Nicholas Bell, a Tennessee fine art photographer, sets his scenes near water or woodlands...
For a refresher, here is what ahimsa (the yama I chose) is all about:
Ahimsa is often translated as “non-harming”, but can also be seen as embracing compassion and love for all. It requires the belief that we are all one, cultivating an absence of anger, jealousy, and hatred. Feelings are welcomed not as failures, but an opportunity to seek their root causes.
“I am gentle to all beings.”
“I easily forgive myself and others.”
“I am free of fear and anger.”
“I move away from judging to loving.”
“I embrace all, trusting the Diving flow.”
So, how’s my ahimsa been for the past month?
Overall, I’d give myself a B+. I had another month where I put compassion for others ahead of myself - but not nearly as much as last month. My husband was gone for work for 2 weeks, which gave me a great opportunity to reconnect with myself - mentally, emotionally, + physically.
Those 2 weeks were a wonderful blessing, but the difficulty came in when my husband returned. Though it was only 2 weeks, it was enough time for me to settle into my own rhythm - a rhythm which now had to reintegrate my husband into it.
I almost began to resent the time I now spent with him instead of by myself. After some contemplation, I found that I was developing a fear of losing myself within our relationship (something I have a history of doing). With Yoga Teacher Training ending this weekend (already!?!?) + finding my identity within a new career as a Yoga teacher, I’m creating a larger part of my life that is all my own - something that most folks do in their early 20s, but I was always in a relationship, and therefore sharing the journey with another (and their wants + needs).
Needless to say, my ahimsa was deeply shaken as I was no longer being gentle to myself or my husband. I can’t give you some fairytale ending as this is an issue I’m still working on within myself, but this reminder of ahimsa has shed new light on my internal exploration of my own wants + needs, and how they can be met.
I’ll be writing even more about my ahimsa efforts over the next few months as Yoga Teacher Training comes to an end + my new career begins.
How can/do YOU practice more compassion with yourself + others?