Do you believe in reincarnation? I sure do. And I always have. Waaaaay before I knew a single thing about yoga, I just knew.

I believe that a soul is eternal. And recyclable. I believe that child prodigies are reincarnated souls that remember. I believe we are all here to learn the lessons we failed to learn last time. Or the time before that. Or the time before that. For hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives until we get it right.

And I believe I know what I am here to learn.

And I’m working on it. Life lessons are never easy.

There are patterns that have followed me my whole life. And before I go into this, please know that this is not a pity party. I am not seeking praise or attention or validation. In fact, (spoiler alert!) I believe that is my very lesson. To not need the validation of others to define my self-worth.

When I was in preschool, I had a crush on a boy named BJ (yeah…that wasn’t a funny name in the early 70s). And he crushed my heart. When I told him I wanted to start a club of just him and me and presented him proudly with a postage stamp-sized crayon drawing masterpiece of an American flag, he literally ran away from me.

And that’s when it all began.

The pattern.

Truth is, I’m a pretty cool girl. Er, woman. I guess that when you are closing in on your 50th birthday, you are (perhaps!) no longer a girl. I have a lot going for me in just about every aspect of my life. But men have run away from me–fast!–for most of my life. Honestly, I have had fewer dates than anyone I have ever known ever. (Yeah, two evers!) And forget about boyfriends. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I had a bona fide boyfriend without going back to my hand-written calendars. No validation from men.

As a kid, I worked my proverbial asana off in school. I was a straight-A student in all Advanced Placement classes. I was a National Officer of the Year for Junior Achievement, my congressional district’s delegate to the United States Model Congress, an All-State tennis player, and, honestly, a list too long to go over here without your eyes glazing over. So, I will save you the glaze and skip to the denouement. I didn’t get into Stanford, my #1 choice of schools. And I didn’t get into Harvard. My #2. No validation from schools.

Of course, these days, validation is most easily measured in social media cache. Followers and fans. All modesty aside, my numbers don’t begin to reflect the quality of what I put out. (Not put out…I’m not that kind of girl! Brahmacharya!). And my classes, trainings and workshops are pretty much the smallest on earth. No exaggeration there. No validation.

I’m going to stop there, though the list goes on. Even though it may sound like it, my point isn’t really to talk about how bad my life is–my life ROCKS! I mean, honestly, rocks! I am so very, very, very, very blessed and I am infinitely grateful.

My point is that I have recognized my pattern and, in so doing, work very hard on moving beyond it. I can be incredibly okay with myself without anyone else telling me I’m incredible, or even great, or even good. I have to be.

I still have plenty of days when I look at my validation quotient and just want to cry. I’ll be honest.

But knowing on a soul level that this is my karma, really helps. This is something I brought to this life. A lesson the universe needs me to learn. It means that I have evolved past some of the more pedestrian growth into the deeper, harder stuff, and that is empowering. It means that maybe my soul is closer to transcendence. If only…

If only I can learn this one lesson.

Because I know that if I don’t get it this time around, I am destined to repeat these hard lessons the next…

2 Comments

  1. Aria Morgan on February 25, 2021 at 2:00 am02

    I love this post. How beautiful and truthful and poignant. Your karma parallels the karma of many of us who go into a field of service. May the inner brightness of your soul shine so beautifully and light up your heart so freely that you — beautiful human being that you are– transcend the duality of body-spirit, and in doing so, reverberate that brightness back to yourself and the fragments of your soul/self that exist in the All.

    As a reflection – may I add that you always did this as a teacher. You always lifted us up and made us shine.

    • Shana on February 25, 2021 at 2:00 pm02

      Wow, Aria! You just blew me away! Not just with your insight and eloquence, but with your kind words and heart. Thank you so much. You made my day.

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