How to make important life choices?
How to control the butterfly effect or how to let it happen… to choose or not to choose?
This article is inspired by creative consciousness coaching/ Marc Steinberg, Thich Nhat Hahn, The buddha’s Brain, Keith Wilson, Mooji, Osho, yoga philosophy, walking the camino de Santiago, some of my friends, Nelson (a dog) and by all the times that I found myself in confusion or stuck about choosing a path
Making important life decisions can be difficult, especially as we can’t usually predict the possible outcome of our choices. We can only decide based on our present knowledge, assumptions, feelings and awareness. May we forgive ourselves later if we find ourselves in despair for making the “wrong“ decision.
In fact lets get to the basics first. A choice or decision is basically making a probability calculation about a possible outcome. So which action will lead to the “carrot” (reward) or the least pain or suffering (punishment). Unless you can predict the future, calculations are in a way like gambling. There are many factors out of our control and what we expect depends on our conditioning which is often based on past experiences or the movie script we hold based on society our the families we come from. Like the dog with the Pavlov effect, we might link things together (with language) to a certain outcome while they have nothing to do with each other.
The Buddha says that a big part of our suffering is caused by the fact that we want to avoid negative experiences and hold on to pleasant experiences. This pushing and pulling adds up on the suffering that is already naturally there in our life.
He also says whatever we choose we will not be satisfied for very long. The song from the Rollings stones ” I can’t get no satisfaction”, is our brains favourit soundtrack. Our brain/mind is constantly looking for the next thing that is going to finally make us happy, in this way we fail to notice the blessings of the present.
In the book “the Buddha’s brain” I have been reading about how we are biologically wired to see ourselves as separate from our environment and how our brain keeps this illusion alive, to be able to survive. The brain also needs to give us a fluctuation between happiness and unhappiness (amongst other contrasts), to be able to notice changing internal and external stimuli.
So the problem with ” A happy life ever after ” is that our brains are not designed for permanent happiness. The brain has a negative bias towards paying attention for potential “sticks” , like predators, natural hazards, social aggression and pain (physical or psychological) versus “carrots” like food, sex, shelter, social support, pleasure (physical or psychological). This is because avoiding sticks had more effects on survival than approaching carrots. So negative information gets naturally more attention than positive information. This is why people often work harder to avoid a loss, than to gain a equal gain (the endowment effect). In addition to this, we overestimate threats and underestimate opportunity’s. In other words we are biased to not take opportunity’s, play small and give up too soon. Mother nature is promoting gene survival, not so much our personal quality of life.
In my personal opinion our personal quality of life is dependent on a different kind of happiness. It is about seeing happiness as the amount in which we live our life’s in accordance with chosen long term values rather than avoiding short term impulses, negative thoughts and feelings..
It might also be following a lifestyle that puts our mind/ brain in a state of peace or let’s call it equanimity. Knowing that nothing will be really satisfying anyway, why not take it easy with following carrots around?
Read this story of the fisherman, if you do not know it already:
There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
This movie called the Green beautiful is really connecting to the absurdness of the way society started prioritizing money above all. The Dalai Lama puts it like this when asked what surprised him about humanity the most: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
So what to push away and what to pull towards you? Is this what we call a decision? What about being with what is, to experience whatever comes and goes? How about focussing on the positive?
“The thing is before making a choice we have to choose how to choose”
This is what my blog today is about. How to choose how to choose? And you know what basically life is a collection of choices (conscious or unconscious, based on free will or not) leading to an outcome and then another choice.. and another one… I really enjoyed watching the movie Mister Nobody and recommend anybody to watch it.
One definition I could find about “the mind” is that it is a flow of information within our nervous system. What is a fascinating thing about “the mind” is that with our mind we can make choices, this influences the outcome and the outcome has influence on our brain and that influences our mind. We can use our choices to change our brain! And isn’t that really good news as our brain is the most influential organ that influences how we perceive our movie?
Well this was quite a rational introduction, but this blog post I will also entertain more right brain “unlogical” more spiritual approaches.
