The nature of self-study

Greetings friends of the inter-web.

Even though I’ve been giving you a glimpses of what I’ve been up to, I haven’t quite given you a life update recently. I’ve been so caught up with sharing information and working on building the foundation for a virtual yoga community that I haven’t spent time to reflect. If you’re new here, insightful rambles to strangers on the internet is how I practice self-study (svadhyaya in sanskrit) and one of the Niyamas in the 8 limb practice of yoga. It’s something I started doing towards the end last year and it has just sort of stuck. I also feel like a lot of what I share can help someone else who may be going through similar things, so no harm there.

Obviously I’ve been traveling around for the past few weeks. I got to visit some new places and some old, all in all, it felt like such a healing trip. Something new in my travel experiences, but we welcome the new. The past few months have been months of complete transformation and frustration. I don’t think I’ve ever handled so many “set backs” and “wrong turns” so well. I’m always surprised with myself when I handled hard stuff well. Not even just handling it well, but being able to see how they weren’t even set backs or wrong turns, but true knowledge gained to lead me to where I’m supposed to go. That really is thriving, I think.

I’ve recently been reflecting a lot on my life and the past versions of me. I’m pretty amazed at how far I’ve come. Not because I’ve mastered any one thing or accomplished something tangible, but because I’ve learned so much about myself and the world. I used to eagerly travel to sights and places that I dreamed of visiting in hopes that having the experience would change something for me, which it did. It would press pause on my “real life” and give me opportunity to explore the present moment and carry a new perspective back with me. It has also taught me, little by little, that patterns keep repeating themselves, no matter where you go, until you learn your lesson. AKA you can’t outrun anything. I think the most important thing I’ve learned through all of it is that you’re supposed to trust yourself more than anyone else. It almost feels like a challenge to trust yourself and what is right for you, when everyone around you is telling you something different.

The thing I’ve come to learn the most about is that you can’t grow into a bigger person when you’re staying in an environment you’ve outgrown. You may think you haven’t outgrown it, but the universe always has a way of making sure you know. Usually by forcing you to detach. Maybe that falling out you had with a friend group was meant to happen. Maybe quitting that job or getting fired wasn’t a bad career move, but just not the career for you. The idea that everything happens for a reason is as true as we let it be. The more you explore about yourself and the world, the more you uncover your true self and grow into who you’re meant to be. Even if we love our jobs or people, their energy and opinions can hold us back. I think sometimes when we’re unwilling to let them go so we can grow, the universe does it for us.

When I was 19 I was dating someone I thought I would marry. Someone who didn’t want to travel or move and wasn’t really for my adventure seeking lifestyle (or even healthy for me). It may have been a short lived relationship, but in that short time it held me back. The year before I graduated college and moved across the country for graduate school was the year I knew that that relationship wouldn’t last. I also knew that ending things would be hard and would break my heart. I was right. However, it was the best decision and realization I could have ever made for myself. Heck I would have never seen the world, learned what I’ve learned, or had the incredible experiences that I have had.

I would’ve stayed stuck in a place that wouldn’t allow me to grow, causing way more damage than a first heartbreak.

Knowing yourself well enough to know what you don’t want anymore is such a good thing. To recognize that you’re always growing and sometimes that means that the people you love can’t come with you, that’s powerful. It doesn’t make either side bad. Sometimes the universes forces bad fights and falling outs because the attachments are so strong, it’s the only way to ensure you’ll let go and find new growth.

Life is one long weird journey. The most consistent thing I learn about is who I don’t want to be and what I don’t want in my life. From realizing my own bad habits and letting them go or to having other people show strong examples of what I don’t want. Everything in life is a journey and if you’re willing to grow, learn, and unlearn, the universe has a lifetime of knowledge and adventure waiting for you.

I hope my rambling made sense to others. Your main takeaway here is to not let the opinions of others define you. You know who you are more than anyone else. Take time for yourself, get to know yourself. I’ve gotten to know myself through traveling the world alone and yoga, but it’s different for everyone.

It doesn’t matter how you do it, but learning more about who you are, why you want the things you do, and truly looking within – it’s the most important thing you can do in this life.

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Someone once told me to never stop writing, so I'm not. Sharing my soul journey. You can find my yoga teachings and insights on my brain over on my website.

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