It's far better to live your own path imperfectly, than to live another’s perfectly.
― The Bhagavad Gita
I believe we are all seeking more liberation.
We want to be free from oppressive energies and have a healthy sense of autonomy to express our individual nature with authenticity.
We want to live a creative existence, connected to our passions to bring more joy and purpose.
And at the core of our being, we want to live a simple existence, aligned with our own bodies rhythms and nature's cycles.
These are some of the underlying Universal currents that pulse life with reason, meaning and well-being.
They're a recipe that lead us to living a more fulfilled existence and awaken us to our capacity to live in harmony. Life is not meant to be an overwhelming game of survival with constant stress. At our essence, we are illuminated beings, born to thrive in every way!
Living from this place of harmony requires a deep commitment to our personal growth. We must stay open and willing, and hold the ability to self-reflect. We have to believe in ourselves and the magic of the Universe, to trust in the unconditional support that is always abundant within and around us. And with commitment and consistency, we are guided forwards one step at a time, and can expand into places we didn't even know were possible.
The process of personal growth is aimed at leading us to who we truly are, beyond any fears, doubt or limitations.
Our true nature is a loving, soulful being that has passions, pleasures and purpose. And our highest Self yearns to share our creative gifts with others to positively impact the world.
The more we connect to these aspects, the more we live in alignment with ourself and unique calling, our Dharma. When we move closer to this purpose, we become lit up - revitalized and radiant from an inner fire that burns bright within our Spirit.
Life becomes a sacred existence rich with opportunities for greater freedom...
This freedom is felt from a deep connection to Self and the ability to make empowered choices. Our capacity to treat our physical, mental and emotional bodies with respect and love, directly impacts how we move in the world and our experience of it.
I didn't know it, but when I first began yoga I was seeking greater freedom...
At the time, I had little understanding of my eco-system as a whole - I felt disconnected to my true desires, myself as a woman, and to my creative purpose. I felt trapped and lost living in a system I didn't feel supported by, and for a long time, reacted by defying everyone and everything that tried to put boundaries on me. I identified as a rebel wild child and denied my own inner voice, which so desperately wanted to be seen and heard. My teenage years were filled with destructive behaviors and addictions.
And as unhealthy as this time period may have felt, it was exactly what I needed to awaken...
In life, we will always experience situations that don't serve our highest Self (and will throw us out of alignment) in order to learn the best way forwards for the future. These parts of our journey are to be embraced and acknowledged as normal and very necessary.
Often the moments we feel trapped, lost, and confused express themselves in uncomfortable ways to show us signs that we are not living in harmony with our heart. These moments have potential to be a catalyst for growth and transformation, if we listen.
When we do, we usually enter a phase of deep purification, which can literally feel as everything we once thought to be true is no longer valid. This serves as a clearing to make space for new information, ideas and actions to arise.
At 19, I finally listened to the signs of destruction and stepped on my yoga mat for the first time. I was opened to a practice which led me to more clarity and spaciousness. From this place I could better receive the wisdom my Soul embodied and hear the clarity of my inner voice who sang with desires to live an existence with greater freedom in my body, mind and heart.
The pivotal shift came after I graduated University when I chose to learn more about yoga and explore the world. I wanted time to discover my own gifts, and the thought of job searching brought a heaviness to my heart. Instead, I bought a one way ticket to India to volunteer at a yoga retreat. I listened to what I felt would ignite my Spirit and as the Universe always provides, I was supported to expand into parts of myself I didn't know existed. My own values, dreams and health began to fall into greater balance and led me to follow a path of lifelong study, practice and teaching.
But first, I had to listen within and take a leap of faith to follow an inner calling that burned bright...
And to be honest it was the first time I truly felt free.
Ironically, I had only a few hundred dollars in my bank account, was living in a plywood hut shared with six Nepali boys and had a small backpack with some belongings. I had no idea what would come of the experience, but I felt immense freedom from making an empowered choice, guided by my own inner voice which sparked a new wave of enthusiasm, passion, vitality, creativity and love.
Fast forward years later, and my life looks slightly different from the outside in regards to my intentions, values and vision - however the practice remains the same.
Each day I choose to see the opportunities of how I can live more freely, and ask myself the following questions:
How can I nourish my body and mind to stay connected to its wisdom?
What empowered choices can I make to live in more alignment with my highest Self?
How can I be of service to those around me and the Earth?
Often the answers that arise are simple. They come as little reminders to follow my path, one day at a time...
My hope is that we all see the vast (and simple!) support systems available to live in greater connection with our own hearts.
Every moment is an invitation to receive our inner guidance, directing us to fearlessly take the next leap of faith and rise into who we are meant to be. There is never a better time than now!
May we continue to commit to our paths and aim for our highest visions, awakening the inner fire of the heart!
LAUREN LEE E-RYT 500 is passionate about living with purpose, exploring the world, and empowering others to live as their most authentic, radiant Self. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated teacher and forever student on the path of yoga, she leads transformational workshops, retreats and trainings to awaken the individual and collective consciousness. Read more about her here