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CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER YOGA JUNKIE A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE MAKEOVER FOR THE SINCERE SPIRITUAL SEEKER

PARVATI DEVI

Positive Possibilities Press


Positive Possibilities Press

CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER YOGA JUNKIE: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker. Copyright Š 2013 by Parvati Devi. All rights reserved. Printed in Great Britain. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Positive Possibilities books may be purchased for educational, business or sales promotional use. For information please contact sales@positivepossibilities.com. ISBN: 978-8201032778 SECOND POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES PAPERBACK EDITION PUBLISHED IN 2013


This book is dedicated to the lotus feet of my guru Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma.

Prostrations to the sandals of my guru That are a full moon for the ocean of knowledge

You stand in utter stillness You are the world yet nothing You are all yet none You give birth to all that is Free us from bondage, The pain of desire You are a gateway The way The path to freedom Show me the way As I lay before you in still surrender I feel your holy feet dance in my soul Let me lose myself In the gaze of your sacred feet So that I may be one with you Eternally


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I feel grateful and blessed to experience the love and support of many beautiful souls that weave like a tapestry of light through my life. We are all interconnected and luminous in our own unique way. In particular, I wish to thank Pranada Devi, whose friendship and belief in me led me to start my blog. When I was immobilized and unable to write due to a severe injury, you continued to help me share my experiences through dictation. The process of working together in editing this book has been a true partnership and a completion of what began a few years ago online. You are an inspired swordswoman! When two people come together at a soul level, it feels like a multidimensional marriage of vast universes. So it is with Rishi Jonathan Gerald, whose soul directive is uncannily like my own. burns through karma. In being close to the heat, I have grown both stronger and softer and learned to see my life as a mirror to my Thank you to Vandana Ryder, Deborah Anderson and Sunanda Jordon for your friendship, support and excellent proofreading; patience and love; and to my blog followers, whose feedback has helped to shape this book. I wish to acknowledge the power of nature, the healing grace of the planet and the angels who inspire me to sing and serve. And lastly, yet mostly, thank you to all those who have pushed my buttons. You have been my best teachers.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Invitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 PART 1: UNDERSTANDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Perfect Cosmos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Beyond the Illusion of “I” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Why Aren’t We There Yet? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 From Type A to Type A Yogini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Illuminating Spiritual Shadows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Awakening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Healing Force of Nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Commitment and Courage in Spiritual Life . . . . . . . . . 25 LIVE IT! Who Are You?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 LIVE IT! Likes and Dislikes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 A Life of Possibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Positive Possibilities and Impossibilities . . . . . . . . . 28 Living in the Positive Possibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Illusion of the Impossibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Path of Possibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 LIVE IT! Changing the Lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Early Days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 LIVE IT! Earliest Memory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Complications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 LIVE IT! Childhood and Teens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Where There Is Death There Is Rebirth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Niceties and Feisties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Why Be Normal? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 The Bond Beyond. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 The Wake-up Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 LIVE IT! Young Adulthood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Inside Outside In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 My Practice Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Amma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 What Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 LIVE IT! ZING!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Getting Unstuck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Being True to Who You Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 LIVE IT! Being True, Being You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 PART 2: WITNESSING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Sobering Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 How Do You Know if You Are Living Your Joy? . . 68 LIVE IT! Whose Life Are You Living?. . . . . . . . . . . . 71 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 LIVE IT! Making the Unconscious Conscious . . . . . 75 LIVE IT! Say Yes to Joy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 LIVE IT! Essential Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 LIVE IT! Core Beliefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Exploring Emotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 What Is the Mind? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Witnessing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Releasing Emotional Pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 LIVE IT! Witnessing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Managing Resistance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 DIARY: If This Moment Were Your Last . . . . . . . . . 94 You Can Do It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Facing Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 DIARY: Receiving the Sacred Root . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 The Dirty Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Defending “Mine”: Anger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102


Knowing What We Feel Gives Us Power . . . . . . . . 102 We’re Not in the Jungle Anymore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Anger Is Pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Temperature Gauge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 LIVE IT! Witnessing Anger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Holding Onto “Mine”: Resentment, Jealousy, Depression, Despair and Shame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Resentment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 DIARY: Uncovering Resentment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 LIVE IT! Witnessing Resentment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Jealousy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 LIVE IT! Witnessing Jealousy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Depression and Despair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Witnessing Despair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 LIVE IT! Witnessing Despair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Depression: Beyond the Veil and Into the Cave . . 122 Balancing Inside and Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 LIVE IT! Your Inner and Outer World . . . . . . . . . . 125 DIARY: Angels in Our Midst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 LIVE IT! You Are Safe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Shame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 LIVE IT! Unmasking Shame. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 LIVE IT! Healthy Shame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 LIVE IT! Toxic Shame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Justifying “Mine”: Judgment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 Judging Others And Our Self. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 No One Is Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 . . . . 136 The Power of Raw and Real . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 LIVE IT! Raw and Real . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Relishing in “Mine”: Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Cultivating the Sweetness of Humility . . . . . . . . . 143 Seeing It as It Is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 LIVE IT! Be Mindful of Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 The Lotus in the Mud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 It Is All Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 LIVE IT! Feeling Part of It All . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150


