Updated: May 17, 2018
In this spring season we look to open the windows of our home - to let in the fresh air and hear the sounds of spring. Not only that, we open our windows to push out the stale air of winter in hopes of replacing the things that just take up space. William Morris, an English textile designer from the Arts & Crafts movement said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." I wonder how we might internalize such a quote to speak of ourselves. Are we holding on to things that are not useful? That don't make us more beautiful on the inside? Are there things we could let go of if we just opened a window?
Svadhyaya is the fourth Niyama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It means, literally, “to recollect (to remember, to contemplate, to meditate on) the Self.” It’s our effort to know the Self – the one that shines as the innermost core of our being. Let’s face it - it’s easy to look at others and make an assessment, but to look internally, with honesty, takes guts! But the more we recognize our habits, our thought processes, and our actions, the more we realize that what we do and think may not be who we truly are. It’s our ego that pushes us in a certain direction – typically away from our true beliefs or intuition. Our ego is concerned with survival, and considers life to be a contest that must be won, so it pushes us to do/say/act in order to protect our right to the prize, whatever that prize may be today. The soul, or true self, knows that life is a gift in which we should share and serve the world. It's content, free of attachment and enjoys the journey of life.
My ego has really been putting up a fight lately. There have been some major changes taking place in my professional life. In studying my Self, there are things I am eager to accomplish that really make my heart smile, but in order to let in that fresh spring air, I have to let the stale winter air out, and my ego doesn't seem to care for the idea of letting go!
Ever had a similar experience? Is your ego acting clingy? What have you done to move forward?