It has been some time since I have written a blog. Like most, I have reverted to the quick Facebook Live or Instagram post to ‘stay connected’. However, there are some things that cannot be expressed in a single photo or in a few short sentences (which you may or may not even read). What I am about to share with you deserves more than a few words and a moment of your time.
I recently returned from a 9-day Yoga Nidra Certification course with my teacher. Nine days is a long time for an immersion, but the magnitude of what we were learning and experiencing needed time to unfold. This blog will not be about my experiences in that training. I am still processing them all. There were so many that gently unfurled over those 9-days. Like a flower slowly blooming, each day, or sometimes hour, a new petal, insight, revealed its beauty. I am only now beginning to see the fullness of what took form. Not to worry, those insights will naturally be shared in classes and offerings to come. As you will soon read.
What I will share is this; our daily practice is essential. The devotion and consistency of a spiritual practice over a long duration shapes us like water poured for years upon stone. The results we see are not immediate; our rough edges, bad behaviors, and limiting beliefs are worn down gradually as we are shaped into our true form. But it is the immersions, the deep dives, that can shape us the most profoundly. In a group setting, there is a collective intentionality that creates a container for each individual to go deep, quickly, in a way that is safe. The results tend to be immediate and yet continue to feed insights and soul nourishment throughout the months, perhaps year to come. You leave feeling tender yet strong and resilient. You feel sculpted and transformed into something more beautiful than when you arrived. Because immersions are so transformative, the lessons need many months if not more to process, marinate and integrate into our systems and they help revitalize our daily practice. It is the deeper immersions that take us to depths we are too afraid to tread on our own. It is essential to be guided by an experienced teacher who has navigated the waters, who is confident in how to teach us to do the same.
We live in a society that praises a Do-It-Yourself mentality. This is quite frankly ridiculous. It keeps us confined, small and stressed out. Sure, perhaps if you were thrown into a pool at an early age your survival instincts might kick in just enough to keep you from drowning, maybe. But you would never truly know how to swim with any efficiency. And you’d probably have some serious PTSD to work through.
What I am saying is this, most of us stay in the shallow end, where there are lots of people. Where we feel comfortable, where we can see the bottom and our feet planted on the earth. We feel safe, even if it is crowded, boring, lackluster and not really where we want to be. We stay planted even as our hearts long with curiosity for the unknown and we feel a magnetic pull toward the distant horizon. We stay stuck because what lies out ‘there’ is unknown and what is unknown seems unsafe. Our survival instincts scream, HELL NO! Yet our hearts say YES! Eventually, for some, the ‘comfortable’ becomes unbearably uncomfortable. The longing becomes greater than the fear and we start to slowly walk out to deeper depths.
As you tread beyond your comfort zone, where your feet still feel the ground, the fears will rise as the waters rise to your waist, then your belly and inch closer to your chin. When you look below you may no longer be able to see the bottom and your imagination will race with story book or Hollywood images of monsters implanted from an early age.
This is the moment where you decide, Do I go back to the safety of the known or take a deep breath and DIVE? You don’t have to solo dive though. You have the choice to take the hand of an experienced teacher, guide or mentor who can look you in the eye and tell you, “You can handle this. I will show you how. I will be with you as you strengthen your own abilities. I will be with you as you become more agile. I will still be with you, even as I let go of your hand, so that you can dive below and explore your own depths, face your own monsters. I will be here when you surface, ready to support you as you process and celebrate the awakening of awareness and dissolving of fears.”
Then I will leave you. Swim farther out. Do my own dives. Then invite you to join me again. And you will invite others to join you, creating an invisible string drawing one and then another away from the shallow waters of solely the body, where there is a false sense of safety. The true freedom is when the fears dissolve, and you feel the buoyancy and lightness of holding onto less. You have the agility to flip, turn, explore and expand with no boundaries to contain you.
This is why I am offering a series of Deep Dive Immersions. Each immersion is designed to help you go beyond asana (the yoga postures) and move into inner depths where true transformation and long-lasting change happen. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE asana. It is where I began, where most of us begin our yoga journey. But let me be clear. It is the shallow end of yoga.
In the beginning, you will have amazing shifts and insights. However, if you have been practicing for a while and feel lackluster in your practice, bored, or your heart aches for more, or you wonder why you’re are not feeling the same results from your practice as you once did, it simply means this:
You are ready to advance.
If getting out of the shallow end and learning how to navigate deeper spiritual depths, to really experience the richness of what the tradition of yoga has to offer, I invite you to join me. This is the true yoga.
I do these dives for myself all the time. I know the waters and can testify time and again, it is worth overcoming fear and facing the unknown so that you can feel the boundless potential, the buoyancy of spirit and expansiveness of your true nature. You just need a place to do so and a teacher willing to take you there.
Check out the first of several Deep Dive Immersions under my Events & Workshops page.
I look forward to supporting you on the next steps toward your growth.