You advocate self-love. What does that look like?

Recently a Human Being Training student asked the question: "What does self-love look like?" And here's the short answer to that wonderful inquiry: Self-love looks like doing only what you want. Only what makes your mind-heart-body thrilled (and sometimes a little scared).

This is where people get confused. Unfortunately, people in general (including those who consider themselves highly spiritual) are usually aghast at the idea of doing what they want. It would mean accepting their absolute power over themselves as the creators of their own lives, along with the tremendous responsibility that comes with this ultimate, inherent freedom. 99% of people want no part of that. They want to be told what to do by their religions, their governments, their parents, their schools, their friends, their local law enforcement--they automatically perceive any voice of authority outside of themselves to be more powerful than their own (if they even acknowledge that they have power).

Now, along with this information, I have to explain what "doing what you want" looks like. Two main things:

1. It's not something that happens from a big Eff You kind of attitude, although this can get you started. It's more like this: "Hey, I'm going to do what I want, and I hope you do also, because I want nothing but the best for you." True doing-what-you-want comes from a very loving place. You can't help anyone if you're a total wreck of exhaustion, resentment, and bitterness. We all know sad-sack martyrs. How much are they really contributing to the world?

2. It can often take the form of a major shift in attitude. So, as a CalPoly student said the other night, "I went from saying, 'Damn, I have to do my homework," to "I WANT to do my homework so I do well in X class so I can become the best X in the world, which is my overarching goal." Or my personal favorite, "Wha. I have to stop at Trader Joe's on the way home," becomes "I GET TO stop at TJ's on the way home so I can buy good food with the money I awesomely have, and carry it home in my MINI Cooper car that I love. I'm so effing lucky."

See?

I hope this helps. And I hope you can see now that while this is a very powerful self-love practice, it's also perhaps the least selfish thing you can do. Those who don't understand yet will call you selfish, invariably. But as you learn to take your power back through this practice of being in charge of your own happiness, you'll teach the others around you to as well. Or at least give them a glimpse that something different and wonderful is possible. And that's really what the world needs most right now.

One of my favorite lines from the music I've been listening to lately is "Come down from your cross, we could use the wood." :)

I think martyrdom and socially conditioned "self-sacrifice" are among the most damaging and selfish ideas out there.

But don't take my word for it! Try it out yourself, and please let me know how it goes.

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Understand this in your bones.

The following is something I felt compelled to write down immediately before giving a Human Being Training last weekend. I read it during Corpse Pose at the end of class. These are several dominant themes of my teachings, which are the same ancient ideas the masters have brought to us over the millennia, but in my own voice. Several people wanted me to make it available publicly, so here it is. Thank you for asking!

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What I really want you to understand--like, even down into your bones themselves--is that there is no label, or name, or description for how magnificent you are.

The Ego likes little names and categories, because more than anything, it wants you to stay small and docile. Society and all forms of authority outside of you approve and reinforce this process at every opportunity, offering the illusion of safety as a powerful lure to obedience.

There's nothing wrong with the Ego. It's not evil, and you don't have to squash it. What will happen, though, is that as you allow yourself to grow and learn, the true, unlimited You will naturally begin to overshadow the Ego and put it in its proper place: as your servant. It's been your master until now. And that's all that's wrong with the world.

You have a choice of love or fear in every single moment. The Ego chooses fear every time. Your true, beautiful Self will always choose love. Sometimes making decisions from love is absolutely terrifying! But that kind of fear comes from knowing you're being called to play the Big Game.

So quit playing small!

It doesn't help anyone for you to cover up What You Are. In fact, it diminishes us all.

And as you allow your Real Self to emerge comes the opposite of Ego. There comes profound humility, because you realize that everyone, everywhere is also the same unknowable, indescribable vehicle for outright magnificence.

Let your power begin to come through you and overflow.

Use it freely, spread it generously.

You are without limit! Act accordingly.

