A couple years after my first baby was born, I got my yoga teaching certification. This time, I used both my last names. I think this was my first step, unconscious though it might have been, toward integration of all my compartments. I had not realized how exhausted I had become. This sort of bifurcated existence was feeling less fun and much more of a struggle. Michael Singer writes in his book, THE UNTETHERED SOUL, ” The inside of one’s psyche is full of conflicting forces that are constantly changing … and as a result, we find ourselves struggling to hold it all together. This very responsibility is itself a form of suffering.”
Singer talks about a primal act called Clinging, a Buddhist term for the substitution of consistency with stability. In essence, we create “the bricks and mortar” to build a concept of Self out of our fear. We cling to external forces and decide that is who we are, despite life’s fluctuations.
To integrate the vast parts of ourselves requires a willingness to let it all go, release all the preconceived notions of the who, what, and where of our personal story. I had never quite understood the whole integration in relation to its root word:integrity. To WANT to put all the pieces together shows integrity, a great deal of self-value. The process of honoring ones’ self not for what you do but just for the breath you take doing it.
I like working this way, from this form. And I find the rewards keep coming when I use integreation as my model rather than fear I am too many different things. I just got to play a jazz singer and use the singing voice I have been shying away from all these adult years. Now I’m playing a role using my Israeli roots, speaking in Hebrew and using my heritage, rather than trying to distance myself from my upbringing and try to fit into another mold.
Who knows what else is in store. Maybe it really does not matter. As Singer observes:
You will never find yourself in what you have built to define yourself. You’re the one who’s doing the building.