Shedding a Skin

Something rather startling occurred after I emerged from savasana the other day.  After savasana, which is a deep level of relaxation at the end of a yoga practice, I tend to have certain revelations.  It is like waking up for the first time or like the feeling of rebirth after a hot shower or bath. This week, I have been practicing a Metal Energy Medicine Yoga practice, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Metal element is associated with the lungs, as well as grief and letting go. The entire 5 Element wheel in TCM is a subject for another blog, but if you’re interested in learning more, here is a simple quiz/resource to check-out by Donna Eden’s daughter, Dondi:

I am primarily Fire, but Metal is my secondary element - meaning I tend to get caught up here in my cycles of life.  I can be so quick to “let it go” that I skip the necessary grieving process, which can harbor pain within my energy system.  Well, like every good yoga class or energy healing session, you gotta bring that s*%$ up!

The process of letting go is tough for a lot of us, but in everyday life, I have often been told by people, “I need to let my hair down.”  This sentiment from others was always slightly disheartening to me because in my head I would always respond: “Um, my hair IS down.”  Even if people meant this in a nice way, I felt self-conscious and attacked when I was told to loosen up.  This inner dialogue with myself or outward fear of others’ view of me is ego-centered thinking.  And as a very wise friend once told me, “Your ego is NOT your amigo.”  The ego pulls us out of a spiritual alignment and concerns itself with mental or emotional constructs and perceptions of our reality.  For instance, when someone told me to let me hair down, it was my ego that took this personally.  As I grow in this work and continue on my own energy healing journey, I am learning to shed my ego - like shedding a skin.

So, here's the bones of this story: When I emerged out of savasana the other day, I rolled onto my right side, eyes closed, and instantly saw a decaying shell of myself in front of me, like a mirror.  I jumped, opened my eyes, and quickly sat up.  I returned to a meditative state to end my practice, began to ground myself, and realized:

We need not fear the layers we shed.  Like the cycles of life, the resurgence of energy will continue to flow through us as we are aligned to the unified field of the world.  Surrendering to Spirit and shedding my ego is a way to better unify me to the world.  Fear is obsolete as we let go of limiting beliefs, judgments, negativity, etc.  We need to instead be courageous to face the layers of us that need to be shed so we can evolve.  Like looking in a mirror at ourselves, we may not always “like what we see” but this is only our ego -- what we perceive are simple constructs of the mind and are false.  We are all perfectly imperfect just as we are in this exact moment.  When I was presented with a decaying shell of myself, as startling as it was, it was not to harm or scare me, simply to show -- wow, it IS possible to let go.  Letting go of the shell of myself that was self-conscious, wrapped up in my ego and fearful of how the world perceived or accepted me; this will never serve me, or humanity.  How can we go out into the world and shine if we are dimmed by the shade of our ego-mind?

Just like the skin which sheds dead cells everyday and constantly regenerates, we are able to do the same.  We can examine ourselves at the level of the soul and uncover what needs to be shed to align with our highest self.  We may even have visions or dreams to support this process, angels or guides to convey messages, signs in nature or from God, and it is not something to fear.  Just like the shadows of our being, it is for us to enlighten to interpret the larger meaning.  Fear would not have propelled my journey or personal revelation of what the decaying reflection of myself meant.  If I were to say “No way, this is scary, Yoga is evil” I would not only throw myself out of alignment with the world, I would have missed the opportunity to learn.  Akin to the subject from last week, this vision took a moment for me to decipher, process, and discern what spirit was conveying.  It was not malicious or harmful, only my perception or ego-mind would interpret it this way.  And now I am able to share this lesson, work to keep my ego in check, and let it go!