When you woke up this morning what was the first thing you thought? What was your welcoming thought for yourself into the day? The moment you awake is the beginning of your yoga practice. From the moment we awake, we are telling ourselves a story about ourselves, others, the world. It’s interesting to notice the quality and resonance of this story as it will set the tone for your day through your body, mind and being.
We create this story from all our past experiences and learnings but it is essential to remember two things. One, that it is a story and not necessarily true, and secondly, as we create it we may choose to create another story. This is essentially where my yoga practice started many years ago without me realising I was practicing yoga. I started to notice the story I was waking up to and gradually, with a loving compassionate heart, began to create another wake up story that began to shape my day, my life and my wellbeing.
Of course the story telling doesn’t just stop with ourselves. Collectively we create a story together and call it society. But then something strange happens, we distance ourselves from our own creation and sometimes begin to refer to “society” as this random, apparition that just appeared and is just like that. We create our story, our society, with every thought we have, with ever decision we make or do not make and with every breath we take. This is a potently powerful remembrance. This is true empowerment.
It is interesting then to examine the stories about ourselves that are driving our “societies” that we have created and to also test their truth. What are the myths that are woven into the fabric of our worlds? Most of you have probably heard of the novel Lord of the Flies, where basically a group of boys became stranded and everything goes downhill from there with them becoming hostile and basically horrid towards each other. For years I have heard this novel referenced as an example to what would happen if rules in our society were to break down – that basically we would all be horrid to each other and only think of ourselves. This myth runs deep in western societies. However, there is a real life example of where a group of boys did in fact get stranded on a Pacific island for a year before they were rescued (google Tonga Lord of the Flies). And do you know what happened? They formed a strong mutually supportive, caring community that kept them alive in harsh conditions. They started a fire and took turns to tend to it daily so that it didn’t go out….. for a whole year. When one of the boys broke his leg from falling down a cliff, they tended to him daily and kept his spirits high even though he could not contribute to their community.
So the myth of Lord of the Flies didn’t stand the test of reality. What other stories do we hold about ourselves and as a society that also are simply not true and deserve a rewrite? I will leave you on this note. Hopefully it has inspired you to examine your own stories with an open loving heart and a sense of courageous curiosity. Remember in this process, you are the author of your story and of our collective story. Let’s write a good one.
Author – Michelle Morrison