Going Within – Finding Yourself
Many of us have at some point or another have spent time and resources searching for who we are. We most likely have heard of someone taking time off to go and “find themselves”. I think what we are looking for is much closer than we realize.
I thought for a long time that finding yourself required being worldly, well read, educated and well-traveled. I spent a lot of time doing these things and they are definitely helpful tools in being introspective, but I have learned that I may travel miles and read volumes and know many facts and still feel lost. I have realized that I simply need to travel within the confines of my own mind, body and heart to discover my soul and begin to see glimpses of my true nature. When I think back through my experiences, it is when I am the most in tune to my own thoughts and feelings that I feel most like me. By tuning into myself, I began to learn who I am. After all, isn’t it easier to learn who we are rather than learning about someone else? Why not start at home so to speak?
Through yoga and more specifically practicing asana, pranayama, chanting and meditation, I became more aware of myself. It was an awakening of the best parts of me. I knew they were there, they just needed to be encouraged to come to the surface and become more active.
Yoga provided me with the opportunity to embark on a journey that begins within myself that is enlightening, joyous, challenging and ultimately liberating. I started feeling free or believing I am able to be free of my insecurities and my prejudices based on my upbringing and environment. I now see that in order to really know and love others I must start to know and love myself. And surprisingly, to me the more deeply I connected to myself the more I understood my interconnectedness with others. Since we are all ultimately connected, it’s essential I treat myself with as much love and respect as I treat others. It is often easier for us to overlook the imperfections in others that are close to us. We see they are imperfectly perfect, and so am I. I also have started to see those who are seemingly very different from me as the same as me…imperfectly perfect We are all on our own journeys, but we are still the same at our core.
My practice has also helped me to see that this sameness is not limited to humans. I feel the same connection to all animals, humans or otherwise. I started seeing my relationship with my dog Toby transform. I saw Toby as another being living his purpose and just knew that all beings were doing the same. We are not dog and master, but two beings enjoying companionship. He is not someone to own, but someone to share experiences and feelings. I practice to see myself in him and in every being I encounter. It transformed the way I see the world. What better way to understand connection than to begin with what is closest to you, yourself?
So are you ready to find out who you really are?
Never mind searching for who you are. Search for the person you aspire to be. ~Robert Brault
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. ~George Moore
I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself. ~James Baldwin
World Peace Yoga teacher and yogini mama Rachel Gelly is inspired by the spiritual and peaceful nature of practicing and teaching yoga in a community. When not teaching, Rachel spends most of her time with her newest addition to the family, her daughter Sabrina & son Sam, her husband Brian, his two children, Alex and Maddie, and Toby dog.