I am often my own worst enemy.
Making bad choices is something everyone does, but why?
When I look back, there are times in my past where I wish I could have seen myself more clearly. Taken off the thick, coke bottle glasses and seen my true nature as enough, worthy, and in fact a miracle. But even if I could do that now, (I get glimpses) I would inevitably forget it. I would have those glasses on again and see the world from not enough and act from that place of not enough.
It is in our nature to forget so we can remember again. Concealment and revelation are part of the divine play of the universe and yoga can help us ‘get rid of the glasses’ (or at least clean them :)) and catch a glimpse of our true nature once in a while.
The yoga philosophy has a way of describing these glasses -they are called the malas.
The malas are also referred to as the dust on the mirror, or sometimes as a cloak or veil. They are the ways we can not see ourselves clearly.
- Anava mala – this is the one I have been describing. It is the feeling of not enough. Not smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough – you name it. It supposes everyone else is better and more right than you. The thing is its not true. How could it be? You are you and not anyone else.
- Maiya mala – this one is kind of the opposite. This is to much confidence that believes it could never be wrong. It supposes that ‘I’m never to blame, it’s always someone else’s fault. ’ Again, probably not true. You are sometimes right and sometimes wrong and sometimes in between. But if you never really take a good look in the mirror you won’t know which one it is.
- Karma mala – karma means action and this one is sometimes a result of the other two. It is the one in which you do something over and over expecting a different result. This is where addictions lie. This is denial and helplessness. This one says ‘I can’t change, it’s to hard’. It might hard but what we can’t see is that it is possible.
The good news is we can always be seeing ourselves more clearly. Yoga is about expanding into the person you already are. Perfect.
In addition to the practices of yoga, another thing that helps us uncover our malas (cause we all have them remember?) is our friends. Yes – supportive community can help.
In the case of the first mala, our friends can tell us how lovely we are, how smart or funny.
They can also call us on our bullshit when needed in the case of the second mala.
And in the case of the third, they can say “you know that thing you keep doing? stop it.”
Forgetting and remembering are part of the cycle of life and with each cycle you grow.