Recently I have found myself in a situation where I have been forced to look at my relationship to authority. Over the last seven years I have always been very interested in boundaries and how to set appropriate and healthy ones without getting too rigid or inflexible. Boundaries are important as they are defining and creating a safe space where trust can be built and healing can take place. However, I have never looked at what I do if someone else sets boundaries. How do I react and what do I do when someone in authority creates a boundary I don't agree with? These are the questions I have been asking myself lately. With the help of my supervisor and my therapist I have come to the following preliminary conclusion: I either abandon myself and I become submissive or I'm rebellious and run away. In other words, I'm either the "good girl" or the "rebel". The question that has been crystallising from this is: Given the two habitual and polarised positions, how can I get to a third one - to a place where I'm not running away or removing myself from the situation, but where I'm standing my ground and where I'm engaging in a relationship with someone in authority without losing my own centre?
I feel the answer is very much about stepping into my own power, trusting my instincts and experiences and allowing myself to make mistakes. If I can accept my own authority more and be able to set clear boundaries, I feel that accepting boundaries especially from people in authority will become easier and less energy consuming. Then it might be possible to engage with authority without losing myself or running away from it all.
Last weekend I taught several workshops in Berlin with the theme of "spinning the straw into gold" or how we can use our difficulties for our personal growth. Doing yoga will not make our problems go away, it rather redefines the relationship we have with them. The philosophy is very much: "What is in the way is the way." When we engage with our obstacles in a wakeful manner, we can use them as an opportunity to uncover more layers in our process. Frequently, we just want our issues to go away quickly, so that we can "get on with our lives". However, when we investigate our problems, stay with our difficulties and feel into them more carefully and with an open and curious mind, we can transform and shift on many different levels. We can ask ourselves what is this situation teaching me. What is this problem asking me to let go of? What are the lessons I can learn from this?
People and situations are really there to teach us and difficulties are our allies on our path of spiritual growth.
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.