This Is Exactly What I Signed Up For!!!




I want to unfold. Let no place in me hold itself closed, for where I am closed, I am false. ~Ranier Maria Rilke

Integration? Ego? Grace? Surrender?

These are all words and ways of being that I truly thought I understood quite well….until now!!!!


Life has a funny way of bringing you to the water, to the edge, to the exact experiences that you need so that you can become something greater, something higher than you were yesterday.

Yoga teacher training is not at all what I expected or hoped for it to be, but it is exactly what my spirit needed to evolve, to expand, to break down all the blocks and barriers that have kept me from the emotional and spiritual freedom that I seek. The feelings that are coming up for me in that room with the beautiful beings who not too long ago were complete strangers, has been oddly unnverving and refreshing all at the same time.

My ego wants to isolate and separate. My higher self wants to integrate, relate and expose my vulnerability.

I have been challenged in every way you could possibly imagine since the beginning of this journey. From surgery, to financial devastation, to excruciating physical pain and limitations, to severe depression, to finding out that I have to relocate by June 4th because the market value in my neighborhood has reached unthinkable heights due to the high rise condos that have taken over my once very eccentric and affordable corner of the world.

I wanted to be so much more, not only for myself but for my teachers and fellow students. I’m struggling with my commitment to a daily practice and complete and total devotion to my studies. I’m beating myself up for everything that I am not instead of embracing everything that I am. My insecurities about all of this has turned me into somewhat of a narcissist. It feels kinda gross to be completely honest with you.

Another interesting thing I have discovered about myself; I talk about myself in a boastful manner when I’m nervous or when I feel intellectually challenged. My ego desperately wants to destroy all opposition and/or threats. This discovery was quite horrifying at first but now I find it almost endearing and amusing. I trust that as I find more comfort in my own body, I will be less likely to slip into silly little patterns that no longer serve me.

We must never forget that our egos and our fears have a place and a purpose. This journey of transformation is not about transcending either of these, it’s more about integrating and embracing while developing a much healthier relationship with our whole self. I have come to the realization that my ego is not the enemy, it is my protector as well as my disowned self. My studies have helped me to determine the difference between ego reaction and ego motivation. I’m willing to explore anything that comes up for me these days but sometimes I get stuck in it.

I know exactly what I need to do to balance and ground myself, yet I resist it as if it were the poison, not the cure. We are such strange creatures! Humans!

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, I am f#$@ing human! No matter how healthy I eat or how many sun salutations I complete this week. No matter how close I get to God. I’m human, and I am in a constant state of evolution, not perfection!

Conclusion found, processed and released! I am forgiven! I’m letting myself off of the hook as of right now, in this very moment. Thank God right now is the only thing that is real. Thank God I know this to be true. Thank God I wrote this post and chose to share it with you.

Yoga means union, etymologically connected to the English word yoke. Union of the litte ego-self with the Divine Self, the infinite spirit. ~Paramhansa Yogananda


Lauren Suzanne