the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
On my path to awakening, I often wonder, “Is this working?” and “Am I doing it correctly?” I’ve read countless personal growth books and put various methods into practice keeping the ones that resonate with me. But at the end of the day, I still wonder, “Have I grown?”
Let’s take a step back and understand what is “awakening.” Awakening reminds me of a quote by Maya Angelou, “when you know better, you do better.” Each time we pause and reflect, we gain knowledge. We start to understand what soothes our soul and what sets our tempers off. At times, it almost feels as though we are in a book, and we can hear the narrator calling out our inner feelings allowing us to process before we respond. “Jennifer’s heart filled with sadness to hear her friend’s unkind words. She wanted to yell back, but she paused. She took a breath realizing her friend too was sad, and didn’t know how to handle her pain.”
Life gives us opportunities to gauge our personal growth. These occasions may come in the form of a difficult conversation with a family member or friend. They may show up as heartache and loss. They may present themselves as social drama. With each of these challenges, we get a glimpse to see how much we’ve grown by how we respond to the situation.
On a recent trip to New York City with the family, I had a moment of evaluation. It had been a long day of walking, shopping and taking in a Broadway show (go see Frozen, it’s wonderful!). My husband left to meet a friend while I took the little ones back to the hotel. They were still full of energy from the day and it took all the patience I had to get them bathed and dressed for bed. Normally, I wouldn’t allow my children to take in late night television, but I needed a moment to process my own needs. It was then I could hear the narrator speaking, “Jennifer was also tired from a long day of exploring. She, like her children, had become overwhelmed with all the noises and distractions they saw and heard all day. What she really needed was silence.” With the tv on low, I was able to find a quiet spot in the hotel room to sit and rejuvenate.
In that moment, I knew I had grown. The easy way would have been to yell and break down, but not really solving the problem. Take a moment to tap into your narrator’s thoughts during your next opportunity. How far have you journeyed? How much have you grown?