Svadyaya

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Stop Looking for a Soul Mate

…and mate with your soul.”

That’s the advice my teacher gave me as I sat down for a Vedic Astrology reading with him this time last year. I didn’t initially tell him that I had been planning a move to Central America, but as he delved into my Astrology, he said again and again that living in a foreign land was not an if, but a when. In his eerily accurate reading, he predicted that I would find spiritual fulfillment and happiness in a foreign land and with a foreign man.

However, he told me, true happiness will only ever be found within. “Stop looking for a soul mate and mate with your soul.”

I’ve been repeating this mantra often this month as I pick up the pieces of my heart after a break up with somebody my soul knew was wrong from the start. I fooled myself into thinking I could live with impermanence and dishonesty, as long as I knew the truth of my own heart.  Turns out, that’s not living an authentic life.

An authentic life involves deep listening to the soul’s truth. An authentic life involves a whole-hearted embrace of each moment so that one can integrate the truth and lessons available to us. So my attention turns to Svadhyaya, the niyama of self study and of recognizing the divinity within. As I approach Dia de San Valentin and the Festival of the Poets here in Nicaragua, I am reminded of the one constant relationship that we each have in this life – the relationship with our own souls. A breakup is nothing if not a reminder of the impermanence of this world, a reminder that even as we root down and take succor from the earth, our environment, and our experiences, each moment is inexorably changing and transforming.

That’s scary and comforting at the same time. Scary because it’s hard to live life with such a vulnerable, open heart knowing that each bond formed will be broken. Comforting because deep and lasting transformation is the reason we’re all here, learning to live and love with heart and soul. It’s comforting to believe that each moment holds the key to awakening, that sometimes it takes a deep night of the soul to see the divine light shining brightly from within.

I’ve been blessed to spend some time in the practice and study of Anusara Yoga, and a line from the invocation has been echoing in my head as I delve into this deep study of the self beneath the ego.

Om Namah Sivaya Guruve
Saccidananda Murtaye
Nisprapancaya Shantaya
Niralambaya Tejese

“Niralambaya Tejese” –  Without support, the divine light is always present. It does not need outside light, awareness, or conciousness to lift us up and awaken us. Niralamabaya Tejase – I mate with my soul in this starry Central American night as the voices of poets speak, each in their own language, reminding each of us of the intertwined nature of our inner truths, of our shared humanity.

And the practice of yoga underlies it all. This timeless practice is one that, through it’s constant change, continues to teach me how to transform gracefully. Through stepping on the mat,whether it be to practice asana, mantra, or meditation, I can access the quiet of the soul beneath the swirling chaos of our changing world.

PS – My teacher offers Vedic Astrology readings via phone or Skype.   Click here if you’d also like  reading with Mehtab.

This article also appears on elephantjournal!   

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