ardha chandrasana, bhakti, Cycling, direct realisation, Enter your zip code here, Facebook, Inspiration, kaleidoscopic, kirtan, Krishna Das, kryptonite, Love, neediness, Om Namah Shivaya, Shadow Yoga, Sri Krishna Govinda, Suffering, Yoga, Yoga of Chant
Recently life’s been a little kaleidoscopic. So much going on, it’s kinda hard to work out what I’m actually meant to be focusing on.
Which can be good and not so good. Then when there’s half a moment to calm down, sometimes things settle in a pattern that makes sense of the world a little more.
And that’s good, right?
So, last week I heard this (voice in my head), then wrote it down AND made it my Facebook status:
Do something you love, something from the core of your being. Give over to it entirely. Let your heart open. It makes all the difference…
And today I’d like to add this:
Doing the things you love, generates love.
See, I’ve been thinking a lot about our outward seeking culture recently and how needy we human beings are as a result.
To clarify, there are two broad definitions of need that I’m talking about here:
Need type #1 – fundamentals that help us to live. E.g. oxygen, sunlight, breathing, nutritious food, love (yes, I think love falls into this group). Characterised by things we do not thrive without.
Need type #2 – internal or external objects of desire that we crave. E.g. entertainment, clothes, physical appearance, other people, money, cars, houses, iPods, travel, fame etc. Characterised by a belief they will improve our self-image/confidence etc.
Of course, needs from type #1 can and do cross over into needs from type #2. And we tend to believe strongly that needs type #2 are in fact, needs type #1.
I’ve been wondering about that. Why? Why are we so needy? How do we get these different types of needs so messed up?
And I confess. Most of my life I’ve felt that sense of need, based on what I think I’m missing. How, if only I had a boyfriend who loved me, or more money, or more friends, or if I was prettier, or wasn’t such a dork, or had a home of my own, or children or nicer/better taste in clothes, or if I was taller/shorter/thinner, or if I didn’t have to work for a living or… you get my drift… that I’d be happier.
Maybe other people are smarter than me and have this stuff figured out already? But I’d be willing to bet that most of us, even if it’s only in a very subtle way these days, experience that kind of need. It can make a person feel desperate at times. Or hollow, even.
But generally, we just think less of ourselves because we don’t have what we think we need.
This my friends, is need type #2. The kind of need that creates suffering because it makes us feel incomplete in some way. But actually this is really just the default human condition, until we get sick of it that is, and seek another path.
For me, that path is yoga. And what I’m trying to convey here are some personal realisations combined with everything I’ve studied and learned to date.
So, let me talk a little about my own personal kryptonite: love. Or the lack thereof.
I’ve had such a funny relationship with love in my lifetime. Mostly, I’ve felt like I never had enough love, or enough of the right kind of love. Not accepted. Not wanted.
And if you believe it, and so it will be.
Like many people I grew up believing that we must be loved by someone else in order to have love, and to feel like we are valued. And much of the “evidence” in my life suggested that I was not valued very highly at all!
I have a good idea how these beliefs arose. As far as I can tell they date back at least several generations before I was even born. I grew up saturated in them and so of course, I’ve inhabited those ideas for myself.
At the same time, as I’ve been re-counting, my other life-long goal has been spiritual evolvement, before I even knew what that meant. There’s been this ongoing battle between my extreme neediness and my desire to shed such a limited view of life.
Of course, throw a few traumatic experiences into a person’s life, and watch the neediness factor multiply. Especially if they’ve got screwy ideas about love in the first place.
I’d say this is something that’s plagued my relationships and friendships for most of my life. Even worse, it’s had endless impacts on my relationship with my Self…
A few weeks back I went to something called ‘Yoga of Chant’, conveniently held at a yoga studio just a five minute cycle from my place. It was advertised on a meet up website that I’ve used before, and I was immediately drawn.
