[01:01] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily and happy Friday, you guys! It's Feel-Good Friday today. We have just made it through Christmas, anticipating New Year's coming up fairly soon. Last week for Feel-Good Friday, I shared a quote that's very special to me or a poem actually that's very, very special to me and I really liked this idea of, not every single week, but once in a while sharing a passage from a book or a poem or a quote or something that's moved me a lot in my life. And this week we are, I think all of us together, mourning the passing of Ram Dass. Ram Dass, I spoke about him for our Thankful Thursday episode last week, and when it came to giving gratitude to a teacher or someone that's been very important in our lives. Ram Dass, for me he is one of the most influential teachers I've ever had in my life.
[02:03] One of the most important spiritual teachers for me. I return to his readings, to his discourses and lectures and talks and quotes again and again and again. And I can really feel his presence as a constant in my life. And it has been for so, so many years. With his passing this week, I can sense this big, ugh, this big open space inside of my chest. I feel an immense amount of sadness and I also feel this sense of freedom merging with that sadness. I feel this love filling that empty space right now. And of course, it feels very fitting for me today to read something from Ram Dass. And I had such a hard time picking something today because it's just, there's too much to choose from. I decided to share, there's a little piece of a lecture of his that I share in all of my yoga teacher trainings as our first discourse that we listen to on the first Satsang, our first sacred gathering of the entire training.
[03:13] And I just shared it also with our Healing the Heart retreat group that we had just a week ago. It's a beautiful, beautiful piece and I think you'll feel it in your heart too. If you would like to listen to this entire piece, you can find it really easily on YouTube, just search Ram Dass How to Love Yourself. And it's a talk he does answering the question, how can we love ourselves more? And I love how he answers this because he shares that it's not so much about trying to love ourselves more, love being the duality and the opposite of hate, how do we overcome self-hate and come back to love or move toward a place of self-love? And instead he changes the phrasing of it a little bit toward how can we accept ourselves more, instead of loving or hating ourselves? How can we just allow ourselves to be the way we are?
[04:10] How can we stop that judgmental voice in the back of our heads and move away from the idea that we constantly have to be different or that we should do better. And instead of thinking of ourselves as good or bad or love or hate, can we just allow and accept ourselves the way we already are? And this a quote from that talk that I'm going to share I think is a really beautiful reflection of how we can help ourselves along and we can help our society along by practicing that non-judgment, when we meet other people, when we come across other people, so not just in our relationship to ourselves, but in our relationship to the world. So the quote from this lecture goes like this: “When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees and some of them are bent and some of them are straight and some of them are evergreens and some of them are whatever.
[05:09] And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn't get enough light so it turned that way and you don't get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all of that, and you're constantly saying, you are too this or I am too this. That judging mind comes in. And so, I practice turning people into trees, which means appreciating them just the way they are...”. I would love to invite you to listen to this. It's just a 10-minute piece of a lecture called How to Love Yourself. You can find it on YouTube, it will be 10 more minutes to fully enrich your day and to deeply drop you into a place of self-acceptance and self-allowance, allowing yourself and the people you come across today to just be the way they are. Appreciating the people around you for what they already are without trying to change them in any way. And then I think the more we practice that acceptance, we can also bring it toward ourselves in a much gentler way where we too can be just the way we are. Thank you so much for tuning into this short practice today and a big thank you to my teacher, my guru, Ram Dass. I will hold you in my heart for as long as I live. Thank you for tuning into Yoga Girl Daily. We’ll be back on Monday.
[End of Episode]