What is leading your life?

What is leading your life?

Reflective practices are really useful to help see what you have been creating in your life, but most interesting from where have you been creating? To see the motivation behind what you are doing.

I’m guessing that like me, you have a dream or an idea about how you would like your life to be.

And that at sometime in the future, when all the starts align in your favour your dream life, will materialise. You just need to work that little bit harder or smarter to get there at some point in the future.

But being really honest,  how many of us really manifest that dream life?  And if we do,  are we truly satisfied or do we go searching for more? Do we take that time to even question what we really want our life to be about? And where is that desire coming from?

When you are able to examine the motivations behind your actions, you may begin to realise that they do not come from a place of true purpose or Dharma but rather from a place of compensation.   

You may begin to realise that your motivations for your dream life are in fact compensation for an unconscious belief that you hold about yourself.  That you are trying to make yourself feel whole and resolve the psychological tension from the unconscious belief.

When this happens you may find yourself needing to prove something, For example, you may hold a deep rooted belief that you are unlovable.  And so go into the world (unconsciously)  to prove that you are loveable.   You actively seek love in everything you do.

But,  your unconscious belief system is so powerful that it won’t actually let you experience the deep love and connection the you crave for very long.  After all, you are unloveable, right?

And so you begin to self-sabotage the situation to prove that the unconscious belief of being unlovable is actually true.   We can be so clever in the way that we self-sabotage that at times we don’t even realise what has happened – after all your ego wants to keep all this in your unconscious.  So we blame others and the events in the world for being left unloved.

I know that this sounds completely insane, but believe me this is the condition of the human psyche at this moment in history.

So once you are able to bring your unconscious beliefs into consciousness, you begin to realise that everything you do in your life has been orientated towards proving that you are loveable. You can begin to see that your underlying motivation for your whole life is to feel loved.   

This particular belief is one that I have had to wrestled with for a long time.  Looking back I cringe at the choices I made in pursuit of feeling loved and resolving this belief.  And it lead me no-where, just more pain and suffering through repetition of the same old belief.

It would be very easy to spend your whole life trapped in these types of pattern or Samskaras. Not having the insight to realise why you never really created the life you longed for.

You can pass from one failed relationship to the next or find yourself locked in unsatisfying relationship to feel loved. Is this the life you would like to choose for yourself?

Being unlovable is just one unconscious belief that motivates behaviour and outcomes.  We all have a handful of them leading us throughout our lifetime.

If you stay locked within your unconscious belief system, you will never experience true freedom or contentment, which is the true goal of Yoga.

In my opinion, living your life trying to fulfil unconscious beliefs will, on the whole, will create an experience of lack and disconnection. Worse still, you be left with a sense that there was something else, a bigger more expansive life that you could have lived but didn’t know what or how.

So what’s the alternative? To live a life lead by something bigger than your unconscious belief.  Something outside of beliefs and the egos creations.    

That is a life created by your True Self and your True Purpose.

To get there you simply turn your attention inwards and become witness to your behavioural patterns.  You need to spend time noticing your current reality and the beliefs you have created. You may even want to find a transformational coach or someone who can reflect back your behaviour in a non-judgemental way.

I’m not suggesting this is an easy thing to do.  It takes tremendous effort , focus, self-awareness  and courage in an age where we are actively encouraged to numb out and turn on to what is outside of us.

So in the end it boils down to a simple choice on how you want to move forwards in your life.

Discovering True Love and Connection

Discovering True Love and Connection

I set the intention this week to be in bed by 10pm for at least six nights out of seven. I didn’t think it was too ambitious and my desire to be better rested and awake early seemed like a good idea to further my yoga practice.

I made a chart to track my progress and by the end of the week it was covered in sad faces.  I’d actually gone to bed every night later than the week before.

So what was all that about?  Self sabotage. When you want to do something to benefit yourself but create the opposite instead causing problems in daily life and your goals. Apparently the most common behaviours include procrastination, self medication, comfort eating and self injury.

It’s like having a rebellious teenager inside of you who pops in to ruin the party.

I’m my experience (and I have quite a bit), we self sabotage to keep ourselves small. By small I mean, who we are and where we are in life. 

If you dare to do something outside of who you know yourself to be (like a person who goes to bed early and is well rested), your ego starts to get a bit squeamish. It feels threatened and unsafe as all of its constructed beliefs and definitions about who you think you are and how the world really is would be compromised. 

So the ego creates thoughts, emotions and situations which lead you to self-sabotage. And all of those thoughts, emotions and situations seem completely reasonable and normal at the time. Its as if you are a victim of something outside of yourself and not a victim from something within.  It’s very clever and in that, it can be difficult to really see what is going on. So you continue to live thinking that we must try harder next time or we just give up altogether (victory for the ego).   And when I say you I mean me!

At this point, I want to interject to say that your ego isn’t bad or evil.  It’s not trying to hurt you or ruin your life.  Quite the opposite, it just wants to keep you (and it) safe from the perceived dangers “out there”.  Keeping you safe means keeping everything the same, replaying the same stories and patterns from childhood so it can deal with life.

But there is another way.  Phew! The answer is to be super vigilant for the tricks and deception of the ego.  It takes a lot of awareness and focus and dedication to practice. But the outcomes far outweigh the effort, I think anyway (we’ll take about this in another post).