I am so fascinated by the subject of “CHOICE”, that I keep researching it. If you have more opinions, ideas or resources on this subject, let me know! One day I hope to write a book about choosing.
So let’s get to the point! Here is what helped me (inspired by trainings/teachers/ experiences), up to now, to make important life choices in the least regretful manner (easy to use for current choices / take a pen and paper):
1. Start with asking yourself what do I really want? Who do I choose to be? Where do I want to move to?
Who would you choose to be right now if nothing was in your way? If everything was possible? What would you do with your life? See that main goal and only then make the decision that would make it more probable/ more likely for this to really happen. If the answer is I do not know what I want, great, jump to step 4 and 13.
2. Let go of your conditioning.
When we grow up we learn things about ourselves, about our environment, society, our feelings etc. It is like we have downloaded software from the matrix, that keeps us in the box. Please don’t base your decisions on the software, if you want to be able to expand, learn new things, get new experiences and new perspectives on yourself and life.
Although the software update will be painful. When we start moving outside our comfort zone into the panic zone, where the magic happens, then difficult feelings and thoughts will surely come up. My advice is be scared, cry, be angry, think those old thoughts that kept you in the cage for so long. And start walking anyway. Don’t try to push them away, but try to carry those feelings very close to you while you start making decisions from your heart, from your light. Avoidance of difficult feelings and thoughts on the short-term will keep you away from what you really want on the long-term. Embrace them even if they are difficult and see that you are bigger than your pain. Letting go doesn’t mean not feeling them, it means you are having your feelings and thoughts instead of them having you.
The glasses with which we look at our current position is based on past knowledge. We look from there, and it is from this place that we expect what is coming and by observing from this perspective not much else is possible.
Gibran Gonzalez Madrid, a great yoga teacher, ones told me this (when I said waking up at 5.00 to go to his class at 6.00 in the morning was a bit difficult): “Susan, there are two powers in the universe, gravity and willpower, you choose”. Afterwards I managed to get up knowing that the gravity of lying and snoozing in bed was not stronger than my willpower to become a more conscious and happier human being, even though it dit not “FEEL” that way, it was very uncomfortable. This teaching from him inspired me on a much deeper level than it seemed at first. I managed more and more to overcome “GRAVITY” and learn to fly in the matrix. I don’t know if he meant it that deep.
His words are perfectly in line with acceptance & commitment therapy: To avoid difficult feelings on the short term (choosing the easy way) “gravity”, we limit ourselves in learning to fly on the long term. If we can become more present in the here and now, embracing what is and focus on updating old programs instead of blindly following what feels good. In other words by choosing our conditioning and limiting believes as guides we limit our life’s. To “zoom out” of the mind in meditation by using an anchor is a great way to be able to observe the programming. This helps met to look at my thoughts and believes and sieve the “gold” into my awareness. Or let’s call it to be albe to see the “YELLOW ARROWS” to follow. In the camino de Santiago this was so easy, everyday you get up and you do not have to choose your path, just follow the Yellow arrows… if only our minds were so easy to sieve through.
3. Set a helpful context.
By this I mean the idea or the frame from which you look at yourself and your experiences. If you believe the world is an evil place you will be more biased to pay attention to the shit, and fill in the gaps with negative biased stories that are not reality. And the law of attraction people would tell you that you are more likely to attract shit if you have negative thoughts as they influence your vibration. And in fact everything is a vibration. If this is true, it is good news! It means that if you change your energy inside, the feedback called “reality” changes (Keith Wilson). So clear up the shit in any coping way you know, it might be yoga, it might be meditation, it might be going for a run etc. It could also be intensive psychotherapy or complicated spiritual processes you might think you need to allow yourself to feel better.
