mastered a handstand but it turned out there was still no enlightenment.
How very wrong was I?
My teacher used a phrase in our final day of 200 YTT and it was ‘If yoga was a forest then I know only a leaf’ So I guess if ‘yoga was an entire ocean, then I know not even a droplet’ of it. It is never ending!!! Literally, my brain set on fire numerous times.
So i’ve done my teacher training does that mean I am a yoga teacher now?Technically yes but am I ready for that right now? Well we will soon see.
Since my teacher training, my self practice has really started to blossom.
I began to really understand the journey to the asana and that it really is not about how long you can hold a handstand for or if I can get my toes to touch my head.
I have spent my time taking the time to get to know my body, the wiggles and the woes. Working the bits I don’t like about myself and giving them extra TLC.
Yoga has been my saving grace; my feather bed to soften the fall. I am working diligently to apply my new learnings in an effort to keep myself out of a dark hole. A way for me to really reconnect with myself, be aware of my own body, learn to quieten my mind and be completely present. This I am grateful for and this I want to share.
Half of the time I’m thinking of yesterday or I am thinking about the next thing or tomorrow but what about now? Right here? Right now?
We don’t get now twice. Yoga is keeping me in the now.
So I have been offered my first official job at a studio and already those little demonic thoughts have started entering my head.
What if I am not good enough? What if no-one turns up to my class? What if no-one likes me? What if I forget my sequence? What if someone asks me something I do not know the answer to? Will students trust what I have to say?
I saw myself repeating old mental patterns of self-doubt and fear driven thoughts. I did not want to fall back into that dark headspace.
Quieting that inner voice was difficult, but I knew was crucial to becoming a confident new yoga teacher and there it was, I was already adapting yoga to life off of the mat.
I became aware of my thoughts and let them be there but just observed them, I like to think these thoughts were only there because of my love and passion for the practice of yoga and fearful I would disappoint but then what is fear? Its just love holding its breath. I have to learn to let it breathe.
So I had to establish a few things but first I had to just get out of my own way. I am constantly in my own way like an excited puppy running around my ankles that I am constantly tripping up over. So I just need to pick that puppy up and give her some snuggles and attention.
Befriending our innermost selves can be a difficult task. But in order to get out of your own way, it’s imperative you dig deep and realise you exist in the background of your thoughts, not in them. You are not your thoughts.
Many of us have self-limiting beliefs we repeat in our minds over and over again. Often times, this is done subconsciously, so it’s not even in our immediate awareness. The habitual patterns built around these beliefs and negative self-talk creates a barrier between you and success and what you want to do in life
Most common self limiting beliefs are based on Fear.
Fear of not being good enough, fear of failing, fear of what others may think, the list goes on and on.
But humans actually only have two natural fears. Fear of falling and fear of loud noises, The rest is just learned behaviour that we pick up along the way in this journey we call life.
So there’s some serious unlearning to be done here
Thats why I find meditation so useful and another saving grace.
Meditate for freedom, for freedom of the conditioned mind.
Beginning to understand your habitual patterns is the first step in finding the freedom to rise above and choose positive thoughts.
As all things in life, it’s a practice. But this practice will undoubtedly help you build the confidence you need to quiet the inner voices and actively choose a more productive path in thinking and when negative thoughts arise, notice them, observe them but be aware that it is then your choice what you want to do with it, do you want to follow it and be in a shitty mood for however long? Or do you just want to let it go and get on with your day happily and peaceful?
Most people are so in their own ways or so obsessed with the picture of themselves that everyone else has panted of them, that they think this is who they are but is it the picture that we have painted of ourselves? Because that’s who we are, not what everyone else thinks we are, maybe perceptions of us, there’s over 7 billion perceptions of us and not one will be who we are and once we understand this we can see our own light shine and look for the good we have to offer.
‘I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.’
-Hafiz of Shiraz
Next thing is to carry on slaying that ego, to know it is perfectly fine and obvious that I do not know it all, like really in the grand scheme of life, all the knowledge, all the experiences, it doesn’t matter how many books you can read, I still know jack shit in theory, like who do I think I am? Some kind of Guru – Calm down B – Just like you’re not enlightened you’re no guru either.
I’m such an advocate for reading and podcasts and education and learning but truth be known, nothing can compare or fuel your knowledge than time spent on your mat, it gives you things that you can’t get out of teachings and a book.
It also takes great vulnerability and humility to admit we do not know something and if we don’t take it as an opportunity to learn and grow for it. Learn a bit more of that ocean, learn an extra droplet.
How do we develop the strength to stand in our vulnerability? On our yoga mats we learn to honour it. When we embrace vulnerability wholeheartedly we discover a strength we did not know we had. As we attempt to do a posture that seems impossible or scary, once we set aside our ego, and stop struggling to get it right, we surprise ourselves and nail a pose we’ve never done before. We discover that accepting our vulnerability helps us create a boundary. We don’t push too hard, or go too far, which keeps us safe.
In our lives off of the yoga mat we fear being vulnerable because we fear being hurt, let down, disappointed, rejected. An aversion to unpleasant feelings can cause us to defend ourselves against feeling physical or emotional pain. Sometimes we distract ourselves from unwanted feelings by trying to be certain of the uncertain, trying to be perfect, or by acting as if we don’t care. We might dull our senses with comfort food, alcohol, gambling, drugs, television, work, video games, computers, and smart phones.
But numbing yourself to the discomfort of your vulnerability does more than dull the sting of unpleasant emotions. Ironically, by avoiding our vulnerability, we actually make ourselves weak.
Vulnerability and humility, open heartedness, allowing yourself to feel shows great emotional intelligence.
This is strength not weakness.
We are eternal students. We can never know too much or enough of anything.
‘Yoga is an endless practice of learning and unlearning. ‘
One thing I am taking away is authenticity. I now have this tool, this gift that allows me to be creative, to be magical, I have all these new learnings and teachings to offer and I have the tools to turn it in to my own to create and spread magic and love and kindness which this is my ultimate goal whether that be just one other human, one other class, one other smile. If we all can create and find our own inner peace then the whole world will know peace.
Everyone thought I was mad when I said I wanted to be a yoga teacher. ‘The market is saturated’ ‘Are you turning into a hippy?’ ‘You can’t make a living in in” ‘There’s no money in yoga teaching’
Everyone missed the point. It wasn’t my goal. Yoga has given me the greatest gift in dealing with life and taught me that really the little things in life, well they are the biggest and I am eternally grateful for this life I call my own. It’s been a struggle at times and never easy and sometimes its complicated and confusing but our biggest misconception is that ‘life happens to us and the whole ‘why me?’ But the reality is – We happen to life – we choose what we take from experiences and life.
Love B x
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