What I learned from teaching yoga in Bali: The Love and #RealTalk Manifesto

People have been asking me what my Bali experience was like, what I did and what I learned. It’s a bit hard to encapsulate but I’ve tried to do even a little bit of it and I came up with this manifesto: Life is shit… Change is hard… We are the problem… We must give up… So please, please shut up…

And before you start agreeing with me and nodding your head, please read on 🙂

LIFE IS SHIT…

… if we are afraid to look at ourselves, the version without pretense or distraction. If we choose to remain ignorant of the ways we repeat our hurts and self-judgement, the ways we hold ourselves back from actually changing.

CHANGE IS HARD…

… because it starts with stopping all the ways we fool ourselves, by stopping the thought that we are the victims, by claiming the huge responsibility of actually being responsible for our own life. But it’s worth it.

WE ARE THE PROBLEM…

… WE ARE ALSO THE SOLUTION. Somewhere along the way you will find that there is a still part of yourself, connected to something larger. Whether you stay with this part of yourself for a second, an hour, or a minute – you’ll know you have a home to come back to from which springs forth true confidence to be yourself, to change, to create. Do what must be done to find this center. Meditate, do yoga, play a sport, paint a picture, listen to music, sing, write, plant stuff. The center of our self hides in different places. Then the word “self-centered” will mean coming from your own core every single time in every single instance. Then you’ll realize that big changes truly starts with changing your own mind and acting from there.

WE MUST GIVE UP…

… and muster up all the courage we can to surrender. Life can always be made new and brilliant if we are brave enough to enter every situation laying down our old selves at the door. To surrender your old perceptions of yourself is to step up to the thoughts and feelings of our new self. To surrender to suffering is to open the way to start seeing it as a calling towards change. To surrender to the idea of HUGE changes is to realize the truth: that actual change comes in small, hard-won shifts that have long-lasting effects. We must give up the easy – because this work of transformation is hard stuff but it’s also the most natural thing we could ever do in our life.

SO PLEASE, PLEASE, SHUT UP…

… those voices in your head that sound like you and tell you to be afraid, to do things the way you’ve always done them, to own your responsibilities as the only thing in your life, to think that change and enlightement is for everyone else but you. Shut them up. Shut up all the noise that hasn’t helped you so far and maybe if you do it sincerely, you’ll learn to listen.

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