It could also be very “EASY” by simply visualizing “the rubbish” into your hands and allowing yourself to transform it, by “blowing it away” and filling the empty space with positive ideas or feelings (a Keith Wilson method). I guess it could work as a placebo, when we believe that this is going to make us feel better, it will. So sometimes it is more about allowing yourself to focus on the good stuff instead of the bad stuff. In the book “the buddha’s brain” this method of ” taking in the good” is highly recommended to transform memory and so our brain mode or current state of being. From our memory’s a great part of “self” is composed, so what is in there, has great importance on our subjective level of sufficiency, safety etc. Reprogramming is not impossible, but difficult if we get into discussions within our brain, it is like playing chest (see the internal struggles movie). Instead of trying to focus on the thoughts itself, try to focus on changing what you DO and letting thoughts and feelings have less influence on that.
In creative consciousness courses I learned to “GET OFF IT”, this means having your feelings and thoughts but not identifying with them, so that you stop the vicious circle of resistance.
There are as many methods (coping strategy’s) as there are people… just see what works for you!
Spiritual paths are also coping strategy’s to allow ourselves to feel good, I find it funny how Mooji describes this in this video.
You can also choose where you intervene: your body, mind or world (relationships) level or all together.I am busy with writing a blog: “What to do if the shit hits the fan”, where I will talk about copingstrategies, if you are interested in that.
Nonetheless we can move towards something we really want, but we need to know that we are always taking “ourselves”, which is basically a concept of reality, and our glasses along.
To illustrate this: If you truly believe you are worthless or have the story that others perceive you in this way you will experience what is possible inside the box of being worthless, even when you are surrounded by people that love you. Your assumptions about how people see you will also guide your behaviour and this will influence how they perceive you etc.
I am not saying that you have to delete your negative thoughts. That is like asking you not to think about a pink elephant. But for example ask yourself (relating to the above example): What would I see if I loved myself? What kind of assumptions would I make then? What becomes possible if I become present with what is, instead of assuming or making stories? What would I do if I treat myself as worthy? Seeing the thought “I am worthless” as a thought, not fighting it, just letting it be there in the mind, but not using it as a guide for the way you act.
What often helps me is setting the “Pippi Longstockings” context. I always loved her character: she is joyful, playful, has a huge imagination, is always kind and in her world anything is possible. On top of that she is never scared, she could do anything and is stronger than a horse. This context I set for myself when I feel like my fear is having me instead of me having my fear. Making decisions from that context made it more probable that I started experiencing what I really would want in my life. In a fear based context there is not much possible and then there is more of a bias to tell myself negative story’s about the unknown. In a Pippi Longstockings box I will look different at the things that come up in the box. The story’s are there but there is also awareness about this and that other story’s are possible.
4. Create space to create.
If we make decisions or choices basically we are creating possibilities for something to happen. We need to really see what we want. Stop asking yourself HOW to get there, but instead really see where it is that you want to go instead of walking the path there. So to do that you need to create space in your life to visualise it. For me this would be meditation, painting, writing, talking with people about it or taking a long bus ride. And at times I really have no idea what I want and then it was just trial and error. Just set the first step. Embracing the I- don’t- know. Usually when we don’t know what to do we go into a panic, as our society wires us to be decision making beasts and doers. Embracing the I don’t know and the I don’t do but be, feels like going against the stream initially. Surrendering to the river means letting go what goes and being open to what comes. This can go as far a you want. You can let go of who you think you are (identity) and being open to discover a new “self” or you can see this as letting go of people and experiences that come and go. Not possessing anything, not pushing anything away, not holding on to anything. I think this way is a very meditative way to live, but usually we first need to sit in formal meditations to be able to really “GET” this.
5. Ask yourself some questions:
- How do the different options make me feel?
- How do they support self love? And what is this to me?
- How do the options support the people and environment around me?
- What would be the advantage and disadvantage of every option on the long and the short term towards my values?
- Do I want to avoid certain short- term unpleasant feelings by choosing the “EASY” option? What would this mean on the long- term for my life?
