What a question! On one hand I am quite the pioneer, I wanted to practice yoga, so I bought a book and put it into practice. I wanted to make sacred art that could be used by those I love,  to pray and to heal. I wanted to make bread and so I did it! I have an easy time doing new things when their realm of influence is limited to myself. It is when my activities involve someone else I have a tendency to become paralyzed, I feel a need to be checking in with those around me to make sure what I am doing is ok with them, and I will tell you, it has been crippling. I have been in an inseparable relationship for about 7 years now and although I believe it is necessary to respect and honor each other, I cannot base my decisions on whether or not she, or anyone else, approves of my decision. What if Galileo checked in with the church before he began to examine the sun, or any other revolutionary thinker who was greatly ahead of their time?

How do I learn to trust myself? I will be honest, I was baffled about how to go about this at first, even thinking that I do trust myself. But, once it was in my conscious awareness, it was clear that I really don’t, and if I don’t trust myself, who can I trust? Certainly not God in me, my beloved, or even my teachers fully. I noticed that this mistrust permeated through my whole life and it was insidiously hindering all that I do! I started easy, I allowed myself to be lazy for a day, and then another some time later. I watched movies and allowed myself to let down. It was scary! Fearing I will be thought of as less than because I wasn’t being whatever I thought I should be according to someone else. I am a dedicated Yogi and a conscious Dreamer, I hold myself to high standards, but what I didn’t realize, is that half, or even more of that was holding myself to a fictitious standard that I thought someone else was holding me too! What a revelation, so I even downloaded a video game from my childhood and let myself play that for a day, and you know what happened after that? I felt lighter! I had to allow myself to detach from this rigid discipline I cling to like some imaginary raft in the ocean, when really, I am a drop in that ocean and the raft is preventing me from true communion with my Creator. I felt more dedicated to my sadhana, or my practice. I felt more willing to make art, and fulfill my current obligations as an artist. I felt more willing and happier to do the things one has to do when they live in a home. I felt at peace, and I pulled myself out of a funk that was not being solved by more meditation, and a stricter lifestyle. I let go, and in doing so I caught myself, I saw myself.

This gripping I was doing to adhere to a “higher” standard was a prison I had made around myself, and I would only allow someone else to open the door, madness! I will not claim to be out of this prison forever, as it is a deeply ingrained pattern that I need to love and nurture, but I realize I have keys too and when I use them, I am freed. Its amazing how simple this is, and I recognize this can be a slippery slope! I am not replacing my Yogi lifestyle with movies and video games, I am not letting go of these higher principles of life, or my drive to discipline myself and grow, always reaching for new heights. I am letting go of a false image of perfection for myself, and the belief that I need to hold that image for other people. I am letting go of the belief that I am validated by someone else, and in order to feel good, those around me need to feel good. It does help that those around us feel good though, right? I have found that the best way to help anyone is to help ourselves, to validate and nourish our hearts and our spirits until we are so full of ecstatic love that we cannot help but to ooze on everyone and everything a magic balm of love, that comes from within and nowhere else. Sometimes that looks really different than I expected, I would never have expected that playing a video game for a day would take away so much funk in my spirit.

I love me! And I herby entrust myself to mySelf, which is God in me. I will hold my person with my divine, and my divine with my person. “I know that I must love all my sisters and brothers just as I love myself my WHOLE self.” That song has deeper meaning now that I have gone through this portal and am writing this now. My capacity to love my human family is only as great as my capacity to love myself, and my capacity to love myself is equal with my capacity to love my Creator, as we are the same. I am a lover, a Yogi, an artist, a devotee, an intellectual, a pattern seeker and seer, a friend, and a lover, I am also lazy, fearful, arrogant, angry, listless, unforgiving, selfish and so much more. When I step out of the labels I just am, and that is where I have found myself.


With love and wholeness,

Ian Via