First one I didn’t get to as I was at home with a horrible flu. So disappointing! Second one was only two weeks later and I was determined to go! Of course, it had to bucket down rain just as I was leaving. I arrived kind of sodden but it was worth it.
Had to peel off my plastic pants and rain jacket, so the chanting (or kirtan) started before I found a seat. The dude running the group (a yoga teacher) played electric keyboard and sang (gorgeous voice!) while his friend played double bass (it worked really, really well), while we sang extended versions of Sri Krishna Govinda and Om Namah Shivaya mantras (Krishna Das style).
I don’t get too many opportunities for kirtan here in Melbourne (i.e. none) and this one rocked. It was kinda awesome actually and for me, there was real bhakti in the singing – loudly, deeply, from the very center of my heart.
Its not that I have a fantastic voice, but I absolutely ADORE singing kirtan.
Next day I was still buzzing, and had this lovely-warm-gooey-heart-opening sensation most of the day. The sort of feeling I get when I do ardha chandrasana and reeeaaalllly rotate and open through the torso…
…times about a hundred!
Interesting, I thought… and went to the next one (last Saturday actually).
The other thing I did last Saturday was attend a free Shadow Yoga class (more about that in another post). And I came away literally glowing with happiness. I could feel it, and I noticed other people noticing it, too.
Cycling home from the yoga class (before the kirtan), that’s when those words popped into my mind: Do something you love, something from the core of your being. Give over to it entirely. Let your heart open. It makes all the difference…
And I got it. Hey, sometimes it takes me a while to get things!
Ohhhhhhh! By doing things you really, really, REALLY enjoy, you are generating love for yourself and other people? And when you do that, there’s no sense of neediness? No space for miserable, self-defeating thoughts? No feeling bereft, adrift and craving connection with others, because the connection is already generated with yourself, through the LOVE you’ve been pumping out via your own actions?
That’s what happens sometimes, when you shake all the pretty pieces of coloured light in your kaleidoscope to reveal a mandala you probably already knew about on some level… but had never experienced for yourself.
Until that moment when you do.
And it changes EVERYTHING.
This is why I repeat this so often to people — when I say “BLISS” I do NOT mean a state of mind or spirit but an action DOING/THING. Joseph Campbell meant this quite literally when he said “Follow your bliss.”
Oh, I am excited for you!!!!
Physical/concrete action leads (eventually and when it is “right”) to spiritual peace because we ARE physical/concrete BEINGS.
@BlissChick – Thank you!! 😀
Yes, we need to synchronise ourselves in order to find that blissful place, absolutely!
I just updates my FB with “Do something you love, something from the core of your being. Give over to it entirely. Let your heart open. It makes all the difference…”
THANK YOU. I needed that today.
@Christa – That was so sweet of you! Glad your friends liked it too 😛
Hello again, Svasti,
I surfed over here today on a lark and found this post. Glad I showed up. Very nice! Come over to my blog at newjosh.wordpress.com. I am trying an online experiment(experimenting on myself, of course…) to find out where the soul of doing lies. It is good to find others who are also into trying the “doing”-ness of happiness! Also, if you like Kirtan, please look into a singer named Yofiyah. She is at: http://www.kabbalahkirtan.com/CDkiss.html, where you can hear samples…….I have a CD of hers…I think it’s her first, and it is just amazing. My whole family has connected with it. Oh, and one more thing…a bumper sticker I saw in Santa Fe, New Mexico: “The more you know, the less you need.” Pretty much says it all.
@newjosh – Your new plans sound very exciting. I like the way you put it, the “doing-ness of happiness”. That rings true for me…
Bob Weisenberg said:
Really enjoyed reading this Svasti.
Let me share with you this interesting website I came across just recently. It’s Graham Schweig’s site. He came out with a very highly acclaimed new version of the Bhagavad Gita that emphasizes the theme of love about all else.
The book, while exciting, is erudite and scholarly. The website all gooey gushy in a way I’m still getting used to. But I liked his Gita commentary so much that I’m going to spend some time here and see how I feel then.
