By Gurudevi Nirmalananda
One of the first words you spoke was “no.” You probably used it more often than your other first words, “Mama” and “Dada.” That’s why this growth phase is called “The Terrible Twos.” You became able to resist as well as able to express what you wanted. Unfortunately, you’ve continued to say “no” ever since. What if you said “yes” more often?
My earliest teacher in this was my first dog. When our front door was open and someone was coming down the sidewalk, my dog would run out as fast as her short little legs could go. She was not barking. She ran up to the passers-by, threw herself down on the ground and showed her belly, all four paws up in the air. 100% of the walkers stopped, said, “Ahhh,” then rubbed her belly. Watching her made me reconsider how I’d been approaching life. The protective mode I’d perfected had me saying no to life far too often.
Yoga agrees that you need to recalibrate. All the yogic methodologies work on dissolving your resistances, melting your negativities and freeing you from your fears. Then you are able to experience inner peace and a sense of balance that supports you.
Yet this is merely the launching pad. Beyond peace and balance, yoga promises more. Once you get past the ways you negate yourself, you discover there is more inside than you ever imagined. Exploring that expansive inner reality is yoga’s specialty…
I always loved the children’s song, written by Harry Dixon Loes in the early 1900s:
This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine…
I wanted to shine! Somehow I felt that I had an inner light that could shine. I didn’t know how to access it but I wanted it. My Guru opened up my access to the inner light that was already there. That light shines from deep inside.
Your mind blocks your own inner light in the same way you can use your thumb to block the sun. The human mind excels at negating things, thus the sages described how to negate the negation. My own name does this, with Nirmala meaning “not limited.” The 9th century sage Shankaracharya wrote a poem describing your own essence. He meticulously negates your limitations…