By: Suzanne Scholten
Sovereignty -supreme power or authority
Boundary– a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line. a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.
Sutra 1:16 The highest level of non-attachment, leading to self-realization, takes place when the aspirant is free from all forms of desire, including the desires resulting from the interplay of sattvic, rajasic and tamasic forces of nature. (The Secret of the Yoga Sutra Samadhi Pada, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD)
The other day, I was working with a person who had said they felt gripped while talking with someone. And preceded to say, I have difficulties with boundaries. So, we discussed how to create boundaries, but in hindsight what we were really discussing was how do we keep our power or authority in difficult situations.
I see this happen when there is an addiction, we talk about having boundaries to state that we don’t want to drink or use but boundaries limit us. In actuality, the addiction limits our full potential of rising above an attachment to be something great-our joyous, luminous being. Let us change our need of boundaries to a desire of finding our center, power and inner authority.
Boundaries are needed when our center is off. In our practice of seated contemplation and pranayama, we work with the aspect of the mind that keeps us from our true self. Often this is fear of being alone, fear of looking at what has happened in our lives, fear of the addiction that we possess, fear of the voice panel that says we are no good or that we will not reach our goals or dharma, etc. This is why there is eight limbs to our practice, we practice each limb all of the time in every moment of our life, sleeping or awake. To have a boundary between me and another person, moves away from my personal practice that believes we were all created in the essence of God. God to me is an omnipresence that has created babies with complete love and joy, Atma is when I get the goose bumps when someone shares a heart to heart with me, I see my husband walking down the street, I share a hug with a friend, I sit for meditation and feel connection to everything. Your God may look different than mine, this is okay.
To be receptive to this greatness, I need to be in my center, my own sovereignty. I can voice what I want and how I want something without fear. I can listen to someone else’s observations or disagreements without feeling judged or judging. In my sovereignty, I can still evolve and become one with the highest good. If I block myself off, from sharing love or receiving love then I minimize my ability to evolve into this greatness of God. I feel this walking down the street when no one makes eye contact with me. Eventually when I stop for the no walk sign, someone sees me and we smile at each other. Inwardly I know we shared a moment however small and I give thanks for this precious connection. If I had kept my guard up, this moment would not have happened.
Many people want limits or a fence around their property but this does not help us find our own center. Many of these projects take a lot of energy or manual labor, which may feed our affliction of ignorance that says we are not connected. But as humans we have the ability to evolve and feel the presence of God at all times, within one another. I want to evolve, to create, and to reach my highest potential.
In asana class, we move to shake up these things that grip us from growing, I think of it as unlatching the gates of chakras (energy wheels) that sit within us. These are the internal limitations we have set upon ourselves. After movement, then we sit in contemplation to observe the thoughts that arose during the practice; we watch like a parade. They come floating across our minds eye and we feel the emotion associated with these thoughts and we decide to face them or to let them pass and watch them again on another day. Acknowledging our limitations are what free us, ignoring a limitation is what binds us. If we face them, we absorb the information needed to assist us to evolve, it is digested and we transform. And then we can eliminate the information that we no longer need.
This July for our practice of Self power or sovereignty; during your next time of seated contemplation, ask yourself, “Self, where is the boundary that keeps me from shining through and being my most auspicious self?” And take time to listen to your body and what this amazing entity is expressing to you. Find your center, so you can be comfortable in your own body, with your own imperfections and your perfections.