The Guest Blog: How Do I Look? By Shawna Emerick

Even as I start to write this, I am thinking,”this must be amazing, and it must bring hundreds to my yoga classes, and it must strike people right in the gut, or the heart!”. And then, I relax, what’s all the stress for?

Oh yea, I want to look good. I want to sound smart, and I want to impress you with my writing. I also want to look awesome in every yoga class I take, look good in a bikini, look good walking my dog, and look good right when I wake up! Does it always happen; not according to my standards. Alas, that’s a topic for another time, you know what I mean! And yet, it does tie in here, those darn self-imposed expectations. (Add a knowing wink here!)

Yoga philosophy reminds me,”I am of this body, and I am not of this body; I am of this mind, and I am not of this mind.”

According to the Vedic texts, I am, we all are, eternal souls, “jivas”. Spiritual beings having this human, Earthly if you will, experience.

This is why I do go to my mat, why I meditate. To remember what I have come to call, “The Great Remembering”!…remembering who I am, who we all are.

When I was in Malawi, Africa, this past summer, the house I stayed in had no mirrors. In fact, mirrors weren’t really anywhere! After a few days, I realized that I did not care about how I looked. Daily events became more about the substance of the happening and connecting with the people who were there. And then, it hit me like a ton of hearts bring thrown at me; my Malawi friends didn’t care how I looked either! They cared only that I was there; spending time with them, learning their language, learning their songs, teaching their children yoga, and, most importantly, being me…authentic, little ol` Shawna from NYC! Ha. To this day, it brings tears to my eyes. We were all so invested and interested in each other for reasons beyond the material; wanting only health and happiness for all.

So, as Cheryl Strayed (read her book `Wild`) would say, “so, dear reader”:

What are your goals? What do you desire? What makes you come alive? Are you willing to work for them? Make a few sacrifices, let go of somethings? Is it YOUR truth that lives in these goals and dreams? Or are they something society has impressed upon your mind, expecting you to be a certain way/look a certain way? What’s your heart telling you?

Are you ready to let go of how you “look” in order to live your truths?!

It has taken me a long time to be able to say “I don’t care how I look,” and some days I am still a work in progress. However, I am enjoying the journey of shedding my Earthly self and living in the Inner Light that lives in us all. Victory to that Light!

To read more of Shawna’s work, click here.

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