A small shift that meant everythingJuly 31, 2012
I can’t remember the details, and it’s probably better that way. All I know is that my life fundamentally changed one day on the train.
Before switching careers I worked downtown in a big office building, window overlooking the most beautiful part of the city. Each day I’d commute in – usually late because I didn’t like to get to work too early. It was pretty empty on the train. I read a lot as the suburbs whizzed by.
It was during my yoga teacher training and we had a list of recommended books. Or maybe it was while I was a student at IIN. Can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. I was reading, with difficulty, a book about meditation and energy and Buddhism and whatnot. It felt like a pile of baloney to me. A bunch of words. Theories. Nothing I could make use of. I was skimming, regretting that morning’s book choice.
This whole evolution of self had started with an episode of what I thought was mono. I felt numb. Exhausted. Miserable. Turned out I was all of those things, but I didn’t have mono. The yoga, the diet changes, the breathwork…it was all in an effort to reclaim my happiness. Myself. Who was I anyway? Was I a well-paid professional marching to the tune of the corporate ladder, Starbucks in hand? Or was I just a girl, trembling and anxious on her new yoga mat? Maybe something else entirely.
The book asked me to look inside, to see a white light. I’m paraphrasing here because for the life of me I can’t actually remember the details. But, yeah, something like looking for a white light inside. My inner energy or something.
Have you ever heard of such horseshit?
What do you see inside yourself?
I’d never thought about it. But I certainly didn’t see any white light. I shut my eyes and stared. Still no light. Nada.
In fact…it was nearly the opposite. If I had to put a name to it, I’d say that I saw a black light. Not the kind that makes your teeth glow at the nightclub, but just a dark field of energy. A black hole or something. Definitely black. Definitely not white.
Shit. It’s supposed to be a white light? Really?
I just wanted to get past this chapter. Ok, ok, there’s a white light. Just imagine it.
My brain rejected it as a possibility. Which was troubling. To not automatically see this white light described in some hippy dippy yoga book seemed reasonable. But to not be able to imagine it? What was holding me back?
I got angry. Just see the damn light!
Ok, ok. Pretend there’s a white light. (I’m pretty glad there was no one in the seat next to me as I concentrated on my inner landscape.)
Eventually I cajoled myself into faking an image of white light. Fake it ’til you make it, right? A white glow tentatively appeared.
The weirdest part was, I felt it. There was a distinct difference in how my body felt. Maybe at my core I’m not a black hole, maybe I’m something pure and light and good? Just this possibility felt downright…expansive.
Is this ridiculous? I’m rereading what I’ve written so far and wondering if it makes any sense at all. Because, here’s the thing, this small shift, this imagined white flame out of a book I no longer remember the name of…it changed something pretty big. I gave me a new perspective that meant everything.
It opened a window.
And all of this, this business, this website, all of you reading…you are what came next. Living my life from a place of good has been the most fundamental shift. Thank you for being part of it.