Beginnings, Creating Awareness, Excavating Authenticity, Imprints, Intention, Self-Study (Svadhyaya), Sri Swami Satchidananda, Yoga Sutras

Practicing Self-Love for Freedom


Having come through the holidays, and the onslaught of group gatherings, we’re all probably a little polluted; not just from too much food and libations but from the amount of lifestyle downloading that happened. Maybe a cousin earned a new promotion or a friend is buying a swanky vacation property. Perhaps a former classmate lost 20 pounds. 

Upon receiving this information, it might have stirred some feelings of being more ambitious or perhaps it had us experiencing sensations of envy or some sort of inferiority complex arose. 

Yoga Sutra 2.34 says, “When negative thoughts or acts such as violence, etc are done, caused to be done, or even approved of, whether incited by greed, anger or infatuation, they are based on ignorance and bring certain pain.” 

While Sri Swami Satchidananda explained this to be in relation to hurting someone else, I believe this principle applies to ourselves as well. When we follow an intense craving (greed), jealousy (anger), or enchantment (infatuation) when comparing ourselves to others, we begin to  inflict a type of agony. Within that is a faint, imperceptible message of, “I’m not good enough and I need to change,” which is the unconsciousness (ignorance).

This then turns into an act of cruelty (violence) as we consent to punishing our authenticity by concocting a plan to transform into something else that is more like the other person and less like us.

The subtle difference can be felt in the vibrational quality of how our aspirations align with our individuality. Is there a curious excitement present or is it more of a steeling effect of preparing for battle?

For instance, if you decide to cut out chocolate and potato chips to eat more fruit so you have more energy, that’s a choice that fortifies your health in a supportive, nourishing way. But if you aim to buy a big house because yours seems inadequate according to what your friends or family have, and thus you have to work longer hours or take a higher paying job that you’re not happy in, that seems heavy and burdensome.

Seeing the beauty in what we have and who we are provides a stable foundation, a center from which to operate from. That then informs how our choices sustain our soul’s most truthful expression and expansion. When we don’t recognize that, we find despair in our lacking and go on to chase a mirage of what is someone else’s dharma. 

So as you embark on this new year, give yourself a chance to really sit with what you want to manifest and the place that it’s coming from. Wishing you all incredible abundance in all your endeavors. Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “Practicing Self-Love for Freedom”

  1. The holidays are a time of comparison and “brag” culture. It is easy to get wrapped up and think how your life is not as fulfilling. I’ve learned that most people that must brag about life are often unhappy. I think the theme is true for social media as well. Great post, thanks!

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