Giving Thanks for All We Have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 LIVE IT! Gratitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 Thanking Illness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Seeing All as Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 LIVE IT! What Am I Learning Here? . . . . . . . . . . . 155 DIARY: Body Gratitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 LIVE IT! Thanking Your Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 Facing Adversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Thanking Adversity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 Gratitude for Painful Tendencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 LIVE IT! Learning From Your Tendencies . . . . . . . 163 LIVE IT! Investigating Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 DIARY: This Moment Is Everything . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 LIVE IT! Imagine Perfection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 PART 3: RELEASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Who Is Doing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 From Control to Whole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 In This Moment, We Have All We need . . . . . . . . . 171 Who Is Doing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 BE IT “I am” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 To Act or Not To Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 When Is Enough Enough? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 LIVE IT! Question Your To-Do List . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 Karma Yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 LIVE IT! Karma Yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 What Is Time? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Think Turtle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 LIVE IT! Letting Go of Shoulds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Authentic Communication: From Goo-Goo to Grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 When to Voice, When to Be Silent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 Anticipation and Fear of Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 LIVE IT! Facing Your Fears. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 Playing It Small and Hiding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 LIVE IT! Childhood Expression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 To Risk Speaking Up and Saying How You Feel. . 193


The Inner Critic and Self-Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 Taking Up Space: The Co-Creative Flow . . . . . . . . 197 Living Within The Sacred Whole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198 LIVE IT! What Holds Me Back from Action? . . . . 199 LIVE IT! Take the Rooted, Vital and Expansive Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 Surrender Versus Roadkill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 Natural Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 Flow Within the Whole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 LIVE IT! Say Hello to The Trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Acceptance and Resignation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 Focus, Discipline and Courage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 DIARY: Roadkill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 LIVE IT! Boundaries and Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 LIVE IT! Safe to Soften . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 Relationships. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Relationship Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 LIVE IT! Revisiting Your Core Beliefs . . . . . . . . . . . 214 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214 Relationship With The Divine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 What Is The Divine? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 An Apple in an Orange Grove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 LIVE IT! Welcoming Your Inner Child . . . . . . . . . . 222 LIVE IT! Let Your Inner Child Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 LIVE IT! Let Your Inner Child Speak . . . . . . . . . . . 224 Letting Go of The Victim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 The Universal Mother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 LIVE IT! Breathing Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 DIARY: Being With The Divine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Standing Our Ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 LIVE IT! The Ground Beneath Our Feet . . . . . . . . . 228 Standing Sacred Ground. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Yoga, Ground, Rebound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 LIVE IT! Finding Your Sacred Ground . . . . . . . . . . 232 Relationship With Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Self-Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235


We Are Love, We Are Loved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 What Is Self-Love Anyway? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Listen to Your Body Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Illness Is Soul Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240 The Seen Expresses The Unseen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Thinking and Being . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual Bodies 244 Tuning In: Your Seven Body Talk Stations . . . . . . . 245 Freeing Our Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 BE IT Prayer for Self-Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 LIVE IT! See Yourself As Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250 LIVE IT! Self-Nurturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250 Relationships With Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 The Presence of Challenging People in Our Lives 252 Breathe and Reconnect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 DIARY: Room For It All . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 . . . . . . . 258 LIVE IT! One Earth Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 The Power of Patience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 It’s Not Personal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261 DIARY: It’s Not Personal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Balanced Compromise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 Acceptance and Insight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 Giving Voice and Making Changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 The “Perfect” Partner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 Getting The Love You Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 DIARY: Hurtful Actions as a Catalyst. . . . . . . . . . . 274 LIVE IT! Understanding and Compassion . . . . . . 275 The Role of the Divine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278 Interconnected Through Dark and Light . . . . . . . . 279 It’s a Spiritual Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 We Are Divine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282 LIVE IT! Seeing The Divine Everywhere . . . . . . . . 283 Being Spiritual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 The Gift of The Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 BE IT Peace Prayers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 LIVE IT! Connecting With The Divine . . . . . . . . . . 290


What Is Yoga? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 The Sober Yogi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293 LIVE IT! Live Yoga 24/7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 ABOUT THE AUTHOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297


INVITATION

I

n many areas of my life, I would say that I have learned the hard way. As a determined, type A person, I was driven by the need to get things right and take everything on as I attempted to climb to the top on my own terms. This tendency almost cost me my life. From this, you may assume that you are about to read a typical story of a business person who worked tirelessly around the clock, a go-getter with little concern for health or for the value of slowing down, who only discovered yoga after a crisis along the lines of a after I had left a promising professional career and dedicated my life to yoga and spiritual growth, not before. I was already meditating, poses, chanting mantras, experiencing spiritual bliss and teaching others the value of yoga. And still, I almost died, and had to soberly rethink my life’s direction. This book is about sharing what I have learned, so that perhaps, It is a reminder that the yoga and spiritual communities are not we form an expectation of yogis or spiritual practitioners as blissful, elevated and just around the corner from enlightenment. We want to believe these things about ourselves as we reach for the light and turn away from our shadows. Yet under the sparkly crystal malas, organic cotton yoga clothes, and “om shanti”, we may still be as prone as ever to the problems we thought we left behind when we stepped onto our yoga mat or sign up for a spiritual retreat. It doesn’t need to be this way. Whether you meditate for hours a day or have never meditated in your life, whether you drink wine, water or wheatgrass, whether 1


CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER YOGA JUNKIE you have a choice corner in your favorite yoga studio or tiptoe to release what may be keeping you from living your deepest joy. When I read the word “in-vita-tion”, I see “in” and “vita”, words which evoke an inner life. Through the practice of yoga as it truly is, you tap into an inner wellspring of vitality that will transform your life. I invite you to dive into yoga as you have never done before. By letting go of preconceived notions about yoga and who you are, you will courageously embark upon a humbling, alchemical, spiritual journey. As the book guides you through a metamorphosis from spiritual gold, you will touch the heart of yoga as a practical tool for spiritual transformation. This book therefore is not concerned with how long you can stay in navasana or the particulars of pranayama techniques. It focuses instead on the totality of yoga as union with the divine and is intended to compassionately support you in realizing your fullest potential. The title “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” was chosen spiritual life. If you sincerely show up for the processes here within and let go of any resistance through openness, readiness revolutionary. The word “re-vol-ution” implies a coming around, to revolve around a new axis. During pilgrimages in the outer world, we circumambulate holy temples and sacred land to pay respects to our relationship with the divine. As sincere spiritual aspirants, when we meet the consequences of our choices as opportunities for growth, we are called to return to the inner temple of our heart and soul. As T. S. Eliot wrote,

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We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started

You may come to this book thinking that you need a certain something to make you feel happy and whole, to help you advance on your spiritual path, to help you feel you are “getting somewhere”. As you move through the alchemical yogic journey in these pages,

This book is my invitation to you to step into greater joy and the courage to let go of what you think you may know, and open instead to a new vision of reality. If it serves to move you along your Part 1, UNDERSTANDING, provides the foundation for the inner work you will be guided to do. It sets the stage for a new perspective of life, so that you may see with greater insight and sustained. I explore the issues created by widespread subtle addiction, to which we are all susceptible. I share how my painful tendencies brought about serious problems in my life, despite my best spiritual intentions. I support you to better understand the story of your life. In Part 2, WITNESSING, we look at how you can live your joy, and explore the underlying patterns that drive your choices. We learn how to practice witnessing as an essential spiritual tool to create lasting change. We roll up our sleeves and do the “dirty work” of witnessing various essential ways we identify with feeling separate. And, rather than feeling hard on ourselves for them, we

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CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER YOGA JUNKIE In Part 3, RELEASE, we go further into the process of witnessing as we deepen our understanding of being within the perfect whole, no matter what may be going on in our life. We explore essential spiritual questions, such as, who is doing, when to act. We put what we have learned into practice as we explore our relationship with the divine, our self and others. We learn how to release our deeply held attachments in order to experience lasting freedom. Throughout the book, I weave in personal diary entries to illustrate key points, and exercises to designed to practically apply the content to your life. This book is for you if you are open and earnestly seeking a life beyond the grip of your limited ego. No one really likes letting go of their ego. But it is that breakdown that builds us up over an entirely new, completely refreshing and far more powerful axis. That new axis is at the heart of the spiritual path. By living a spiritually centered life, we begin to see life full of opportunities, rather than mistakes. When we experience life, and the forces there within, as ultimately supporting us, no matter what the circumstance, we touch a silver lining inside any cloud. This luminous veil will guide us straight to a spiritual seeker’s pot of gold. As we start this journey together, I invite you to perceive obstacles and painful situations not as problems, but as a voice from your soul asking you to wake up from the story of your life and reconnect with the greater whole. Right behind the story is a freedom you cannot yet imagine. the yogic path in honour of this waking up. As you journey with me through this book, I will share my story with you and inspire the extraordinary beauty of who we are and embrace the notion of the while held within the perfect whole.

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It takes trust in a much bigger picture to keep going on the spiritual path when things no longer feel easy, pretty, smooth, or fun. In the same way, it will take courage, determination and heart to read this book and do all the exercises here within in their entirety. When you meet resistance, your ego balks at change. But stick with it, right to the end. It may have ups and downs, but in my opinion, the spiritual journey is the only one worth taking. Each one of us is a diamond in the rough, some more polished than others. Life is the great rock tumbler, making sure that our rough edges are smoothed away so that we may shine. The sooner we begin to work with, rather than against life, the more quickly we get out of our own way and stop resisting what is. By cultivating a sense of humble acceptance, joy, peace and abundance will be yours. that you deeply seek -- and that you ultimately are. Parvati Devi Toronto, Ontario October 2013

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Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker