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You are what you’ve been looking for

These words came through so clearly as the sun rose and warmed my face during a morning meditation. It was like the punchline to a joke or the clue that solved a complex mystery. The voice had such presence that it startled my eyes wide open. Sitting on this rocky outcrop in Thailand, I was alone, and I felt so full. My eyes filled with the magnificence and glory of the rising sun, my skin tingled, and I felt a wave of ecstasy inside my body. I was enveloped by a feeling a deep peace, bliss, and relief. I found what I had been looking for all along – me.

Just a few months back, I had an experience on the other side of the spectrum. I woke up in a dark and dingy room in Ethiopia feeling utterly exhausted, depressed and uninspired. I could only feel the pain of loneliness, my broken heart and worn spirit. I had been travelling tirelessly around the the world and asked myself, “What is the point of all this? What is at the source of my restlessness? How do I fill this deep void inside?”

How is it that we can be riding the high waves of life and in a moment’s time, feel pulled in by a rip current? Shiva as depicted in the Shiva Nataraj, represents the dance of the human journey in the flames of life. In one hand he holds a drum symbolizing birth and creation, and in his opposite is a flame of destruction and death. One hand conceals his heart, which brings forth the feelings of pain and sadness which result when we hide from our own truth. This same hand points at his elegantly lifted foot, giving rise to the joy and delight when we feel when flowing with Grace. The dance is fiery and Shiva moves wildly with his dreadlocks whirling, remaining in the centre of the flames with a steady, graceful stance and soft, calm face.

Shiva reminds there will be ups and downs in our life and we need not be consumed by it all. As we practice yoga and bring more awareness into all that we do, we tap into the place of steadiness and joy inside. When we seek it from the external world, it is insatiable and unreliable because the dance inherently has its extremes. At our core, our perfection and wholeness is unshakable. You are the steady presence of awareness. You are love. You are bliss. You are Shiva. You are what you’ve been looking for.

Alice Hong Signature

Alice Hong

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