Watch this video to understand what question 5 is about:
6. Take responsibility for what you really want without being attached to the outcome.
If we decide that we want more salary, than we need to talk to our boss about it and not be attached to how he is going to react. We could also try to work really hard and hope that our boss will notice it, and come to this decision by himself, but this is not taking responsibility for our own needs and desires. This is playing small. It is difficult to be fully responsible for your happiness, it is easier to blame others and circumstances. Life is about expansion though, take responsibility from your core power (the hara center) for your desires. By doing this you will increase the likelihood, and life will decide who “strikes”. We have learned to supress our power, to make ourselves small, to drain ourselves in our “VICTIMHOODS” as it gave us a strong sense of connection or identity. STOP IT! (watch the video on this page about “STOP IT).
7. Be present, whatever you decide.
In my opinion decisions are not really decisions, life makes us act and choose in a certain way. We are only here to experience the movie. I mean we do not choose our current level of awareness, we think, feel, do certain things as part of something bigger than ourselves. It is a bit controversial to say this seen the basis of this article but I think real free will doesn’t exist. We are organisms that are “inter-dependent”, it would be arrogant to believe we are not influenced by the whole universe as we can only inter-be! Try to stop breathing and soon this realization of interbeing will come.
On top of that I believe being present in the here and now is important for noticing the conditioning mentioned under number 2 and to not react from stuck patterns to our feelings and thoughts but to notice them and be mindful with them, holding them in a bigger space, full of acceptance.
If we are aware of our negative behavior (self-sabotaging) patterns, we can over time change them. Instead of living in reaction to our conditioning we can start living and taking decisions from creation. If we are fully committed to reaching a goal and we are really present life will help us. Now let’s get some magic into this blog! I believe presence will make it possible to see synchronicity taking place, to notice possible teachers and guides. Or to notice little signs to tell us we are on the right track. And what is the point of making important decisions if we are never present to enjoy the outcome or results. Mindfulness will make it possible to enjoy the joy of the adventure, of the movie, to feel the cups getting full or empty.
8. Bring you focus of attention towards positive experiences versus the “obstacles”
Watch this video to understand the problem of “positive thinking”:
Bring your focus of attention towards positive experiences versus the “obstacles” . When we move with our decisions to what we really want there will also be obstacles in the outside world. Obstacles are story’s in our head that are in the way of living according to set values/goals. Like not having enough money, or others opinions or being a disappointment to others. Please don’t base the core of your decisions on this, if you do what you really want, you will find a way. Once you are of track, it will take you a long time to find your way back…
In addition to this our fear is often a story and not actually something that is happening right now. Something we think we know about the unknown. With language we can see dangers without them being present at this moment. Evolutionary there were real tigers. But now we basically inherited an overactive alarmsystem, that can be turned on by not only outside threats like lions but also by thoughts of potential threats in the future. This can make us stressed out long-term, as every moment we can keep putting our attention towards worry’s about the future.
My friend Bob Marley was on to something when he wrote:
Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When we worry we make it double
You do not want to put your brain into a flight/ fight or freeze reaction. This is what happens when we focus on potential threats, from this brain mode, we will stop approaching our “carrot” and move away from it. Often the threat is not so much based on reality, but an overestimation of threats due to our negatively biased brain. When we give attention to “story’s that make us feel good, we put our brain in a responsive/relaxed state. In this way we will have more attention for opportunity’s for carrots. Maybe the “Lucky” ones are not that lucky, they just focus differently. Worrying is basically over appreciated and the benefit of being present in the here and now is under appreciated.
This is also a choice: focusing on survival or on fun? You will die anyway, nobody get’s out of here alive! So why not have some fun while you can!
Here is a metaphor from ACT to visualize the idea of accepting what you feel and think and doing something else:
The “dirty swamp” metaphor (Hayes, Strosahl, et al.)
