“and at once I knew, I was not magnificent” – Holocene, Bon Iver
Holocene is perhaps one of the most amazing examples of musical genius ever. What makes music genius to me is it ability to evoke a certain feeling deep within without knowing the words…and then when you hear the words although they make sense to someone they don’t really make sense to you literally but figuratively it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for. Genius.
I have been studying the Shamanism of the Q’ero people of Peru for a few years. Some years more intensely than others. When I started one of the most challenging teachings for me was the giving up feeling special. My whole life I have been told I was special, I was smart, I overcame great home adversity; I, like everyone else in my culture, identified with my accomplishments and made them who I was rather than something I did.
A kind soul I know is learning this same teaching right now and was sharing with me how difficult a pill it was to swallow. I empathized deeply, knowing what a challenge it was to understand, the words foreign in your mouth and in your body. It wasn’t however, until I had my daughter, that I really understood what they meant to me and embodied their meaning.
When I first had B, and even still, I was really struck by the wonderment of this little being who arrived in this incredibly delicate package. So helpless, so close to the other side, so perfect. She’s still very young, only 15 months, and I still am struck by the vast potential her life holds. She’s so fresh and has so much ahead of her. It’s a breathtaking thought.
What is even more startling is that we all began here.
We don’t all get the same start in life. This is complicated. It means that we don’t all begin with the same chance for potential…and even though everyone would like to believe the fairy tale that we can all overcome adversity, it simply isn’t true. We may have the potential but it may be left unrealized, unrecognized and un-nurtured.
This is a painful reality. It’s hurtful to know that each and every soul born with this incredible fullness may never realize it. Imagine if we all did. Imagine if we all dropped our stories, unloaded that which weighs us down and remembered, remembered this inherent lightness, fullness, oneness.
Giving up being special isn’t about realizing that you are not special, it’s about realizing we are all equally special. It’s about dropping judgement and remembering our inherent oneness. This is one of the many things yoga and my studies have taught me. Keep asking, keep searching deeper and deeper fearlessly. It may be painful, it may be scary but the rememberance of who and what we are, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment, is worth it.