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by Sandra Vanatko, Sach Prem Kaur
Through my experiences of working with students for over the last eight years I see a lot of reoccurring patterns in healing and non-healing. A big one that comes up time and time again is forgiveness. Forgiveness is essential along the healing journey and it comes in different forms. Forgiveness of others and forgiveness of ourselves are universal to the human struggle. Forgiveness is powerful. Forgiveness allows us to change our relationship with the past. Forgiveness allows us to bring back all our energy to the present moment which is being wasted on the past.
Yogi Bhajan advised that forgiveness is for giving.
The Bhagavad Gita says, “If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love for hatred. If you want to see the heroic, look to those who can forgive.” Forgiveness teaches us how to let go. It teaches us how to let go and release our suffering and pains of betrayal in the many forms it exists. Forgiveness teaches us to consciously live in love. Forgiveness teaches us to stop using love as fleeting emotion and instead raise our consciousness to live in a state of love.
Forgiveness also doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process, it’s not forgive and forget. It doesn’t mean on any terms that we condone what happened and it also doesn’t mean we continue relationships that are unhealthy. What it does mean is that we consciously choose to change by calling our power back through forgiveness.
Some people wither away in their body because of the inability to forgive themselves for something they’ve done in the past. This breaks my heart. We have too much expectation of ourselves. To think we should always be perfect, never make mistakes, never get confused and take a wrong path is absurd! We tend to be so hard on ourselves. I see students health decline when they cannot forgive themselves for their “mistakes.” Looking back one day we will see that all our “mistakes” was actually just experience.
Here’s a short meditation for Self-Forgiveness:
1. Sit quietly or lay down in a comfortable location where you will not be disturbed. Create the right atmosphere by turning down the lights and playing some soft healing music.
2. Close your eyes and begin the heart breath. Inhale through the nose and exhale out through the heart center. Inhale nose exhale out through the heart center. Visualize every exhale moving through the heart chakra our emotional center to release the emotions that no longer serve you.
3. Begin mentally or verbally reciting the following:
I forgive myself,
I forgive myself for not being perfect,
I forgive myself for not always knowing what to do,
I forgive myself for doing the best that I can,
I forgive myself for the pain I’ve caused myself and others,
I forgive myself for not always having all the right tools,
There are many ways I have hurt and harmed myself,
I have betrayed and abandoned myself at times,
I forgive myself.
I forgive myself.
I forgive myself.
I love you.
4. Repeat. Practice for 5 minutes and work up to practicing 11 minutes daily.
Practicing daily will begin reprogramming the brain through neuroplasticity. Science now shows we can reprogram the neurosystem and that it’s always changing. Through mentally reprogramming consciously we can let go of unconscious beliefs that keep us stuck in non-forgiveness. A powerful time is practice before falling asleep so it’s the last thing you input into your subconscious.
5. Try practicing in front of a mirror. Look into your eyes as you repeat the self- forgiveness exercise. Hold space for whatever emotions and feeling come up. You might begin remembering different areas that need healing and forgiveness. Let it come up and out. If you become emotional and cry please know that you are in the process of healing. You are releasing long held suppressed energies that you are now reclaiming. You are healing.
We need to become whole so that we can live optimally healthy.
"It is through forgiveness that one is forgiven." – Mother Teresa
Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you and your experience. Sat Nam!
Sandra Vanatko, Sach Prem Kaur, is the Owner and Visionary of Indra’s Grace located in Weatherford, Texas.
Indra’s Grace is a yoga center that is truly for everybody. It is named after Sandra’s mother Jindra, who lost her three year battle to breast cancer in 1999. Sandra dropped the J which left Indra. Indra is a Sanskrit name for God. The one word everyone always used to describe Jindra was “graceful.” Sandra decided to name the studio in her mothers honor. Indra’s Grace means God’s Grace, God’s Blessing, Mothers Blessing, or Mothers Grace. Inspired and motivated by her mother and in search for answers on how to stay healthy Sandra researched movement therapies, nutrition, mindfulness, spiritual practice, and the importance of “satsang” community. Indra’s Grace is this offering.
Learn more here: http://indrasgrace.com
You can join Sandra for a week long healing retreat at Blue Spirit, Costa Rica November 8-16th. http://www.bluespiritcostarica.com/retreats/indras-grace
Photo credit to Jenny Reitz of Karma Fly Design