‘Imagine that the only way to reach something that’s important for you is to go across a swamp full of dirt, rubbish, leftovers, that smells so badly, that really stinks… to go across the swamp and arrive at the other shore. What kind of thoughts do you think that are going to appear in such a situation? …It’s likely that thoughts like “I can’t stand this”, “This s unbearable”, “I can’t do anything so unpleasant and disgusting”, “It’s not worth the effort, it’s nonsense”…The best way you could possibly cross the swamp would be to notice all those thoughts and the distress they carry with them and let them be, to notice them and make room for them while you keep crossing the swamp… It’s about being open to all the thoughts that may show up and the distress associated to them, about carrying them with you while you keep doing what’s important in that moment: crossing the swamp and reaching the other shore… Notice all the thoughts that show up while you perform the Pain-Task and carry them with you, because you can have whatever thoughts and act differently to what you think or feel…’
If you are in what we call the fight/ flight/ freeze response already, see if you can embrace it, calming your nervous system down with slow deep breathing or for example do a mindfulness meditation, some yin form of yoga or other relaxing exercise to come to a state where you can respond instead of reacting from an automatic pattern. Give yourself caring attention like you would do to another human or a child in the same state. Embracing the inner child which is angry, sad or scared and that needs care and attention. (Check out these Self-compassion technics from Kristin Neff: http://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/)
Anger is a funny one though that we might need to approach by letting it “out” or by really letting it ” in” (the arousal energy) and using it (for a task that needs a lot of energy). For example by doing an Osho dynamic meditation and going into cartharsis, or by doing the “Putting anger into passion” exercises from creative consciousness. Just going into the wood to do some good old screaming or going for a run also sometimes works for me. Basically we are working with the body to influence the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system, which has an influence on the mind and vice versa. I notice that when my nervous system is in a relaxed stated, basically the “negative” thoughts are not gone but they are validated less, as there is less of a correlated feeling attached to it. The other way around though when I wake up and already am in a ” I didnt sleep well and I am grumpy” state of being, than the negative thoughts get much more validation from the negative feelings that were already there. This is why we need to take a mental health day sometimes, to get our minds and body’s into a ” Happy ” from Pharrel Williams state/soundtrack. I guess soundtracks in the thoughts movie are very important to understand/interpret what is happening. In aspects of yoga we learn that what we eat has an influence on the mind, so junkfood is not only bad for our physical health, also for the mental health.
Jeff Foster, one of my favourit meditation teachers on letting go:
9. Take on the alternative costs
Many times it was difficult for me to make decisions because I felt that if I made a decision it would mean that I would have to feel the alternative costs, meaning other possibilities will be ruled out. If I choose vanila icecream, I won’t taste the chocolate. You can spend your whole life keeping all options open, but when do you have time to taste the vanilla then? Again watch the movie mister Nobody!
10. Choose by choosing
If all the options have the same amount of (dis)advantages, just choose by choosing, as it doesn’t matter what you decide. By making a decision you will be unstuck, you will be outside your head which can be a relief (quoting Marc Steinberg). Flipping a coin is something I do quite often. Either it gives me clarity on what I really want by the feelings that come up or it get’s me unstuck. Probably afterwards your head will come up with a good reason or a story of why you chose this option anyway. If you have more then 2 options and can reduce them to 6 using a dice can be helpful. Or to make some lottery tickets. This is how I ended up in Indonesia when I started traveling in 2016.
11 .Once you made a decision fully commit to it and close the backdoors/ leaks.
Often I experience that I keep the backdoor open to make other decisions, I don’t fully commit, this is confusing to myself and others and often is a way to not really make a decision or self sabotage, afraid of failure and a crushed dream. It is not helpful, eats a lot of energy, while really committing puts you in your strength, while for sure we will experience breakdowns and breakthroughs on the way.
12. Practice integrity
When you committed to a decision act on it, do what you said you were going to do by when you were going to do it. The power of your word! If you experience you can’t, ask yourself if this is really what you want?
The thing is we can decide to change directions, whenever we need to. We needed to experience being of track to know where the track is. A higher level of integrity leads to trusting yourself.
