Relationship is the ultimate and most arduous yoga. If we understand yoga to mean union, then relationship is a direct path to that union. Abdi Assadi (2008:57), Shadows on the Path.
I often feel that I am hopeless at long term, happily-ever-after relationships. For me, it hasn’t happened. A terrified, secret little me fears that I just can’t do it. This time, I want it to be different. I desire this to the core of my very soul. Right now, I have the kind of relationship others only dream about. This time, I want my relationship to last the rest of my life.
This post lays bare the recurring patterns in my long term relationships. My hope is to render impotent those behaviours and thoughts that no longer serve me. To burn them up with the harsh gaze of exposure, so that they no longer hold power over my life. I hope to inspire others to undertake this most difficult and brutal of self-assessments.
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The cliché is that creativity and depression go hand-in-hand. Like many clichés, this one is quite true. But creators are not necessarily afflicted with some biological disease or psychological disorder that causes them to experience depression at the alarming rates we see. They experience depression simply because they are caught up in a struggle to make life seem meaningful to them. Eric Maisel, (2002:4), The Van Gogh Blues.
This post has not been easy to write, even though I really wanted to write it. Revealing my innermost, blackest days will rend me wide open for all to see. This post details specific techniques within the process of my healing that I believe were critical to overcoming depression. I hope others might find it helpful to see that it is a long, painful process, but it is possible – largely without drugs.
Warning: long and personally revealing post.
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Through the years I have witnessed numerous spiritual seekers, all of them well-intentioned, who have lost their way by not paying attention to their own addictive patterns … yoga is particularly prone to this syndrome. Abdi Assadi, Shadows on the Path (2007:11).
I often get frustrated with myself for visiting the yoga supermarket. Mostly online, because there’s only two ‘brand name’ yoga styles here in Alice Springs. Online, I jump from yoga style to yoga style, favouring one for a few weeks, thinking hmm…. That looks like the one, the real yoga for me, only to find another style that I’d like to train in a week or so later.
The problem is that deep inside of me there is an ontological ‘real yoga’ – a foundational structure against which I measure everything else. It’s powerful. It’s the yardstick. The thing.
And yet, this is a false ontology because real yoga, as in traditional yoga, is something else very different from my own foundational, inner ‘real yoga’. In this post, I undertake svadhyaya of my understandings about real yoga, in an attempt to get to the bottom of the construct within my own corrupt belief systems.
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Dotpoint 1: Vale Sri Pattabhi Jois. In case you’ve been under a rock or in remote Central Australia (hey… that’s where I live and I still heard it), Mr Jois passed away on Monday morning. Regardless of what you think of Ashtanga-style yoga, Mr Jois was a giant of the yoga world. I honour his life, his memory and the precious gift he gave to the world. Hari Om Tat Sat. Om Shanti.
Dotpoint 2: The Big Idea is flying. I can’t believe what’s happening with the creativity/life coaching/creative ethnography business idea that birthed only 2 weeks ago. It’s so exciting I can hardly sleep. Svasti is going to help me do some mean web design. YOU should hire her! It is a testament to getting your ideas out there into the world. They catch fire. They take off. Watch this space!
Dotpoint 3: A couple of great websites: The Anthroguys. Real anthropologists demonstrating the amazing possibilities of applied anthropological practice. Thanks to @Jammiegirl for this Tweet.
Lucky Balaraman’s inspirational mediation website: http://CalmAndCool.com . Lucky has all kinds of great tips for establishing a meditation practice and using mediation to overcome problems. This latest post could be used as a teaching tool for yoga teachers explaining ‘the witness’ to students.
Dotpoint 4: I’m reading Abdi Assadi’s beautiful book, Shadows on the Path. If you’re interested in reading no-nonsense spirituality from a guy who’s been a drug addict, travelled the shaman’s path, been a yogi, a martial arts practitioner and everything in between, this book might be for you. If you like Adyashanti or Pema Chodron, then you will resonate with Abdi. Hear an amazing interview with him here. You can check out his book for purchase at http://www.shadowsonthepath.com/