By Susan Jacobs
Ever suddenly realize how tightly you’re wound, but it’s been going on for so long it’s become your normal baseline?
I was recently hypnotized for the first time. Over the years, I’ve had all sorts of alternative and trippy healing sessions, but this was my first experience with hypnotism. By phone, my practitioner friend talked me into a very deep state of relaxation that left me conscious, but just barely. After she brought me back, my head felt five pounds lighter. She asked for feedback about some of the verbal direction she had given, but I remembered nothing—even reading her follow up notes left me with a blank memory of the session.
This was the deepest state of relaxation I had been in for some time, which brought to light that I had been holding on tighter than a guitar string. Until you get relief, it is hard to know how off you have been.
It is ironic that I allowed this to happen as I am a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and practitioner on-and-off for fifteen years, have dozens of yoga DVDs and books filled with kriyas and Yogi Bhajan’s words of wisdom, and tons of self-help books (now seemingly called ‘personal development’)—basically, all of the tools needed to live and maintain a balanced yogic lifestyle.
I know what I need to do on daily basis to keep me healthy, happy and holy, yet often push those practices aside coming up with all sorts of great (in my ego mind) excuses as to why it is better to start back on another day. I have a PhD in excuses and procrastination. If I could figure out a way monetize that, I would be very rich!
My definition of a yogic lifestyle means conscious, clean, and healthy living; not inflicting harm on self or others; a daily practice, be it morning sadhana or some other time of day that works best for you; living present; listening to one’s own mind, body, spirit; following one’s heart and intuition; expressing daily gratitude; spreading light and love; and being of service.
Lately, my sensitivity to all things external has gotten amplified. I’ve become hypersensitive to the light, fan, music, and teachers voice in yoga classes. My balance in yoga postures is shaky due to mental distractions from my surroundings. The symphony of routine street noise outside my windows in Brooklyn are at a heightened level of messing with my head. All of this has taken me off center, and off my game.
With a long career in entertainment marketing, public relations, and event producing, being Superwoman came with the territory and fit perfectly with my personality. Professionally, I was able to do anything, regardless of scope and turnaround time, fearless to make things happen by any means necessary, and always delivered to clients’ great satisfaction.
That professional Superwoman complex spilled into my personal life, and I set ridiculous expectations for myself, most of which were unachievable. This led to repeated failures of not meeting the Herculean goals I set, and the subsequent downward spiral of self-doubt, insecurity, and retreating inward, but not in a good way. And all of this, I realized, was so silly once I was snapped back to a grounded, centered self from the hypnotism.
The amount of time and energy I expended and wasted on living in mental storyland was just too exhausting, unfulfilling, boring, and self-destructive. Not first-time revelatory news to me, just briefly forgotten. The beauty of the yogic lifestyle and way of being is that it’s always there waiting with open arms and no judgment. Each day is a new beginning, a new opportunity.
My yogic toolkit brought me back to reality, in full acceptance that I am a mere mortal, not having to prove any Superwoman feats. There is no need to push myself to the breaking point, or to think self-care and self-love is secondary. It took the deep, almost unconscious state of relaxation from hypnotism for me to remember that I even had a yogic toolkit.
Yoga, meditation, a good green smoothie, deep breathing, gratitude, and acceptance are all I need (and perhaps an occasional Jameson!). To seal the deal, my favorite drug of choice is salsa dancing on a weekly basis, which completely frees my spirit and ego, and brings me pure, unadulterated joy and happiness. And the morning after, my yoga mat is waiting for me to work out the kinks from dancing for hours, and gets me set for the new day.
Susan Jacobs, a freelance writer and marketing and communications consultant living in Brooklyn, and a contributing author to the recently published book Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now, published by The Round House Press. Her writing has appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. She is working on several books for Round House. She can be found at www.susanjacobswrites.com