How [NOT] to Fit In

I recently celebrated my 28th birthday. That’s four complete cycles of consciousness and supposedly my taste buds have changed. No doubt, I sense change in my physiology. There is a different tone of maturity, an awareness that wants to be serious, and yet it is the very inspiration that is encouraging me to do quite the opposite, something I’ve never done before.

As we get older, every birthday seems to offer enlightening self reflection. A moment of  recommitting to hopes and dreams, as well as assessing fears and judgements. For me there has been a theme of teenage insecurities showing up: wanting to be liked by a boy, feeling rejected, inhibiting body image and self loathing. Amidst scorpio season its understandable that these shadow aspects become illumined. Nature teaches us: days are shorter and we’re literally pulled into hibernation. If tuned in we can hear the calling of the underworld as vulnerabilities surface and mystery prevails. Moving slowly is wise.

What I am being asked to acknowledge is the sensual experience. Sensual with respect to our realm of human physicality. The essence of Kundalini Yoga guides us to develop this awareness of self bringing one wholly into the body. And thus, a new process of grounding has begun. As a yogi and someone who has recently taken Sikh vows, my devotion and commitment to God is clear – mind you, getting to this point has been a big step and hard work. It’s also the first step moving into the rest of my life. My new chapter and challenge is learning to be with my total experience.

I have spent most of my life wanting to fit in. We all desire to belong. The teenage girl who ached to be sought after, feeling on the surface unworthy, deep down knew something more was within her. Although this intuitive presence may have gone unacknowledged, it is the life force and pulse that’s gotten me here today. Undeniable, there is a part of me screaming to be let out of the cage because now I do see her and I am choosing to listen to her cries. In the exhausting effort to “fit in” and conform to a certain identity, my attachment to perfection and control took over. The stress of needing to act or behave a certain way was energetically depleting. Thankfully, my time in Espanola, New Mexico living at the ashram taught me quickly. I realized I couldn’t do it all. I was making myself emotionally and mentally sick. The pressure only thickened until I consciously made the decision to surrender. Giving in felt completely uncomfortable and risky. I had no idea what to expect and this terrified me.

It is my theory that the “risky-ness” comes from exposing ourselves. It’s the acknowledgement that I am not the perfect image my mind wants to create. How could I be? The mind only knows what has happened in the past. We are constantly evolving and redefining ourselves. Part of the risk is the future’s unknown and what we are growing into.

The truth is, I have never fit in. And when I did, I wanted to stand out (ironic, right?) What has shifted is my strength. There is energy behind my confidence and courage to hold space for myself. I am powerful, radiant, and no longer afraid to be my fullest expression. I have held back, closed myself off, and feared being or loving “too much.” While this fear has served in protecting me, it has also kept me from receiving great love.

I am learning a new way of integrating. I can be both celibate and sensual. I can express freedom and have healthy boundaries. I can be serious and playful. I can be wild and contained. I am all these things. I let go of what I “think” they should look like and allow for rediscovery of my soul. I can begin to understand the journey of self realization.

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