Finding your inner self

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in front of my occapational health doctor’s office. I fell asleep for a while, I hadn’t slept well in months. He called me in and asked how are you doing, and I started crying. ”I’m so tired that I could die.”

I have been tired since I was a teenager. I’ve had trouble with sleeping since I was 10 and after that it’s only gone worse. I have some periods when my sleep is quite ok for me, but for someone else it would still be a living hell. Or at least very unpleasant. And even when I sleep ”well”, I never feel myself well-rested. I’ve always had this idea in my head that I should be more socially active, more efficient, more this and more that. For years I was working in three shifts as a nurse, training for body fitness competitions while having a continuous chaos in my personal life, relationship-wise. All that including constant lack of sleep, and I just kept pushing. For years I kept asking myself how am I this weak, why do all the other people have energy to do more and success, why don’t I achieve any development… No matter how hard I pushed myself, I only felt worse all the time.

Now it sounds pretty obvious for me that I was overloaded in so many areas in my life, that my body didn’t have a chance to recover and heal. And still, here I am again, on a sick leave because I found myself in that overworked state of being. But I’m happy that I did. I found myself in the middle of my own chaotic mind, trying to reach for something to grab. I found myself angry for being exhausted. I was scared to take a sick leave since I didn’t have a fever, a broken arm or even COVID-19. I got diagnosed with a moderate depression and an anxiety disorder. I don’t find myself in the descriptions of those diagnoses, they are synthetic, man-made, artificial. They do not define me and they are not who I am. But I’m happy that I got a chance to stop and listen for a while.

I’ve always had a poor ability to concentrate. It’s quite clear though, if you don’t sleep you can’t really focus on anything. Yoga has challenged me in so many ways during the last few years. I’ve tried to push my practice forward, even though that’s how you only go backwards. I’ve failed and let the failure take power over me. I’ve tried to listen without hearing anything, I’ve misunderstood so many messages my body and mind has tried to scream or whisper. But the beauty in yoga lies in failure and forgiveness. All my failures are a part of my path. All that has happened has lead me here. My practice is perfect the way it is right now, and as long as I keep practicing I keep growing up and making progress on my spiritual path. Some days are hard and overwhelming, that’s how it is and that’s how it’s always going to be. But still, somewhere inside, I know that all is well.

I was listening to some podcast yesterday, where Kino MacGregor was talking about finding true happiness from within. She encouraged everyone to ask themselves what brings real happiness. If your dream is to own a huge mansion, buy that mansion, sit in the middle of it and ask yourself: ”Does this make me happy?” If you’re thinking about things you would like to own, how many of them are truly making and keeping you happy? Wouldn’t it be awesome to be free of all the consumption hysteria and find something truly lasting in your own heart? I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs and stop buying things and be hippies. (I love hippies btw!) Just saying, that maybe world might be a better place if we all looked into our hearts and found a little love.

“Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances, and say to yourself: Happiness is the greatest divine birthright – the buried treasure of my soul. I have found that at last I shall secretly be rich beyond the dream of kings.”

Paramhansa Yogananda

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