Discontent. If you asked me earlier to describe my general attitude toward myself and others, as well as my relationships, this would have been the word. Combined with criticisms, always focusing on the negative, on what’s missing.
It wasn’t a good feeling. But I wasn’t aware of it then. On the one hand, it was my natural state of being, and even if I felt positive, it remained in a certain band of frequency.
On the other hand, I saw criticism and discontent as a prerequisite of development, whether personal or collective, in my relationships or at the workplace. Therefore, I considered it as a good, a useful characteristic, especially because in many cases the problems I saw were real and the solutions I was able to offer were sensible.
Now I know that I didn’t have a good, loving relationship with myself. It manifested in two basic types of inner atmosphere, neither of which helped me closer to whom I really am. I will give you a description of their nature and they were interconnected and turned from one to the other, and by doing so I hope to give you an insight into what a difference it can make to be rid of them.
The self-criticizing is probably the more obvious one. No matter how much I did, I never felt it was enough. There was always some uneasiness that it could have been more. I was discontent with many of my reactions, especially in situations where I should have defended myself, my limits. I blamed myself for making horrible decisions, for being too hasty with them or not thoughtful enough, for being insensible with my finances. For not caring or not thinking about the outcome of my actions. I detested that I felt unfeeling. I didn’t see myself as a lovable person.
Our ego dwells on such feelings, quite as much as it loves drama. But it cries for a compensation, too, to see itself in a positive light. And the best way to do that is to criticize others and by that, feeling better or superior to them. So for me, these judgements and criticisms towards others felt like a treat. Whenever I judged or criticized someone it felt like a confirmation that I, on the other hand, was / smarter / more honest / stronger / a better person. And with nurturing such thoughts and feelings I got further reinforced that I was right. Right in how I saw things, people, the world. Catch 22, isn’t it?
You may be familiar with some of the above. I’ve worked with many people for the past years as a Karma Killer Yoga instructor and I know that there are differences, there are individual patterns, the emphasis can shift. But at the end of the day, our egos work in very similar ways.
The first and foremost thing I remember happened was quite in the beginning. It was a long time ago, only a couple of months into my practice of Karma Killer Yoga by Anamé Program. Back then, it wasn’t a conscious decision to change this attitude, as I wasn’t aware of its toxic nature in the first place. So the role of the conscious mind was more to notice the change instead of initiating it.
What happened was that every time such a circle of thoughts and accompanying emotions emerged, I realized that something was off. I noticed that doing so didn’t give the same, ‘comforting’ feeling. With each judgment or criticism came a flashback when I did or behaved in a similar way, or out of similar intentions. They were rather sharp and had an air of warning. And they made it more difficult for me to go on with my familiar routine, taking away a good share of the fun.:)
Anyhow, I was grateful for noticing this change, as, although no new information was introduced into the equation, without the practice I hadn’t been able to make this shift – I wouldn’t even be able to see the corrupted nature of the previous setting.
This, the power and the role of the mind in the process of transformation and development is actually a common theme and also sometimes a concern among our Karma Killer Yoga students. Fear sometimes comes up that in case the mind has a creative power, then we may, without intending to, create something negative or harmful.
Recently I had a talk with one of our students where she told me about her worries of letting some bad energy enter her body when she takes an inhalation. She had a fear that if her mind is not strong enough to concentrate on good and supporting energies to come, then she’ll attract something harmful in her body and in her life.
So we were talking a bit about how the exercises of Karma Killer Yoga worked out by Anamé Valéria Balázs, the founder of Anamé Program are able to make a change on a level deeper than that of the mind. This is how it was possible that, many years earlier, I only noticed the change in my way of thinking, which I did not consciously generate.
The human mind, although can be a powerful tool, is not strong enough to block the energetic change generated by the exercises of Karma Killer Yoga. They bypass the mind. If the exercises and the energy behind them was not strong enough to do so, it wouldn’t allow such deep transformations that I experience, and also see every day.
Does it mean that where you aim your focus, which is the product of your mind, doesn’t matter? It does matter. The energy flows where your attention rests. But this process is never going to ask you more than you’re capable of: for most people it’s incredibly hard, if not impossible to keep their attention on their breathing or certain body parts.
So what counts here is your intentions. If you do your practice with the intention of development and healing and you’re persistent, change will come. Even if it seems impossible to remain focused and your attention drops the breathing and the area you’re working with a thousand times, it’ll happen. By bringing your focus back as many times as needed (and sometimes being unable to do so despite your efforts), your entire energy system, together with your mind will eventually become clearer, stronger and more structured.
The next steps in the process of self-love and self-acceptance
After the first step of realizing similar flaws in myself than what I used to criticize in others the intensity of my judgement was naturally turned down. I began to look at myself and others with more empathy. Seeing more and more the pain or the fear behind the actions, which made it inconceivable to blame them or judge them for their actions or behaviors.
It’s important to note here that such thoughts had crossed my mind before I started practicing: it did occur to me (and sometimes proved to be right, too), that what I saw as unconcern or unkindness was coming from fear or painful experiences. Still, it was not enough to change that inner atmosphere of negativity.
I began to feel what a waste of energy it is to blame and criticize myself. Here I don’t mean those cases when having a retrospect at a certain situation or a conversation you find your deed or reaction incorrect or unjust or in any other way inappropriate. I mean those never ceasing stories and inner conversations that run around the same theme of you being incapable or insufficient, underlined with stories and situations.
