My One True Thing

One of my favorite writing prompts is this one:

Write one true thing.

 

It doesn’t have to shift the alignment of the planets, or find you quitting your job. It doesn’t have to be greeting card worthy, or even rhyme. It just needs to be something we believe to be true.

This prompt is not as easy as it might seem.

What is true? is a question that could keep us philosophical types spinning for a lifetime. As a spiritual seeker, this question is why I feel in love with yoga and the larger spiritual, healing, self-realization, and New Age worlds.

In these worlds, I sifted through the truths that were presented to me through books, magazines, blogs, teachers, and teachings. In the beginning, I tried to make space for all of it to be true, for I had not yet cultivated a practice of discernment.

 

But eventually, as the truths I was collecting challenged or even outright contradicted each other, I had to refine my practice of hearing truths, processing truths, and deciding what to do with each one. I learned that many false things (and people, and movements, and philosophies) masquerade as truth all the time.

 

And so, as I sat down to write my first book, Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness, I began with the same “prompt” as I had been given in my writing workshops, and wrote the one true thing all the other truths had finally distilled down to:

We human beings, who were born in and from wholeness, can choose to return to wholeness.

This truth can then broken down further into these true things:

 

  1. As souls, we all come into our human lives and our human bodies in our wholeness.

  2. Eventually, we are all broken by the world, after which we are slowly and often painfully conditioned to fit inside it.

  3. Not until we acknowledge our brokenness, and the pain that inevitably comes with it can we begin a path of returning to our wholeness.

 

I realize now that all these years of studying spirituality, I wasn’t really seeking enlightenment, or salvation, or some kind of perfection. Maybe my ego wanted these things, but what I really wanted, deep down, was wholeness.

A World Without Soul

Some years ago, while in a yoga workshop with Judith Lasater, she asked a simple question: 

Imagine a world in which every single person, man, woman and child loved and accepted themselves as they were.

How might that impact our world?

Instantly, I could see communities of people, each filled with a love for themselves so complete, so true, that they did not hesitate in complimenting, being happy for, or helping out their neighbor.

 

I visualized leaders of countries so wise and accepting of their strengths and weaknesses that they knew how and when to surround themselves with supplemental intelligence and wisdom. 

Without our own wholeness, we fail to recognize that we are all the same. We see ourselves as separate, and vulnerable in this separateness. Disconnected, lonely, and fearful, we treat others who are not like us with suspicion, jealousy or worse, disgust and contempt.

 

Without our own wholeness, fear delights in telling us lies about our differences, beliefs about “us against them,” and makes us believe that there’s not enough resources—not enough love, acceptance, success, belonging—to go around.

 

With this false belief in lack, we cannot evolve into a kinder, gentler, more compassionate human being. Without wholeness reminding us of our interconnectedness and providing us access to the bottomlessness of Who We Are, there is little hope for true, authentic joy and communion in our lives.

 

But there is room for hope: collective wholeness for a society begins with just one person. One person who comes into wholeness can inspire the next, and the next, and the next, until we reach a collective tipping point.

 

A tipping point, from the book of the same name by Malcolm Gladwell, indicates a point at which an idea, concept, or truth reaches a critical mass and goes on to affect the whole globe, regardless of distance or boundary. The tipping point is the moment at which our collective consciousness shifts/expands/rises to accommodate the new, higher vibration the minority has been working for. This is when the entire culture takes a giant step forward. This is how things go global, or viral, or become common knowledge across continents. This is how we tip paradigms.

 

But who are the individuals who can best answer this call to reach the tipping point?

Understanding the Person with the Yoga Mat.

A 2016 joint study between Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance tells us that millions of people, “seekers,” settle themselves on a yoga mat each year. And each year, yoga continues to grow in popularity.

 

All these seekers showing up at the doorstep of spirituality and yoga each year come with a yoga mat under their arm and hope in their hearts. Perhaps some seek a respite from a world filled with people busily elbowing one another on the way to an ever-looming-larger “top.” Likely, they have begun to see through the deceptions and flat-out lies the world of the world. They no longer believe that success, money, even fame equals happiness.

Others suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental imbalances and seek healing for the mind. Some have been disillusioned and disappointed by the teachings of their church, while others come simply for physical healing and well-being. And there are always those who are merely curious.

 

But one thing all spiritual seekers all have in common: we are a hungry bunch.

I was one of those who came to yoga, saying I wanted a respite from depression, and maybe to lose a few pounds after childbirth. But underneath my answer, I was so very hungry.

 

I am a questioner by nature who had stopped asking questions.


I am emotional, sensitive, and empathetic at my core but had clamped down feeling.

 

I am one who has always felt freedom in bodily movement and expression, but no longer found the time to dance, sing, or play.

 

For me, after so many years of “fasting”—abstaining completely from questioning out of fear and long years of thinking I should just be good and follow the rules—I emerged into spiritual study like a wolf after a long winter famine. I was spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically starving.

