“The lived embodied experience of practices that awaken our trust in the inner guide and reawaken our sense of connectedness with the universe, which we inhabit as pure yoga, has the potential to heal the world” Una Dinsmore-Tuli.
Recently I’ve felt a disappointment that goes past my own microcosmic life experiences. It’s about society, about humanity.
When the young english football players took to stand in front of millions of people all over the world, in front of that ball and performed whatever personal, intimate mental practice neccessary to talk to themselves about the task ahead, I felt a deep connection to their emotions. (No, i’ve never been in their position of taking a penalty for the world, or even a single penalty ever, ha!) But I felt them as a human being. As a body of emotions, energetic with life and experience. I felt the sense of responsibility upon their shoulders and the huge pressure of the next 30 seconds. I felt their sensitive, vulnerable, insecurity and I felt their strong, focused intentions.
What followed, meant we were witness to, not only a human being and a group of men experiencing deep pain, having worked so hard to achieve something, but to a large group of fans with a dangerous disconnection to the human existence. Rejection and bullying of real, alive men, with skin and bones and hearts and lungs and feelings and pain. The toxicity of a group of people so unravelled from their own bodies, their own breath, with such great expectations on another human being, with skin and bones and heart and lungs and feelings and pain.
I remember from a young age being told that I should be careful wearing my heart on my sleeve, that I should develop thicker skin to protect myself.
I have always felt other peoples emotions very deeply. (And no this hasn’t been and isn’t always painless, it comes with a huge chunk of hurt). But it is a part of me and my make up that I recognise and empathise with others. Brene Brown says that empathy is feeling with people and for it to exist means staying out of judgement. She says that empathy fuels connection.
And isn’t this what being human is? Connection to one another. A super power. Not because it’s unattainable, but because of the power it has to bring us together, to the same place, over tough emotions we all feel. Like loneliness, fear, uncertainty. I do not believe there is one person on this entire planet that has not felt these emotions in their mind and body.
In yoga we practice the greeting ‘Namaste’ with our palms pressed together over our heart centre in Anjali Mudra.
Namaste means I recognise and honour the divinity of Self in me and that that divinity see’s and honours the same in you. We all inhabit an ability to feel together, with one another, but how do we connect to this? Well, it’s important we develop a deep sense of feeling within ourselves first, so we know what feelings feel like, in our body. And how can we learn to feel for ourselves? (Guess what I am going to say……….)
Yes, Yoga. Yoga and it’s practices offer the ability to assist us in turning inwards, towards ourselves. Our own thoughts, feelings, sensations, behaviours and experiences. We do this through practices with breath, movement, silence, intention and meditation. And from this place of feeling deeply for ourselves we can then serve to connect with those around us.
If we are able to be more in this feelings space, feeling with ourselves and with one another especially when we experience fear and disappointment, perhaps we can affect the greater collective consciousness and influence the world as a whole.
One kind, genuine, living person to the next.
I’ll meet you there,