Meanwhile, remember to rest when the body-vehicle needs rest. Take good care of your physical vessel--your spacesuit--so it can keep up with you. There is great power and beauty in skillful rest.

Namaste.

Inner Space: The Final Frontier (CalPoly051315)

Note: This is the first in an ongoing series of articles documenting the extraordinary evolution of my now two-year-old, weekly Human Being Training program at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. I'm deeply grateful for the 35+ humans who participate in these yoga-based, music-driven adventures, since although I'm the titular instructor, the synergy we create together is what makes possible some truly jaw-dropping alchemy.


The energy of the community this week was crackling, edgy. It reminded me of the feeling I had recently during an autocross race when the back end of my car broke loose on a diabolically uneven, extra-long sweeping turn. The 360 that followed was epic, but disorienting. I was borrowing a magnificent, AWD turbo and forgot that the one thing to do with an all-wheel-drive car when its back end slips is to Floor It. And so we did in class what I failed to do on the race course. It was a sweaty, glorious mess.

Not my EVO, but you get the idea.

Not my EVO, but you get the idea.

I often have a theme of the week for Human Being Training (although I let the details fill themselves in as the class unfolds) and give a short talk on it before we get moving. This week, fueled by this life-altering Eckart Tolle video I've been studying, we explored the metaphorical concept of Inner Space: The Final Frontier. (I'm a total Star Trek dork, so this is how the Info presented itself to me.)

As always (OK, as often as I remember), I was practicing relaxing, setting down my ego, and letting the Information come through me as accurately as possible.

I try to listen to what my mouth says during Human Being Training, because when I let the Energy speak through me, it's generally pretty useful in the sense of providing instruction on how to become a Real Human Being. (This is how I think of folks like Jesus, Buddha, The Dalai Lama, Allah, Krishna, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Yoda, Your Favorite Avatar Here, etc.) And above all else, I'm passionately keyed in to removing as many layers of my Not-Self as I can in this particular lifetime. (Side note: I just saw the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie today--they call Real Human Beings "shiny" or "chrome." Cool.)

The excellent thing is that each of us is already Shiny. And most of us forget this surprising fact as we tool around in our little daily worlds, lost in a wilderness of jibber-jabbering, meaningless, constricting thoughts fueled by our raging egos and untrained but powerful five senses.

Most of us have forgotten that the Brain Mind is the servant of the Heart Mind and the Gut Mind, not the fucking boss of us. (Guess where your terrified, tyrannical, torturing ego lives? Mmm-hmm.) And most of us have also forgotten that each of our senses is a big red button in our spacesuit bodies, which are tools for exploring Time/Space. When you use them correctly, you can play the Game. When you don't know how your spacesuit works, you don't know there is a Game, and how much crazy-ass fun it is.

So here's the crux of what we learned this week: To create some space inside you, some deep peace and relief from the incessant, maddening barrage of the Monkey Mind (have you noticed all that internal noise?), to train your Brain Mind to do the will of the more intelligent Heart and Gut, you only need to watch your body breathe. Or feel the inside of your left foot or hand. In other words, feel the Life that you are. Observe that you are not the nerve impulses that create thoughts. You are what watches the thoughts arise.

Until next week, Human Beings, have fun and for God's sake don't take my word for any of this! I'm continually flabbergasted by the amount of stuff I don't know. Maybe, if you want, try some of these ideas for yourself and see what happens.

All my heart,

Amanda


Things to Practice with Your Spacesuit This Week

1. V-e-r-y....s-l-o-w yoga pushups, with elbows in and a good plank going on (aka chaturanga). 10 seconds down, 10 seconds up. I can do 2 so far. Remember, slowness is a path to mastery and tremendous strength.

2. The hip mobility work we did. I found the exercises here. Love these guys.

3. As many frog leaps as you can do in 30 seconds. Do them like this!

4. Party trick o' the week: sit-throughs.

PLAYLIST