In class this week, one of my yoga teachers made a comment about transformation that really caught my attention. I wish I could quote her exact words, but I didn’t have pen and paper (or a voice recorder) handy in the moment, so I will have to paraphrase as best as I can instead.
“Transformation is not about changing who you are. It’s about becoming more of who you already really are and bringing that true self to all situations and relationships in all times, in all places, and with all people in your life.” ~Marsha (my paraphrase from memory)
I have tended through this process of transformation that I have been going through to think of it as a process of changing who I am, but the moment I heard her words, I recognized that she was exactly right. All of my changes have really been about becoming more my true self and letting that true self be present in every time and place in my life.
None of the changes I’ve made have been about adding something to who I am or changing my fundamental character. All of them have been about removing masks, discarding unhelpful beliefs and patterns, or excavating parts of myself that have been buried too long by all the baggage I’ve been carrying around. Every step of this process has been about becoming more authentically me in both my inner and outer worlds. It’s been about being willing to honestly meet the real me again after years of trying to make me into someone else.
To my surprise, it’s been the giving up of trying to make myself into that “better person” I thought I should be and surrendering to be the person that I actually am that has wrought this transformation that is making me into a more joyful and whole person that I would ever have thought possible. I actually like the me I am discovering under all those layers of baggage so much more than the me I had worked so hard to be. Even more surprising, most other people also seem to like the real me better than the me I thought would be more acceptable.
As a synchronicity, I came across a blog post today on Elephant Journal called Eversomuch More-so about becoming more ourselves through yoga. The post is well worth a read, so I won’t repeat it here, but it includes the re-telling of a children’s story about a magical product that makes everything eversomuch more-so itself. I love the idea of having something like that! I think yoga—with the sense of presence and openness it brings—just may be my eversomuch more-so magical product. It nourishes my authentic self in a way that nothing else ever has.
In fact, the author of the blog post quotes Douglas Brooks as saying, “Yoga is virtuosity in becoming yourself.” I like that. And I plan on continuing to develop that virtuosity every time I step on the mat or sit on the cushion. Every step I take on this journey of transformation, of becoming more authentically myself, is bringing greater joy than I ever dreamed could be possible in life. Even in the hard days, even when I hurt, even when I grieve my losses, there is increasingly a stable foundation of pure joy that supports each moment and makes the challenges bearable.
Who knew life could be this good?
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.