A story of Life’s Journey in finding our lights
Every one of us has our own journey towards a place in this life where we’re living our conscious purposeful lives. I’d like to think that eventually, all of us meet in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) on the Life’s equivalent of a Yoga mat: feet deeply rooted to the ground, crown extending towards the heaven, allowing the forces of the universe to flow through us, as we shine our Light.
For some, the journey was a quick 5-minute stroll down the park. For others, like me, the journey was an up-and-down trip around and through various cities and neighborhoods, with one or two times getting lost in the way.
And some of us took a while to find the lanterns to use to connect to our light in order to shine. For me, I kept misplacing my lanterns and ignoring my light although I knew which lantern I like the most. And that lantern is Yoga.
Starting the Journey
My first encounter with Yoga was in the late 90s, in my living room in my hometown of Bandung, Indonesia, in a private class that I took with my mom and sister. We used spongy exercise cushions as mats. I didn’t understand why we had to do funny poses, but my teen-self enjoyed it. And that short experience somehow embedded in my thoughts that Yoga is a tool to find peace.
A few years later, in a different town and country, I came back to Yoga as a solution to lose weight when my petite Indonesian body gained all the weight of the glorious American junk food.
It was a Yoga boot camp at a school gym. There were no soothing music or fancy mats or leggings. But we were united in our sweaty attempts of losing some weight. My 18-year-old self still enjoyed the funny poses but didn’t care about the gym-like exercises. So, I stopped doing Yoga and as the years passed, I started to get lost and the curiosity towards Yoga was forgotten.
Thankfully, my Yoga lantern has a stubborn alarm that goes off when I got lost.
It first started beeping was when I was working long hours in my corporate job. One summer, as I was jadedly driving to work, the radio spoke of a free summer Yoga program at the Santa Monica pier. For 4 weeks after that, I was up excitedly early every Saturday to find a piece of peace amongst the crashing of the waves and the seagull calls.
Unfortunately, the beeping was not loud enough and it got buried again for a little longer till I fell into depression.
This time, the alarm started beeping loud, saying sternly, but kindly, for me to get help and heal. I listened. I left my life in the States, started healing and pursuing things that I love.
I thought I had to turn off the beeping noise, but a couple years later I heard the same loud beeping noise as I found myself with a suicidal thought.
Only then I realized that all this while, even though I had seen the light and lantern, I hadn’t accepted it as mine, and therefore hadn’t claimed and held on to it.
Getting to the Destination
By the grace of the Universe I was led to meditation. When I sat on that Yoga mat under the tree for my first meditation, I cried floods of tears as I saw the little flicker of my own light and decided that I’m going to start paying attention to it.
From then on, I started listening to my inner GPS on which turns and roads to take. But there were still many resistances. For a couple years, I resisted going to yoga class even though deep down I was craving for it because my ego kept acting as stop signs. I knew I was resisting it hard because what I was afraid of was that I could see with my own light. One day, I finally had enough and took down the stop signs.
Arriving on the Mat
After searching high and low all over the world, I came full circle and jumped into a teacher-training program in my hometown. I only had the intention of better understanding Yoga – the one thing that had kept my curiosity piqued all this year.
When I stepped into the studio on the first day of class, I felt like I had arrived at a destination.
It was like arriving at Disney World and being floored by the magnificent of all the parks and all the rides because what you knew of Disney World so far was based on a 2-dimensional flyer and others’ word-of-mouths.
As I studied the philosophy of Yoga, the ancient texts, and learned to embody the asanas and other practices, I slowly understand Yoga’s true meaning of union and balance. I was also reminded every day that the most important thing in life is love.
Shining the Light
I renewed my commitment to creating a community of love and continued my journey. But this time, I feel like I’m journeying from one Life’s Yoga mat to the next. Currently, some of my “mats” are my daily life, my practice, the classes I take, the classes I teach, and the Social Zen Retreats, a retreat that some friends and I put together.
The beauty of this part of the journey is that on each mat, I just need to show up and connect with my light and other’s lights. And in every round, I look forward to meeting everyone in Tadasana.
About the author
Meta Vashti is an art lover and a traveling yogi. She was an IT auditor and an Arts Manager before deciding to come back to the world of Yoga. Through her self-discovery journey, she found that love is the most important force in this word, especially love towards ourselves. She wishes to share this message and create a community of love through Yoga, Meditation, and the creative arts. She facilitates the Social Zen Retreats with some friends to also share the message of love and help others find their lights. To read more about the Social Zen Retreats, visit socialzenretreats.com. To read more of Meta’s thoughts and stories, check out metavashti.com or follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@metavashti).