There are two things that made me think of Schweig as I read your blog–the theme of love and his emphasis on mantra, both of which are in your writing above.
Take a look and tell me what you think.
In particular watch the first video on the video page called “Yoga’s Secret Love Song”.
@Bob – Thank you for the website. I’ve had a look and like you, will spend some more time there. Looks very interesting indeed.
Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but with this post I see you totally disposing the victim residuals that have haunted you and moving strongly into a bright new wisdom and happiness. There is a lot of joy in this post and it made me really happy for you, and happy just reading it.
(thanks for your comment at my latest post. because you said that you were trying to imagine the scene I linked an air view of Lawton’s so others who stop by will “see” even better. again, thanks)
@Lydia – Well, “totally” might be too strong a description, but yeah, there’s a lot of freeing up of my energy going on right now.
And thanks for adding the photo, I love the look of that place!
I LOVE this!!! I need more of this, and am still often reminding myself to do things that I love to feel better.
Like playing the guitar and writing music. RIGHT NOW 🙂 (ok, so after I finish typing).
(ps- I always thought that Kirtan would be moving and an emotional experience for me. It’s definitely been growing on me the more I listen).
@EcoYogini – Yay, sounds like a good idea!! Gotta get into the things you love, the things that allow a place of bliss and love to arise. Kirtan is amazing, but all the more so when you sing along and allow the music and the chanting to envelope you…
Bob Weisenberg said:
Yes, EcoYogini. Playing guitar! Certainly one of my great joys in life http://myspace.com/padreehijo
Helped formed a deep bond with my sons, too, both of whom are now guitarists in NYC http://joeyweisenberg.com
Do the things we love to do! Very Yoga.
Thanks again for reminding us of this, Svasti.
@Bob – Awesome! Glad to hear about your shared passion with your sons!!
Bob Weisenberg said:
Sorry, just checked my son’s link above and it’s not working. I’ve left an e-mail for him.
Wow, Svasti –
What a freeing suggestion! I love it! It sounds like something that comes from a really cool place inside of you!
– Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)
@Marie – It *is* very freeing. And its something we can all do for ourselves, right??
I’ve been sick and I’ve been away and it’s good to drop by your blog again. I am woefully behind in catching up with the blogs that I regularly visit.
Svasti, I think it is a real credit to the amount of growth you have seen that you can now not only think of ‘his’ name but that you can write it down in black and white.
You are absolutely right about any kind of recovery–in any type of situation, you are not supposed to get involved in a new relationship because it is absolutely true that when a person is too new to recovery, he/she needs to devote all his/her time to oneself. Relationships are stressful–and not to mention a huge amount of work and recovery is so much work that if a person is concentrating on another person, a lot of focus is taken off yourself, which is where it should be.
Of all the sabotages I have seen in recovery, starting new relationships are the most common and usually, it leads to a real relapse of some kind. Particularly since this person is in recovery for assault–the new person in his life could be in real danger and that’s a very scary thought.
Take care, my friend–
@Melinda – I think you meant to reply to another post (hehe!!). But never mind!
That article on Salon.com just got me so fired up because of the way it was handled. Cary usually gives halfway decent/interesting advice but I think in this instance he was all too ready to believe the guy was 100% okay to be in a new relationship again. And gave him the words pretty much, to break it to his new partner which gave him probably the best chance he has of telling her and not losing her.
Its just not a good idea for someone who says they want to recover to be in the position of the guy who wrote the letter. And some of the responses people wrote were just frightening!
I am starting a online blog directory and was
wondering if I can submit your blog? I’m hoping to mature my directory little by little by hand so that it retains high quality. I will make sure and put your blog in the correct category and I’ll also use, “Generating lurvvve – part 1 | Svasti: A Journey From Assault To Wholeness” as
your anchor text. Please be sure to let me know if this is ok with you by mailing me.