13. Surrender to this river called life
In my eyes we need to feel all the contrasts of life, of “good and bad “ experiences. Without contrast or polarity nothing exists, and indeed everything would be one. Isn’t the contrast the point? So whatever we choose we will experience contrast, breakdowns, breakthroughs, and breakdowns again. We will make good decisions and bad ones, but the universe has no judgement because there is no good and bad, there is no judgement actually, there just is I. If we live from the fire within then there is really nothing to decide.
I decide to be present and grateful for life whatever it brings. Surrender and trust. Just because I can and because doing the opposit (worrying and feeling unsafe), has on a retrospect never really gotten me anywhere substantial. My body for example started telling me (by brining up an eye infection and eczema) to leave the Yoga forest in San Marcos, here in Guatemala, where I just started to do a volunteer job, teaching yoga and meditation. There wasn’t much reason to leave from a rational level of awareness, I just realized because of some synchronisity’s that life was guiding me somewhere else.
As I left I found more time to work with Keith Wilson (the cacao shaman), this proved to be more important than improving my yoga teaching skills. In fact I believe I learn to clean up peoples emotional garbage in easier, effectiver and more magical ways than teaching asanas and pranayamas. Before I would have just stayed, but so aware and so trusting I left the yoga forest.
I ones found this message on a teabag: Love without trust is like a river without water. Loving yourself is loving the universe, so loving what happens is trust.
If you love what happens, what happens is love
Quote from my own thoughts;-)
You can’t deny that there are many things beyond your control.
I have also realized that if we can imagine and feel the things we wish for before they manifest, then really the conditions around us do not matter so much anymore. It was all about having that “feeling” anyway. If you are happy before you’re happy, you do not need the manifestation of it in your reality anymore. “Fake it” so you do no longer need to “make it”?!!! It can be difficult to be happy before you are happy, so maybe we can just start with giving up resistance to what is. This is by allowing ourselves to feel our feelings fully. A lot of mental disorders are caused by avoidance. It might also help to ask ourselves frequently “What can I choose to do or focus upon right now, that would bring me one step closer to being happy before I am happy?”.
This is what TRUST does, it puts you in that non-resistance state, also called the vortex, that is where you want to be after all (inside, HAPPY BEFORE I AM HAPPY or outside yourself REALITY). This puts your brain in a responsive mode, that is more focuseld on caring, gratitude, love and peace. Imagine if we all got into this brain mode more often, our relationships would be looking quite differently. That is why I say ” Love what happens and what happens is love”. I do not care if it is not the most responsible, safe, logical or realistic way of looking a this reality. Thinking that life is serving my highest purpose, helps. This might be seen as a magical way of dealing with this reality, but tell me what good did the alternative offer me?
As I believe we attract what we expect, it is very important that I focus on generating a positive brain state or mode. The TRUST that everything happens for a “good” reason, makes me feel at ease and focus on the positive. This focus on thinking that I am approaching “carrots” creates positive momentum in my brain, which makes my brain interpret reality in a positive way, which makes me feel good, which makes me interpret more positively and.. finally yes finally I will die, but I will do that hopefully with a smile on my face <3. Survival was never really my thing! I go for happiness! The kind of happiness that comes from being free from your mind.
If you are trusting, some people might take adventage of you or you might be suprized with some outcomes. I rather be a fool, trusting, than building a wall around me. Blaming yourself for making the wrong decisions is like blaiming your self for having a certain level of awareness. At the time you did not have the level of awareness that you have right now. Did you choose your level of awareness right then? No you didn’t, this is why I believe we are to trust the movie, called “MY LIFE” , we chose to come into, whether it is a drama, comedy or adventure…trust it.
To finalize this article with a last remark that I feel I need to add for the most “advanced” choice makers among us, there is no wrong path and there is nobody making a choice.
I learned from yoga philosophy that if you realize the real self then you realize you are the water in the river or the ocean, there is nothing to do, nowhere to go and no one to be. To conclude with the mantra Oṁ namaḥ śivāya meaning I bow to Shiva, the consciousness that dwells in all and with the practice of yoga you come to realize “I am that (Samatvam)”. Thank you teachers.. life is the dancer, we are the dance.. existence lives through us..