(Me in 2012 at my 500 hour Dharma yoga teacher graduation being filled with Lifeschool wisdom-Photo by Jeffrey Vock)
Dharma is my most influential spiritual life strategist so far this life. 11 years ago I was called to meet him and from day one he made it known, he saw me. His first words to me on my second class were "You are stiff, all twisted up" and he physically cued me to move. I could not even get control of that area of the body which was surprising because having been a dancer, that was rare but what was the most interesting thing is that I did not feel ashamed at my inability to follow his verbal cue. That stood out to me. Up until then, I usually did feel shame when being critiqued by any level of authority. The logic student in me knew it was for my best interest but the inner child who grew up with a covert narcissist dad with PTSD was triggered by comments that did not appreciate the level of effort I put into expressing myself. So, from that moment on, Dharma somehow found a way to let me know I owned no mastery yet but that he could also have respect for me. And so it is, our relationship would pretty much be him showing me I need discipline because I had the sense of myself all wrong while constantly acknowledging I had a very bright light to figure out how to ignite.
The Most Important Work You Can Offer
See, this is what leaving a spiritual legacy is all about. You become a person that transmits wisdom through minimal words if you have a high vibration. Dharma Mittra would tell us regularly that the most positive karma you can work into your life is that of sharing spiritual wisdom.
Not once did he express there was prestige in mastering an asana yet he is the creator of the most popular asana poster and asana picture book out there. Now before you jump to the idea I am going to be speaking about chants, mala beads or religions, let me stop you right there and explain what spiritual study and sharing spiritual wisdom gems really means.
Spirituality is actually a state of consciousness. It is not a distinct belief system like a religion. It is more than a description of how you pray or who you pray to. You don't even actually pray in the way most do. Your spiritual workouts are not sending out a wish list to a God like Santa in Heaven.
In contrast, Spirituality is the most sacred, meaning the most intimate seeking of the core of your essence you can study. It is the most primal study of life through which the reflection of the self against the world around you tells you things our most researched scientists can't explain. Spiritual lessons are presented in books but need to be embodied and integrated through actions in order to be known. There is no hack or other way you can develop the I AM frequency in your cells unless the gift of insight is given to you and even for that, you need to be conscious enough to be receptive.
This is Not Heresy or Sacrilegious
It's not voodoo or magic or manipulation. The many paths are for the many ears but the lessons are the same. If you don't see that then you are not studying the science, you are studying the practices or missing the message of the words. All you need to do is compare the very first words to Moses in the Burning Bush were I AM to the the big bang in the beginning there was the word in Genesis. This gave off a presence in an expanding frequency . The Qur'an says that "the heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit, before We clove them asunder" in an explosion. Interestingly enough, the only stories that come from the Earth's depths itself are those of the Native American cultures who live intimately in relationship with the world more than the stars.
Which leads me back to what spirituality actually is, an activated thirst to become knowing of the origin of oneself and the desire to live on purpose and thrive as opposed to constantly react to survive.
So when Dharma told me I was all twisted, he was really letting me know he knew I was there to study more yoga off the mat than on it.
I could have taken this personally
Back in Nov of 2010, during my first visit to Dharma Shala, I was struggling with my western health provider Identity.
I was struggling with my mom, seeking householder and wife identity for a while. I had just re-opened back up from sharing space to being in my own wellness center and I was starting to move from my career into a calling.
I was so surprised how small his place of 23rd and 3Rd Avenue was because it was not much bigger than my center in Charlotte. I immediately related to the way they worked the business and I was both relieved and home.
20 min into class, he knew. I got the attention of the teacher. A couple years later I realized that Dharma sends enormous enlightenment and love to all who come but that he only pays close attention to those phones that he knows are picking up his frequency. When I realized that I was immediately humbled, grateful and honored that he saw that potential direction in me but it would take me several more years to feel worthy.
The first words Dharma ever spoke to me were "You are all twisted up!" At the time he was referring to the right side of my body but in time , through my spiritual and psychic developmental trainings, I came to understand he was telling me I was energetically screwed up. He could see by the behaviors of my body and in look into my eyes that I was a seeker who due to her karmas and personality, grown frustrated in a self limiting way thus far. I had lots to unwind and release and a whole lot of I know it all to surrender.
He was right.
I was all screwed up. My relationships with my parents were superficial and my mother had died. I was both wanting to reject my right sided lines of masculinity but had not yet embodied into my left femininity. In essence I was lost energetically and if I had to think back, it was as early as my puberty and exacerbated into a postpartum depression years earlier. It was apparent to him that at the age of 37, I had already forgotten how to productively use the fire in me. In fact, that element is my most prominent element and was always being misused by me.