You can cultivate the awareness you need by switching your mode of perception from first person to the observer or seer.  In the observer, you can step back and start to witness what the ego is doing and in which direction things are heading.  Just watching what is happening inside of you. You then have a true choice, to continue down the same old path or to switch paths. 

Yoga helps you to strengthen your observer awareness.  The observer mode of awareness is like a muscle that you can easily strengthen just by using it. Yoga offers us the chance to practice daily both on and off the mat. 

If you let the ego or in my case the rebellious teenager rule your life, the only choice available is to remain in the story of the ego wondering how and where it went wrong and how we can fix it.

I’ll post be posting a practice here shortly to help strengthen your observer muscle.  Sign up here to receive blogs, practices and details on my events by email

Spring Cleaning – Yogi Style

Spring Cleaning – Yogi Style

I set the intention this week to be in bed by 10pm for at least six nights out of seven. I didn’t think it was too ambitious and my desire to be better rested and awake early seemed like a good idea to further my yoga practice.

I made a chart to track my progress and by the end of the week it was covered in sad faces.  I’d actually gone to bed every night later than the week before.

So what was all that about?  Self sabotage. When you want to do something to benefit yourself but create the opposite instead causing problems in daily life and your goals. Apparently the most common behaviours include procrastination, self medication, comfort eating and self injury.

It’s like having a rebellious teenager inside of you who pops in to ruin the party.

I’m my experience (and I have quite a bit), we self sabotage to keep ourselves small. By small I mean, who we are and where we are in life. 

If you dare to do something outside of who you know yourself to be (like a person who goes to bed early and is well rested), your ego starts to get a bit squeamish. It feels threatened and unsafe as all of its constructed beliefs and definitions about who you think you are and how the world really is would be compromised. 

So the ego creates thoughts, emotions and situations which lead you to self-sabotage. And all of those thoughts, emotions and situations seem completely reasonable and normal at the time. Its as if you are a victim of something outside of yourself and not a victim from something within.  It’s very clever and in that, it can be difficult to really see what is going on. So you continue to live thinking that we must try harder next time or we just give up altogether (victory for the ego).   And when I say you I mean me!

At this point, I want to interject to say that your ego isn’t bad or evil.  It’s not trying to hurt you or ruin your life.  Quite the opposite, it just wants to keep you (and it) safe from the perceived dangers “out there”.  Keeping you safe means keeping everything the same, replaying the same stories and patterns from childhood so it can deal with life.

But there is another way.  Phew! The answer is to be super vigilant for the tricks and deception of the ego.  It takes a lot of awareness and focus and dedication to practice. But the outcomes far outweigh the effort, I think anyway (we’ll take about this in another post).

You can cultivate the awareness you need by switching your mode of perception from first person to the observer or seer.  In the observer, you can step back and start to witness what the ego is doing and in which direction things are heading.  Just watching what is happening inside of you. You then have a true choice, to continue down the same old path or to switch paths. 

Yoga helps you to strengthen your observer awareness.  The observer mode of awareness is like a muscle that you can easily strengthen just by using it. Yoga offers us the chance to practice daily both on and off the mat. 

If you let the ego or in my case the rebellious teenager rule your life, the only choice available is to remain in the story of the ego wondering how and where it went wrong and how we can fix it.

I’ll post be posting a practice here shortly to help strengthen your observer muscle.  Sign up here to receive blogs, practices and details on my events by email

Letting go into Happiness

Letting go into Happiness

Yoga reminds us of the best tool for letting go – the breath

We can choose to let go, relax and soften at anytime just by consciously making our exhale long and smooth.

 If you’ve been lucky enough to have been taught how to breath properly in Yoga you will have one of the best techniques for making the breath super long.  We’re talking anything between 12 and 20 seconds per exhalation with a little practice.  That’s a big release.

 But its easy to forget about the breath if you haven’t been trained in a breath-centric practice. Or if your Yoga teacher has never emphasised that EVERYTHING in Yoga hangs off the breath.

 I remember once a new student coming to class announcing proudly that she had done Iyengar Yoga for 40 years.  When I asked her if she knew how to breathe using these specific techniques that I’m talking about she looked very vague and nodded an unconvincing yes. I was puzzled as to what she had been doing for the past 40 odd years.

 Needless to say you get my point that everything is about the breath.  Science is now catching up with what the Yogis knew thousands of years ago that by consciously controlling our breath we can control and change our physiology and emotions quickly.

 The exhalation in particular allows us to release and let go.   We can’t force or use our will on the exhalation (unlike the inhalation).  We literally have to let go in order to breathe out.

If we are able to keep letting go consciously with long exhalations something profound can start to happen. We can move into a state of rest and digest.

 Being conscious as we exhale also allows us to soften into presence and with some practice what arises from this state is happiness or contentment.

 In Yoga it’s called Samtosa, which refers to the internal, unchanging contentment that each of us has inside.

 So even in the face of external challenges or something as massive and scary as the current Covid-19 epidemic, we can still maintain a sense of inner contentment rather than being pulled into anxiety, anger, despair or whatever emotions arise.

 If you would like to find out more about cultivating Samtosa and reducing anxiety and stress, then sign out for my newsletter to find out more Yoga Therapy for Anxiety which will be coming soon online.