Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Finding Your Voice

I have had an interesting few weeks. I have delved into physical posture issues that had me questioning whether yoga led to my current physical pain. I have delved into  emotional processes I have had my entire life wondering if they could be the root of the pain. And I have ignored the pain as much as possible and attempted to change my story around it only to have it come back and bite me in the rear, literally. There is so much to say. I have wanted to write about all of these issues and experiences, to share them as part of the yoga / modern world story.

And yet, I cannot find the words.

Where have they gone? Everyone who writes has moments like these. They come in waves and make us believe we have lost our voice for good. Is it a fear of a response to our genuine voice? Is it a fear that we have nothing to say? Is it a fear of showing too much of ourselves?

When I was living in New Zealand, writing came so easy. If nothing else, I could always fall back on the beauty surrounding me. The earthquakes provided nice, though disturbing, fodder as well. But since being back these for nearly two years, life has taken on a strange sense of normalcy even though I am finally a practicing attorney, the sole purpose for this blog. There is so much going on, but why would that matter to anyone? How do I put it into words? I do not think it is the practice of law itself that has taken my voice, but instead the implications on my practice of putting too much on a public blog.

But it's not as though my life is not interesting. I see human tragedy several times per day and opportunities to use a practice all the time. But as each day ends there are moments of regret, realizations that moments of practice were missed, and a deep sense of recognition that more often than not reaction wins when response was so necessary. It's not just my voice that is missing, it's the practice itself. And how does a yoga teacher share being caught up in the mind so much as to miss the opportunity to tune in and meet people where they are with a sense of yogic connection?

These issues go beyond the practice of law as well. A friend asked me if I wanted to teach a yoga class for her. Of course I do. But how? What if that morning I wake up unable to walk? What if I have lost my yoga teaching voice? What if I have lost my practice? When I started teaching yoga, people told me they loved my classes. Certainly they are different than the average American yoga class, but they seemed to work. But I have not taught in over a year. I have only taken a handful of classes. The fear has taken over. I don't know if my voice will come back or if my practice will either. There is a piece of the fight or flight response people often forget - the freeze response. As I have learned more about it, I see it more and more in the people around me. But more of that for a different day. Today, suffice it to say, my practice and my voice feel as though that is where they are.

And that is when yoga is needed the most. It is always there to guide us back to presence and ourselves. Yoga is not about finding something external. It is about finding the strength within us that guides us through life. I realized something this past weekend. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way in order for the magic to happen. Yoga is just a tool for making that happen. It is the path (perhaps better to say, one path) for getting out of our own heads and into our true Being.

Deep within ourselves  we cannot lose our voice. We cannot lose the practice. Both are always there. We just find incredible ways to hide them from ourselves and then fear they have disappeared forever. The truth, however, is that we can never lose our essence. By definition, it is always within us. And our voice is nothing more than our essence manifested in this reality.

And so, yoga is the practice of letting our essence shine again. Sometimes it even takes writing about it before we can trust ourselves enough to access it.

Do you tune into your essential voice? Do you let your true voice manifest in this world? If not, what is holding you back? And what do you need to break out of that rut and shine? The modern world tries to quiet us and deprive us of our deepest voice, but yoga beings us back to it simply by silencing all the noise blocking it out. And sometimes remembering it is there is the first step on the journey toward finding it again. How are you finding your voice?


© Rebecca Stahl 2013, all rights reserved.
The post, Finding Your Voice, first appeared on Is Yoga Legal.

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