This also goes the other way around, of course, with others being incapable and insufficient, underlined with stories and situations…
And what about others?
I used to have this feeling of being alone, since I was a small child. There were circumstances which brought forth or reinforced this feeling, but the reasons are probably too diverse to analyse here. But there was always a strong feeling of having no one to rely on and if I wanted to survive, I had to solve my own problems, I had to figure out things and act on them. Alone.
So I always felt like an outsider, even when I tried to make friends or look for a relationship. In the family, at school, later, during my university years, at my workplaces, everywhere. Strangely, it didn’t mean that I necessarily had a bad time somewhere or I wasn’t accepted, respected or liked.
But still, there was this feeling of somehow not being included. Many cases I was pretty sure about certain people not liking me only to learn later that this feeling lacked any foundation. But before learning the truth my usual reaction was to push these people away from me with my behavior, which was only partly conscious. For the most part, I just acted out of fear.
Now I see that one of the greatest potential for development we offer to each other. In the everyday conflicts, stressful, painful situations as well as those that are filled with love and support and attention.
A journey from fear to joy
I was about 14 years old when I overheard a part of a conversation my mom had on the phone. It happened some weeks or a month before Christmas and was about a stereo sound system someone from the family winning on maybe a crossword puzzle game. They were talking about how it could be my Christmas present.
I didn’t understand why my mom would talk about it while I was at home: it was not a big flat and if someone was on the phone you could hear what they were saying without eavesdropping. Maybe she didn’t realize I was at home – I never got to know the reason.
Anyway, I heard it and I was really happy but also a bit disappointed about my present not going to be a surprise.
A couple of days later something happened at the school, where, by the end of elementary school, I was considered to be a somewhat ‘problematic’ child. Here it’s probably good to mention that the teacher(s) who categorized me as problematic did the same with every child who did anything else than to sit in silence at the classes.🙂 So I did something inappropriate (I don’t remember what it was), and my mom learnt about it – most likely the school sent a note.
In the meantime, Christmas was approaching and I was really looking forward to it. I loved the family parties, getting together, the laughs, the excitement of everyone opening their presents, the happy faces, the good meals, the lights. And this year, I was really looking forward to the stereo sound system I wasn’t supposed to know about.
But when Christmas night finally came, the stereo sound system didn’t come with it. Instead, I received a four-color fabric paint. It was a shock on more levels. For one, it was a huge disappointment compared to what I thought I was going to get..but if possible, the other thing was even worse. The four-colored fabric paint I did receive had been laying on the kitchen counter for several weeks before Christmas. As my mom was working with fabrics I didn’t ask what it was for, I just shoved it away whenever I needed more space on the counter.
So, how do you think I reacted when I got that paint as a Christmas gift? Burst out in tears? Ran out of the room? Muted out of shock looking sad and disappointed?
Nope. None of the above. I opened the box and smiled, thanking for the gift, while my heart was breaking inside, it hurt so much. But the fear of showing what was going on inside was greater: no one noticed anything.
From an early age I had an experience that there are no true, heart to heart relationships. It was only a hint back then, of course, but deep inside I had the feeling that no one really responded to my need for sharing and protection and eventually, I was on my own, being unable to truly connect myself, depending on no one else, feeling alone. I had to rely on myself, there was no one to rely on. The feeling of loneliness and disconnection I felt among people in general: that no one really cared about one another, only playing a role based on some common rules. It was unnerving and alienating at the same time.
From an energetic point of view, no wonder that by the time I could look at myself from that point of view my body at the area of my heart chakra (the chest and the upper back) was rigid and tense, and pretty much closed (shoulders more forward than the sternum). Accordingly, I was distant and seemingly cold in my relationships, which usually interpreted to others as the lack of feelings and a general reserved attitude.
The exercises of Karma Killer Yoga by Anamé Program began to loosen and open up my heart chakra by cleansing and energizing it with breathing and simple movements.
On the physical level, my sternum moved forward compared to the shoulders, naturally straightening my upper back, while from a psychic standpoint I became more open to both giving and receiving love. As for my life, now, as a Karma Killer Yoga instructor, my life is all about connecting with people, which gives the most powerful basis for any healing.
During these years of my transformation I combined the free yoga exercises of Anamé Program with Karma Killer Yoga courses and other, auxiliary products like Anamé Music, Anamé energized crystals and water, and the books written by Anamé Valéria Balázs: Karma Killer and Chakra Program. Links are below;)
So does true, heart-to-heart connection exist or not?
And what happened to my earlier perception of no one really caring about one another, only playing a role based on some common rules?
I still think it has a basis. And I still see it happen many times when looking at human interactions.
The difference is that I don’t see this phenomenon any more as a terminal station. But more like a transitional phase, which is about the state of our heart chakra, as a community. The state of humanity’s heart chakra, if you like.
And yes, it does exist. We all know it deep inside our hearts and we crave it. The feeling of loneliness and disconnection comes from a false perception of separation. And in this separation we see our differences more than we see our oneness, we see more harshly what divides us than the source that connects us.
In the next post I’m planning to talk about the changes I noticed in myself and others in living joyfully: what was the starting point and where I am now, how I see it can change for others. So, from an energetic perspective, the topic is going to be the sacral chakra. Can’t wait. Are you coming?
And the links. I did not forget.🙂
Chakra Program – The Secret Behind Anamé Program
For energized crystals, please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anamé music is soon coming in English as well, but until then, here’s a teaser (don’t worry about the language, the frequency does the trick)😉