Several weeks ago, I was about to speak at an event for women entrepreneurs. Prior to that, I went to a yoga class in Harlem. It was being led by Nicolas at Brahman Yoga. I can’t hide the fact of my love for yoga. I’ve actually taught it before for a few years. I even studied it right in India once. Nicolas is well-known for teaching with measured pace and creative flow, so his class was a great way to get ready for my upcoming events.
Once his class was over, he thanked us all for coming. He also expressed gratitude for us all bringing our ‘highest selves’ with us. I laughed when thinking about this. Falling out of my flipped-down dog pose was not my actual highest self. In fact, when I landed, I was my lowest. I’m glad the floor was more comfortable than the surfaces my husband creates. He’s a concrete contractor in Oahu.
It wasn’t until after class that I knew what Nicolas was talking about. When our highest self actually shows up, it’s not a perfect performance. Our hearts, our minds, our very bodies…they’re all still under training. However, it’s our highest self that keeps all the working parts to continue coming to the yoga mat, to keep working and going on, the try even harder.
I said this much to women when I made my speech. I thanked them all for bringing their highest selves. Even though it might not be the highest self you have doing your job each day, or practicing yoga, or showing up in your relationships, you can rest assured your highest self is what’s showing up for more conditioning and learning.
Given this, each time we strive to improve ourselves emotionally and physically, it’s training. All this conditioning works towards aligning our current self with what’s our highest self.
Everything we do, be it falling from a yoga pose to an invigorating conversation with someone to reading self-help books, it’s all about aligning current with highest self.
So long as it draws us in the direction of our dreams, we can consider the conditioning good work. The hope is that one day our current self will be trained and conditioned enough to be attuned with our very highest self.
Meditation is certainly this kind of work. It’s particularly true early on in rough sessions. Even veteran practitioners don’t always wind up with sustained periods of enjoyable clarity. It’s a practice, though. It’s training. It’s about the chance to spend a little time with our highest self and then listen to it, so we can carry it with us through our daily actions.
The conditioning part isn’t the most difficult aspect of looking for your highest self, though. If you want inspiration, you can find it anywhere. The more cumbersome part is letting the process even happen. We are in a civilization where for some insane idea, it’s considered embarrassing to ever be a novice. We have this stigma on everyone that they need to be experts instead of students. That makes enjoying a process, particularly near the start, a lot harder.
We’ve said it before, you need to let yourself have the chance to learn. Don’t try to be perfect. It’s okay not to be the expert or the teacher. In fact, the best teachers see themselves as students of whatever it is they are learning. Permit yourself time, give yourself the gift of it. Try something new, and don’t be afraid to be new to it.
Allow yourself a chance to savor each step in the adventure of finding your highest self.
The steps involved in the journey matter more than anything when it’s all said and done. Such are the moments that will define you in the eyes of others, how you got past the adversity and obstacles in your life to finally live well.
It’s okay if you’re a novice. Savor the experience.