Oh, sweet surrender - If you have been following my blog, you may have read my previous post titled “Surrender” which was published back in August 2018 - before I began my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. Within my previous post on surrender, I had shared the progress of surrendering a career that I had worked so hard to attain and the difference one month had made within my overall sense of stability. I was evolving out of what was then, a low sense of self-confidence and the need for validation.
What I didn’t share was how I lost confidence within myself in the first place. Within a year of post-corporate self-healing and inner work, my greatest challenge was figuring that part out. Despite all things that I have been through in life, one thing has been constant – I arise to the occasion whenever I needed to fight my way through any challenge. I was accustomed to being an unstoppable force that was difficult to silence and yet somehow, I had become minimized to obscurity within the present-day gender inequality of the corporate world.
I felt devalued and, more often than less, I worked three times as hard to prove my worth within an environment that generally treated women as though they were only there to smile and look pretty. Looking back, any woman who had done anything but “stay in her place” did not get very far. I realized this the moment my former team lead, a highly qualified and experienced woman, was overlooked as a candidate for a management position which was given to a man who had not even known the first thing about being a Community Health Outreach Worker. To add insult to injury, the woman that was overlooked was assigned to train the unqualified male candidate who had been given the position instead of her.
I, too, had applied for a promotion and was overlooked by a less qualified male counterpart. I can confidently say that I was one of the best within my department. I was passionately committed to serving my community. I was recognized on several occasions as one of the very few employees to go above and beyond to fulfill their job
duties, however, aside from a nice photo for my accomplishments, my salary nor was my value as an employee impacted in any progressive manner. My final day might as well had been a joke when the manager of Human Resources had blatantly shared with me that I was not the only one to voice my concerns and was certainly not going to be the last.
I had learned many valuable skills within my time at Meridian Health Plan, however, I had also adopted unhealthy behavior patterns such as becoming a people pleaser – trying my hardest to gain the advances that I deserved, but never attained. I developed anxiety and a level of insecurity that had not existed prior to my employment there, which only added to the many dormant issues that I was already trying to resolve.
Within my previous post, I had yet to experience the full battle of surrendering. Although I had managed to find the courage to put my trust in God, I still lacked confidence within myself as a being made in the image of God. I perpetually second-guessed myself, my abilities, and my worth to say the least. What I realize now, that I hadn’t realized then is that this was a major impact on me having the ability to love others and more importantly, to love myself. A couple of months after making a conscious decision to end my career, I had become very depressed. I rarely ate (except when high from medical marijuana) and I slept often, only finding joy within the temporary satisfaction of being high, material things and external validation.
Exploring yoga’s ethical practice, this year has made a tremendous impact on my life. As I’ve reflected upon each of the Yamas and Niyamas, I’ve been given the opportunity to observe and apply each to my daily circumstances. When writing about surrender a little over a year ago, I had yet to surrender my ego. I had still needed to be in control. Despite my inner strength, I was still very closed off and rigid. By focusing on being more present and ultimately carefree rather than careful, my life has taken on a joyful pattern of grace and ease. As I’ve allowed my heart to expand, I’ve also developed a balance between having the strength and being gentle.
I hope that by sharing my experiences through the exploration of these rare gems of wisdom, that you may also be able to transition into your own truth and connect with the greater divinity that is within you.
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. Namaste.