December 02, 2018
I heard this phrase being shared at a recent yoga retreat and started laughing. Our bodies were strewn about in dead man’s pose, ready to drop into the stillness of our inner worlds.
The facilitator was teaching us a mudra – a hand position used for yoga and meditation. She gestured for us to point our fingers inward towards our heart center. She then explained that inside each of us is an inner teacher, our own personal Guru.
Most of us believe that a Guru is an expert or someone who challenges us to look at life through a different lens. But the most powerful source of wisdom is within. The acronym G.U.R.U. depicts this – Gee, You Are You! We truly do know ourselves best. If we continue to work towards peace and happiness, we will find that inside of us is that ideal teacher, the one who can point us in the right direction and give us the answers that will ultimately free us from suffering.
In the silence, I started giggling quietly.
Try telling that to someone who is suffering, or better yet, to someone who is spending thousands of dollars studying with their teacher, also called a Guru! I laughed as I reflected on all the time and money I myself had spent with self-described Gurus. As humans, we spend our lives looking for the answers in the external world, yet the whole time we are walking around with that unlimited potential.
Most of us will reach a point in life where we are searching for answers, searching for greater meaning to life. Questions like, what is my purpose, why am I here? How do I alleviate my suffering?
Now I was being reminded that I have the answers within, that I am my own Guru. If my inner Guru could speak, what would she say?
Once savasana was complete, I sat up and contemplated on all the teachings I had experienced as the other participants gathered for the break. The room was still, the late afternoon sunshine resting on my yoga mat illuminating the moment and my thoughts. I sat and contemplated on all the teachings I had gathered up in a full life lived with moments that define the woman I am today:
1. We Are Consciousness.
What does this mean? Simply put, where we focus expands. Think of your mind as a house with many rooms. A room for joy, for sadness, for guilt, for shame. An art room, a relaxation room, you get the idea. Now, focus all your attention on a specific room – for argument’s sake, let’s choose the art room. When we put our attention there, the art room becomes our experience. This is consciousness; it’s where we put our focus. Consciousness is who we are. It is our greatest gift.
2. We Are Form And We Matter.
We are derived from that which is formless and timeless and we come to a physical world of form and matter. What matters most is where we invest our awareness. The mind is our greatest tool, it can either serve us or destroy us. We must become the caretaker of our thoughts. We must be mindful, but with a level of interest and concentration on what we are thinking about. We must, at all costs, choose to use our willpower in a powerful way. If what we focus on expands, then we must use that willpower to focus on what matters the most. Ask yourself the question, what matters the most to me? Then, use your consciousness to focus and use your willpower to remain there and concentrate on it as much as you can.
3. When In Doubt, Surrender.
If you continue to stay in doubt, then keep surrendering. I can’t even begin to tell you how powerful this simple act is. Just throw it out there, but have trust and faith that the answers will always come. Soulful hint: do not get attached to how the answers will come, being detached is key. A teacher I highly regard uses the phrase, “Thy will, not thine will.” Simply put, the Universe’s will works through our lives at all times, but when we get in the way, it becomes our will and we are met with resistance which will lead to suffering.
4. Spend Time In Nature; This Is The Best Place For Nurturing One’s Soul.
The elements of air, water, earth, fire, and the Sun, the Moon, and the stars are all a part of the great mystery of life and work together to support your well-being. Try a forest bath; it’s the best vitamin you will ever take.
5. Spend Time Alone.
Alone time is divine time! It is where you have the opportunity to get to know yourself without distraction. Distractions keep you from the inside world, the world where all the magic is found, the world where your inner Guru is made manifest.
6. Meditate, Contemplate, And Reflect.
There is an inner world to be discovered within yourself, and with a regular practice of meditation and contemplation, many revelations will come. This is your meeting place with your inner Guru, an invaluable companion on your journey of awakening.
6. Give Gratitude.
Gratitude begets gratitude. The more thankful we are, the more we attract more experiences to be grateful for. This is based on the Universal Law of Attraction, that like attracts like. The signal we send out is what will be reflected back to us.
This is HUGE! When we forgive, we move into higher levels of vibration.
By serving others, we connect on an empathetic level. We feel a sense of belonging and unity and less division and duality.
9. Love And Accept Yourself First.
This is the most important relationship you have. Invest here. If, at a Soul level, we offer unconditional love to the Self, since all love wants to do is love, you’ll STOP having a problem with yourself. Offer your Self more love, not less.
10. You Are Spirit Expressing Yourself Through Physical Form.
Every day, you decide how you would like to express yourself today.
If you take the time to commit to an intimate relationship with yourself, you will meet the great teacher that dwells inside yourself. This wise teacher, your higher self, is invested in your living a life of peace and happiness and has much to share. Without this inner connection to my personal Guru, to me, I would be still searching for answers. Today, and in each present moment, I am one thought and one breath away from everything I need to know.