 

The seemingly simple decision to take a yoga class may not be so simple after all.

However, the study shows something else about the staggering number of people signing up for yoga, something not so encouraging: two-thirds of them leave before their third year.

 

The study does not delve into the “whys” of the leaving, but I believe it’s because while yoga might satisfy physical needs, or even provide some sanctuary from our daily life challenges, it doesn’t feed that deeper hunger that drives so many of us.

 

Because rather than focus on the deepest reasons that person with the yoga mat showed up, yoga has become an American turnstile commodity of revenue building and product pushing.

 

That which was deep became superficial. That which was slow became fast. That which encouraged letting go became striving and goal-setting. That which was designed for internal growth became external showmanship.

 

One might argue, and I’ve certainly argued this myself at different stages of my journey, that as long as we get people to the yoga mat, no matter if it is for superficial reasons, it doesn’t matter. They are still drinking from the well of wisdom.

But if this is so, and superficial beginnings lead to deeper and deeper places, it doesn’t explain why are people leaving after just three years. Feel-good yoga may fill us up temporarily but it will not satisfy or heal us long term.

Besides, as our divisions only deepen, as the climate crisis only worsens, as the Doomsday Clock ticks 2 minutes before midnight, don’t have time to spare.

In these days of hotter, faster, more, we must be brave enough, even rogue enough, to seek, demand, and offer space, silence and time for reflection.

 

We must evolve into the kind of human being that expresses soul, enlivens soul, speaks for soul, and embodies soul.

 

Embodied individual by embodied individual, we can create a world in which more and more of this acceptance and love is natural and encouraged. Rather than a world of judgment and distance, we can re-create a world of inclusivity and connection.

 

We need a soulful revolution. It is our greatest hope, maybe our only hope, for the future of humanity and future generations, as well as the truest aspiration of each individual.

A Soulful Revolution

Those of us paying attention know that our world is in a tenuous state. It is a time of both incredible transformative possibility and planetary destruction. Meanwhile, the deep, seemingly irreconcilable divide and mistrust of the intentions among our people collectively tears at our individual hearts.

The loss of trust and faith in authority figures, scientific fact, and even the evidence of our own eyes and ears has found us all running around with our own set of “alternative facts,” a spiraling condition portending a truly Orwellian world. At a time when the window to reverse the imminent danger of global climate change is rapidly closing, we face a wall of denial and/or apathy, while profit margins, greed, and willful ignorance insist on maintaining the status quo. 

The wall that the president wishes to build on the southern border is only a representation of the many walls that are going up in our lives—designed for protection, but actually creating isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, pain, and suffering. 
 

Instantly, I could see communities of people, each filled with a love for themselves so complete, so true, that they did not hesitate in complimenting, being happy for, or helping out their neighbor.

 

I visualized leaders of countries so wise and accepting of their strengths and weaknesses that they knew how and when to surround themselves with supplemental intelligence and wisdom. 

As long as our individual and collective ego continues on demanding and forging its own way, we are one step closer to destroying ourselves, each other, and this earth we live on. Can we not see the writing on our melting ocean walls? This critical transformation, which is truly an evolution of humankind, is all that matters to our soul.


 

The first critical step to healing, to wholeness, to progress, is remember that the overarching desire of our souls is to be recognized, honored, and fully embodied within the human experience. The soul is not afraid to walk this earth. Quite the contrary; the soul longs to walk this earth.

 

The soul yearns to be unveiled and witnessed. To be expressed. To be seen. The desire of the soul is nothing more complicated, and nothing less exquisite.

 

But for all that the soul may knock, it is only we who can open the door.

 

We all experience this knocking of the soul, this inner hunger that drives us to seek for our “one true thing”. It may be felt as an inner urge for “something more.” It may be a secret ache, an itch, a calling into a different way of life.

 

If we open the door to soul, we begin to move towards a more soulful, truthful life. It may not be graceful, but movement is movement. As the soul is embodied, we, like a flower, open—each and every petal of us, no matter how long forgotten, how repressed, how much feared or despised will unfurl and lay exposed. And the soul will shine light on all of it without prejudice.

 

As we learn to stand in our wholeness and as we come to stand with our wholeness, we awaken to greater and greater truths. We find our own “one true thing.”

 

It’s no small endeavor. It’s no small ask. But it’s a small but potent new beginning: a “Welcome home” to our soul.

 

This welcoming home is what my journey is all about. It’s what this publishing company stands for. I invite you to join me—by following along on social media, reading the books we publish, submitting your own for consideration, or just reaching out to share your journey.

 

Welcome to Curiosa Publishing.

Release your stories, not to make them go away, not in aversion, but to put them to use as servants of the world. Set them free, let them speak, let them be heard, let others learn and grow from your stories as the teaching tool they are.

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