This morning, my yogi green tea greeted me with this wisdom, "First listen, then learn and then practice." I smiled. Nine years ago I came to the same conclusion, but with a slightly different slant. I called it three steps to attaining new wisdom. Whoever writes the messages on the Yogi Tea bags must have been tapping into the same source that I was at that time. Only my trio was, first "believing," then "knowing," and finally "living."
When we listen to someone talk, or read a book, or watch something unfold, we can sometimes have this resonance of "believing" what we hear. There's a frequency to the information that vibes with us and it's like, "this is true." We might not be able to explain clearly why it's true or how we know, but we just "believe it." Often at this stage, we might not fully be able to apply the knowledge to our life. For years I believed that God made each of us beautiful, and so, in some way, I might be beautiful, too. But honestly, I doubted it. My inner dialogue was soaked in self-doubt and self-criticism. I didn't KNOW, without a doubt, that I was beautiful. [And so are you, by the way, wink, wink.]
So back in November of 2006, when I entered my first training as a dance fitness instructor, I was asked to get in front of the room and dance to whatever song randomly came on my trainer's iPod. The others in the training watched on as each of us had this opportunity. No planned chorography. No idea what song would come on. No fear, right? Kidding. It was called "witness freedance." So the trainer hit play and it was the song, "God Blessed the Broken Road" by Rascall Flatts. If you haven't heard the song, it's a love song about how all of the things in life that seemed like mistakes led the singer to his beloved. But as I began dancing, I realized that my beloved was ME. God blessed the broken road that led me to myself. It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks, that every flaw of mine was truly beautiful. Every mistake. Every struggle. Every little bit of cellulite. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L And, that is the second stage of growth - learning or as I call it "knowing." I finally burst the bubble of my ego mind and dropped into deep knowledge that we really are all beautiful.
But here's the thing, all of that would have had absolutely NO significance if I left that knowledge on the yoga dance floor. What creates the true growth is what I call "living" it. When doubt creeps in, and when inner conflict arises, because it absolutely will, we have to come back to the cellular memory of these peak experiences and remind ourselves of our truth. This is how we live it. Or as the yogi tea bag calls it, "practice."
The teacher training was a full seven days of intensive immersion. But this one 3 minute song changed my life forever. It was a small moment that created a massive change for me.
This morning, I woke up reflecting on some other small moments that turned into huge, "ah ha" awakenings and then caused a strong pull in me to change my daily practice, to "live" this deeper truth. One of these moments was when I saw Louise Hay speak at "I Can Do It" in NYC, February 2013. She spoke to up about how she wakes up every morning and directs gratitude towards everything she encounters, beginning with her bed. Literally. "Thank you bed, thank you pillow for helping me rest. Thank you floor for grounding me. Thank you closet for having the perfect clothes for me. Thank you refrigerator for holding such delicious food to nourish me..." And it just goes on. She had us get our smartphones and turn on our camera app to use it as a mirror rather than taking a selfie. She had each of us look into our own eyes and say to ourselves, "I love you, Bonnie. I really, really love you." You can read more about her practice here. Long story short, this became my new practice of "living." This short, one hour seminar changed my life forever.
I have had other small moments like these along the way. Small moments that lead to big change. Maybe you have too? Please share them in the comments below! I'd love to know what new wisdom you are "practicing" or "living" right now. We are all learning together.