When the Student is Ready, the Horse will Appear

Back when I started my journey towards myself, I remember sitting on the porch and watching a spider doing its “thang”, weaving its web. I noticed how similar it was to the human mind. Out of nowhere, a thought would occur and weave a bunch of stories from itself. Then my mind trailed off to the day before to contemplate my adventure of horseback riding. I noticed another similarity, this time between the horse and myself.

Being the wise owl out of my group of friends, I had expected my horse to be the most zen, but this horse related to a very different aspect of me. This horse was wild at heart. It refused to follow anyone, and insisted on marching past the guides to lead. When it got the chance, it escaped its headgear and took off into traffic with me on top. That was my second time on a horse so you can imagine my terror. Yet, I knew this was meant to be because this experience was reflecting to me something about myself. 

The horse had my complete sympathy. After all, who was I to tell it what to do? I had spent so many years trying to be a perfect horse myself (figuratively), and I no longer saw any benefit in it. I was in the process of shedding an image that I had worked so hard to create, because it was a false image of me. It was an image that made no one happy, least of all me. I no longer wanted to be enslaved to any society, religion, or culture. I was no longer willing to live to impress others. I was no longer on this planet to live a life that others wanted me to live. I wanted to own my life, my time, my likes, my dislikes, and my mistakes. Basically, I could relate to this horse and understood why he was shown to me.

Sitting on the porch, the picture became even more clear. I had been punishing, shaming, neglecting, denying, bullying, comparing, and criticizing my body. Now, I started to see that my body was also a wild horse that I had been trying to tame. What good was a tamed horse, when I could have a wild one with it’s own intelligence? Trying to break this horse was only breaking its spirit. Instead of trying to own the horse, I decided to honour it. I broke out of the mental conditioning us humans have that compels us to own everyone and everything in our paths. Thanks to this horse, I no longer saw my body as a resource for me to exploit. Instead, I started my journey of worshiping it.

This simple change in intention made an enormous difference in the direction my life progressed. As I dove into yoga, my single point of focus was to heal my relationship with my body. I wanted my body to trust me instead of fear me. Every day, my body shed more trauma and relaxed a little more. My sleep improved, my health improved, my strength improved, and most importantly, my intuition improved.

Now, when I’m facing a group of new yoga students, this is the simple change I hope to inspire in them. I feel that once you start seeing your body as an invaluable companion, you are less likely to quit halfway or be led astray. You will be gentle, curious, and determined. The journey itself becomes healing because you learn. When you learn, you know better, and when you know better, you do better. You no longer have to torture your body into sizes that don’t feel comfortable. You no longer feel the need to be accepted by another person, because you have already accepted yourself. You are able to say that you are working out for yourself. You are able to show up everyday to your practice because it’s no longer superficial, but a very personal, spiritual, and intentional prayer.

My Price-tag Won’t Stick

Why I wrote this:

First of all, I am not talking about finding a man or a man finding you. A man is not your worth. That belief is exactly our problem. We got this ancient belief system programmed and running in our subconscious that if a man accepts us and marries us then we are worthy. Otherwise we are a piece of crap. I don’t agree with this belief. I don’t think I am crap with or without a man next to me. Men don’t validate a woman’s worth and vice versa.

For me, no one validates my worth. Not my family, nor my friends. I’ve seen everything come and go, and I have existed regardless. In fact, I think if you seriously go looking for your worth, like I did, you will also come to the conclusion that you cannot be valued. Your job title, your income, your hair, your looks, your reputation, your ability to procreate, etc., nothing can value or devalue you. And maybe the value we truly create is beyond these variables. 

When I went exploring into this, many many years ago, at first I looked at myself through the eyes of others. And yes, through others’ eyes, all the above factors could have helped put a price tag on me, but I decided to dig further. Because, even if the tag on me read “$0,” I would still be alive. For some reason, LIFE was still finding me valuable enough to keep me alive.

This is something I have been trying and testing out for years now and it has remained true. I did not think I could have survived this long, but I noticed that life keeps on making sure I do. It or something out there wants to keep me alive. It wants to keep you alive. It is keeping us alive until it says, “Meh! I think I’m done with this one.” I’ve spoken the truth when I arrived late to a job interview and still got the job. I have not competed with anyone for work in the last 7 years yet always got exactly what I was meant to get…exactly what I needed. I have not argued or defended myself to people. Yet, I found that whenever I was coming from love, things would shift in my favour on their own. I’ve faced some major fears and something keeps on coming along and watching my back. For all the people who are gonna take this out of context…I am not talking about walking in front of an oncoming bus and expecting it to not hit me. Will I survive? Who knows? All I know is that we never do walk alone. Especially when we choose honesty and trust life, especially then, the universe walks with us.

So, my conclusion was that this life that I am living, that you are living, that we are all living, is priceless. You can’t price something that’s priceless. It’s invaluable because it’s beyond value. Value is just a concept humans have created for bartering. It does not exist beyond that. While WE all DO exist beyond it.

Shooting Star

This is one of the meditations that I’ve been incorporating into my yoga classes lately. It’s amazing how the presence in a room changes as soon as I say these words. There is a silence that arises, a sense of peace, and a feeling of deep connection with each other.

Often, I say them when the students are resting at the end of the class or during a restorative yoga class. I’ve said it in a class of 7 students and I’ve said it in a class of 27. The intensity is stronger in a larger group but the shift in energy is the same. These classes have women and men, of all different ages, different backgrounds, yet each person can relate. The little spark in the eyes as they leave the room is the same.

Because of all of our cultural programming, we just don’t allow ourselves to be – without conditions. There always has to be some justification for us to take up space in this world. Some of us are waiting to be successful or happy before allowing ourselves to be here, and might spend the rest of our lives waiting.

Chasing goals, we lose ourselves in the rat race trying to build our worth. As if we could actually ever be worthless. We’ve been doing this for so long that most of us don’t even know that we are doing it. We size each other up as soon as we enter a room to figure out where we stand in the rank.

When we allow ourselves to be without conditions, our presence relaxes and allows others to be without conditions. When we stop looking for justification and feel welcome unconditionally in this world, the chatter in the mind dies down for just long enough to catch a glimpse of our own presence. It’s like seeing a shooting star- you know you saw something amazing but you couldn’t quite put a finger on it. Abd I think that that’s the shift in energy that we experience during this meditation.

Aleph

it’s in your eyes

i see an ocean

one i dive in

one that calls my soul

one that scares me

one that’ll take me whole

it’s in my eyes

Saints

nailed

skinned

and burned alive

for freedom

yet we shackle

ourselves

in their name

niki kaur