Baggage is such a negative term. We use it to describe the shit we carry with us – the toxicity that’s built up from a past life full of heartache, disappointment, failure and regret. Because this baggage is often painful to reflect upon, bring up, or share, we stuff it way down deep, hide it behind a smile, shelter it with walls that don’t allow anyone or anything in. We attach this negative term “baggage” and every time a piece of it flairs up, we do all we can to subdue those feelings and emotions. But what we don’t often realize is that no matter how we try to hide or ignore this toxicity lurking in the deepest corners of our basements. It seeps out of it’s deep dark hiding place and influences us when we’re least aware. It affects the way we react to people in our lives, the way we express ourselves, and the manner in which we approach and create relationships.

That is what this practice of personal revolution is designed to do. To be a starting point, or continuation, of bringing to the surface those toxic memories, faces, places, and situations that we allow to alter the life we want (and deserve) to create for ourselves. Reminding ourselves that we have the power to let go, find forgiveness, give an apology, or simply stare this negativity in the face and say “I’m not going to let you affect me anymore”. This is a personal revolution!

Growing up in an average middle class family with average intelligence and average physical ability – arrogance for some reason was a trait that took hold of me. For so long I thought I was so much better than other people for one reason or another. I have horrible memories from my youth of overpowering and taking advantage of weaker classmates, torturing them into a crying puddle. I once scared a horse so bad (on purpose) it bucked its rider off causing life-long injuries. I’ve been cheated on, lied to, beat to the ground both physically and emotionally. I carry baggage that tells me I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, that I don’t deserve the good life. I have created a habit, or more so practice, of continuously reminding myself that these internal toxic voices do not speak the truth. I carry the scars of my past as a reminder to be a better person, to make better choices, to create better relationships and to not give in to the temptation of sinking back into my deep dark basement of shame and self hatred. Yoga teaches us that we all come to life with a different set of experiences and that no one is above the other. It teaches us to do no harm, to love and trust (ourselves and others). It teaches us to be compassionate towards ourselves and to those whose paths we cross.

Instead of allowing our baggage to affect our relationships, our reactions, our thoughts and actions, we can begin unpack it and accept it for what it is. We build this resiliency and ability to be OK with allowing the past to be a part of who are are, instead of our lives being a product of our past.

What’s the point of all this you might ask? This whole idea is something we’ll wrap into a simple meditation – so we might begin to bring awareness to our patterns of communication, of relationship building, and of reaction. We might take this understanding into our daily lives and begin to change these patterns and begin the process of rebuilding. When we can start the change within ourselves to become a better person, we can then start to change the world in immeasurable ways.

Brian will be teaching at OmCulture this Friday for their Spotlight on Yoga series. Brian will be leading a Personal Revolution class. Doors open at 5:30 PM and event goes until 7:30 PM.

To practice with Brian, please visit his yoga teaching schedule on Yoga Panda here.

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