See, there is a scripture in the Bible by John 15:19
"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you"
Well, I pretty much lived my childhood kind of feeling this was the case in terms of me. Not growing up in a church that has us memorize scripture, I found myself in an angry household, looking up at the stars at night and very interested in the way Jesus seemed to be saying similar messages of ancient cultures, astrology, and the life sciences. I guess since the Roman Catholic Church was such a patriarchy, and I hated my Cathoholic ,mentally ill dad not understanding that was the root of him feeling chronic pain at the time, I took to the body and space sciences instead of theology in order to better understand more about the seemingly weird placement of me in that family.
And if it wasn't for the fact that I danced and loved biology and then, by the grace of God, had intuitively understood that my father's brain and mind and soul were not the same thing, and that therefore, academia had human logic limits, I might of ended up getting my degree in psychology and philosophies instead of the path into the healing arts, life coaching and energy.
It wasn't until a few years later, after hours of Satsang, Sangha, Sadhana and other circle time with his community that I began really absorbing Dharma's wisdom. He had a way of giving me a way to connect the dots through his ways of explaining energy through our scientific discoveries. I could really relate to him bringing the intersection of God down to Earth, literally.
I don't know how to read patterns because of a few months yoga teacher training study. It isn't even just because of the yoga. It developed because I practiced peace in me. I began intuitively reading between the lines instead of word for word intellectual interpretations. I hopped on planes to be in the rooms with my teachers I took to constantly reading and practicing how to fail and break open new levels of beauty, peace and harmony. Eventually I moved from the front row to the back row of teacher in Dharma's classes. I spent my visits to the Shala hoping to integrate his few words between the asana calls that taught the lessons and then one day, I realized he had me pegged on day one. He saw right into my internal psycho-social-spiritual struggles day one and when he told me I was all twisted, what he really knew was that I was going to take some time to unscrew myself.
The Educator was Born
It wasn't until I developed the gift of energy mapping that I realized how much projection and deflection from students I would have to take. Let me warn you. If you are a really good teacher, don't be too eager to show it to just anyone. The more on point you are with the wrong level of seeker, the reflected shame, anger and feelings of inadequacy you will get projected back is heartbreaking.
It feels exactly like rejection of you when you don't understand it is their rejection of them you felt empathically.
You may not have packed or consistently attended classes
It doesn't help that those people will never come back to class for months. It may take you years to get the big numbers of other leaders consistently in your classes. When you connect with those soulmate leaders, they usually don't live near you so that is not going to be a regular thing and those that feel the intensity of being seen, sometimes get intimidated by the ask to live up to their worth. Finally, you know this is not easy. This is not the path most followed. This is not what the 80 Million dollar yoga industry is selling. This is not accredited by any board of medicine. You will be judged and you will be tested and at times you will feel all alone but, you are giving people the key to their eternal sovereignty.
In order to process effective energy work and transmission of universal law you and your clients may get a bit triggered and depending upon your training thus far, you may not safely have the soul work done to deal. This is why it is important to work with people that understand trauma and really respect the power that owning yourself.
This isn't funny or magic
This path to a successful 3D business in spiritual fitness is a hard one. You have to be ready for anything. I often need to wait a couple of years for the most stubborn, self righteous, smart but future brightest souls to be ready to discipline themselves to the path and yet I still need to pay my bills monthly. It takes self care to keep showing up when seekers invite you back in only to have the door shut in your face again. You do it because you know you are one foot closer to consistently.
Watch For Progress Not Perfection
I used to worry Dharma must get frustrated with me and others but then I started accepting the same because I too AM a teacher of teachers and that is how we train. I will support the walk out of shame to worthy the same.
I am grateful he has 40 years of practice ahead of me as I grow closer to my 50th year breathing in and out here.
The path less followed my bring you back to your faith...
Funny. I almost never took the class in North Carolina that introduced Dharma to me and that it took a small, humble, fun but dedicated yogi of a Brazilian man to have me practicing yoga in NYC after I moved away.
Literally and figuratively, my Dharma led me.
And the fact is, he was setting me up every time I visit to straighten myself out and eventually leave but he also provided the best map to unwind me.
So if you ever come across your Dharma...Please take my advice and figure out a way to invest in yourself enough to "Follow your Dharma" because living on purpose is the legacy you want to leave.
And one more thing,
Before you think you need to be the master to share anything you learn along the way, please understand....
The fact you are still reading this means two things:
We need the visible well functioning models, not the martyrs anymore.
(Me, Baxter and Sri Dharma - Photo by a friend with my Phone)
(Life of a Yogi 500 hour graduation-Nov 2012- Photo by Jeffrey Vock)
We are a community of professional healers. Women rising up to become the Medicine to themselves, their family and the world. Enjoy my self care workbook as a thank you for connecting!