When I was a kid I decided that thirty-seven was my favourite number. I can feel the memory of that moment, with resonance. Why thirty-seven? Simply because I felt like it was a neglected number. I felt that no one ever thought of thirty-seven or used it (to my knowledge) aside from counting in a linear fashion. Thirty-seven was just… sort of… there without anyone paying it much attention.
I remember writing that number over and over, sending it love.
I think I felt sorry for thirty-seven. I wanted it to be acknowledged more.
I remember having a garage sale and pricing everything accordingly: $0.37, $1.37, $2.37. This led to a discussion with my parents about the concept of pricing and making change, helping me understand why thirty-seven wasn’t used that often.
A few days before I (recently) turned thirty-seven I had a strong, healing shift of realization.
I realized that I have believed the world wants to throw me out of it.
I realized that I keep waiting for the mysterious “them” or “they” to toss me out – either because I don’t belong or I’m separate or not wanted.
I’ve written about this in different ways before, talking about beliefs I hold around persecution and being able to be seen, to be me, to be in my power. Somehow I now feel as though I have been cowering and not realizing my full unbound potential out of fear. Recently, I watched as I took responsibility for myself and for my own actions instead of blaming this invisible “them” who I kept waiting to hurt me for expressing myself.
All those times, I was resisting something and working away through to this realization.
I realized that I’ve believed the world wants to throw me out – only – it can’t.
I’m a part of this world. I come from it and out of it; not to it.
I’m not an alien that has arrived here, confused, even though I have often felt like that.
I am a part of it and so I can’t be thrown out. There’s nowhere for me to be “thrown out” to. It doesn’t exist – this other place to which I seem to be waiting to be cast out towards. Banished.
Even in death, it’s not possible.
I am a part of all that is.
I can’t be thrown out. I’m here. “They” can’t get rid of me.
As I sat with this realization through turning thirty-seven, it grew stronger and stronger. This being a part of, not separate from. Not concerned about people who don’t like me or don’t want me around (as I tend to chase after to I can feel unloved); focused instead on those people who do love me.
There may be times when I’m “difficult” for others to be around and that’s okay too. I still get to be here and that difficulty is also a part of all that is.
Everything. Every aspect of self and personality and transformation. Those aspects that might shift and change and those that don’t. Those aspects that all need acceptance. They are in me and they are in everyone else too.
From offering Heart Connection workshops repeatedly I have the opportunity to connect with others through the heart space in a deep way. I hear so many meaningful insights from the people who come explore and share and it often comes back to acceptance. Full acceptance for the other people in the room and for each individual to fully accept themselves. No matter what comes up. To be held and supported by one other person while making eye contact and connecting through the heart. To actually see and sense and feel through the heart while being present and witnessing another person.
To see yourself in another.
I see that more and more in myself. The more I start to connect to myself and to my heart, the more I see how others reflect what needs to be revealed for me. The bright and shining aspects and the more dark and murky ones. The parts of myself I have started to like or love and the parts that I might not like. I’m learning to sometimes simply accept that I don’t like them. That doesn’t mean anything is “wrong” or “needs to be fixed”. My tendency to like or dislike could shift at any time or not. Those beliefs are fluid.
I see now how this feeling of exclusion and strong belief that the world wanted to get rid of me meant I could treat myself in more destructive ways. It meant that I could treat others in more harmful ways. It meant that I sought more and more control and holding on because it felt as though the world was trying to spin me right out of it unless I did something. Held on. Forced my way and my will.
I see now some of the early light when I felt a glimmer of others bringing me into this secret mystery of life, helping me learn to practice a secret language. I see now how choosing to shift from using the word “but” to “and” helped me create a lens of abundance and to not always see everything through a lens of scarcity or lack (which is still my default and it’s also being broken down; deconstructed). Simple things that have led to an avalanche of a shift.
My old belief structures are falling apart. They have been for years now.
The more they fall apart the more of what is left is simply, me. All of me.
And I trust now that other people want me around. They may even like or love me. It’s up to me to not feed my ego with that energy and to remain humble while at the same time receiving what I need.
A friend asked me on my birthday about what I had learned this past year.
What came up for me was that I have learned how to be in relationship more. To not hide away or separate from others (or from myself) and to be more and more available. To live with other people. To enjoy company and let myself be enjoyed.
To allow myself to be supported by others. To allow myself to feel supported internally and externally.
To participate in this whole huge big fabric of life and, as I do, it reinforces my trust in myself and that, in fact, I’ve always been welcome here. Wanted here. Supported here. The love has always been all around me. I simply didn’t believe it. I could feel it and often tried to exclude myself from it. Instead of letting myself be held by all the support and energy that is constantly flowing. I did that – not anyone else.
Unconditionally. I’ve learned how to remove some conditions to loving.
To keep learning how to hold on less to this big spinning ball of earth – and learn that it’s not going to fling me out. I’m not here to be destroyed.
I started to feel the sensation of belonging here. I started to feel how, when I can’t be thrown out, I need to participate in the way I want to while I’m here. I don’t have a passive escape mechanism or others to blame. I need to choose how I want to be treated and how I want to treat others. For me, that choice keeps moving more and more into one of empowerment and encouragement. Love. To know that I can choose these things and let go of the outcome. To choose how to be, without expectations.
I feel more connected to all parts of myself and, as I become connected, I simply can’t treat myself or others in a destructive way. I can’t destroy myself and I don’t want to. If I can’t destroy myself, then I can’t destroy you either and I don’t want to. I may be “destroyed” or “persecuted” only if I allow that to be true. If I give responsibility away. If I give power away.
I notice that I now think constantly about how much I destroy the earth every day and that no longer feels like something I can ignore (even if I’m not sure how to shift those behaviours yet). I can’t ignore myself or my part in the fabric of life.
The more connected I feel, the more I realize how much everything is in relationship and whatever I’m a part of is also a part of me. As this new belief started to take hold, I caught a glimpse into the divine orchestration of all that is. That I’m responsible for organizing my own piece of the larger picture and while I’m doing that, so is every other living creature. We are all, consciously or not, working together all the time.
Union. Yoga means union.
As I continue to deepen my yoga practice, my teaching practice, and my living practice, my ability to become union strengthens. I notice more of what I want to feed in myself and in relationships.
I’m growing out of feeding my own death into breathing life.
I’m learning how to love where each and every person is in their process too and know that I can’t throw them out either. That is not the kind of power I’d want to have. I need to learn from each person who I find difficult and understand that they are bringing up for me the thing I need to work with in that moment. To try to not move away from what I find difficult or expect that others will abandon me in moments when I’m difficult for them. To see that we’re all a part of everything. All parts of us.
I didn’t know, all those years ago, that when I started giving love and support to the number thirty-seven it was also part of this process. Part of learning how to love myself.
I’m a part of everything. I’m a part of all that is.
And so are you.