In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realization. In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same. – Eckhart Tolle; A New Earth
All of life is yoga, literally we are all in a cycle of learning and growth with everything we do and everything we are. There is always an opportunity to learn and become wiser so that life can become richer and more fulfilling. After reading an inspiring book last year; A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, I have been contemplating over the last few months; What does it mean to be Humble how can I try my best to bring that quality of humility in to my being?. Its a tough one for sure!
Some of the most lovely people that I have ever met, come across as such kind, pure, compassionate souls, they may also be amazing at what they do and yet they seek no glory. They are warm, friendly, non-judgmental and unassuming, they have absolutely no ego, they just exude grace and such a beautiful contagious energy, which in turn draws others to deeply appreciate and love them.
I checked out the word Humble in the dictionary, here’s what it said;
Modesty, lacking pretence, not believing that you are superior to others. It went on to say; this is an admirable quality that not many people possess, it means that a person may have accomplished a lot, or be a lot but do not feel it is necessary to advertise or brag about it.
All this being said, its a difficult one to follow though as it is pretty hard to be humble, when society encourages competition and individuality. Sometimes we can get caught up in trying to impress, comparing ourselves to others, boasting, being competitive, arrogance, being egotistical, the need to be right all of the time, or constantly trying to prove ourselves, another way we can feed our ego with attention is through the role of being a victim. Ego is basically putting yourself out there, its a sense of self-importance.
Being humble means there is no need to be heard or to put yourself out there, but equally humility doesn’t mean hiding in the corner.
When I first started out as a yoga teacher, I felt like I needed to know everything there was about yoga, and if there was a question, I felt that it needed to be answered as I wanted to convey to my class that I knew everything. I was always working on more advanced poses and dynamic sequences so that I could demonstrate how flexible and strong my body was. Looking back I guess I was playing a role. Nowadays, I dont feel like I have to have an answer to everything, these days I don’t feel the need to try too hard or to be someone that I’m not. I like to keep it simpler in class, instead focusing on a philosophical theme or alignment principle, we still rock out some fun asanas on our mats but there is more meaning behind what we are doing. I am now much happier in my own skin and like to keep it really real. I am learning to respect and honour my body more, I am aware of my limitations and listen to how I/ it feels on any given day, especially as my body is changing as I get older. I’ve also realised that sometimes its better to be honest with others or, listen and sometimes not say anything at all, so that I can allow the other person to work it out on their own, because that’s the way life unfolds and after all, its their journey.
Finding humility does not mean you have to be shy, it means to choose a more reserved path and even more importantly, to allow others to find their own path, without thrusting your path forcefully in front of them. I like to think of it as appreciating my personal qualities quietly and if this is reflected out to others, then great, it was supposed to, and if not then let it be just that. I also feel humility is not letting what you do, define you as a person; we are not acting out a role in this world but simply trying our best to live our own life whilst honouring what it means to be true to ourselves.
You can hear yourself and see yourself, through you, anything and everything is possible. Real humility is something that no one else will see. No one will know about your humility, if it’s real. Humility means to be what you are.
The most important part of trying to be more humble I feel is to find the true you, the part of you that is intuitive, that feels, that person deep inside yourself, the one that can answer all of your questions knowingly, the one that allows you to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. When you know yourself and accept yourself exactly as you are, then nothing else matters, there is nothing to prove. Humility offers you freedom from ego, selfishness and pride.
We can only try our best to be humble, and of course just like all other virtues, its about reprocessing our minds and trying our hardest to let go of conditioned thoughts and behaviour patterns. For me, I try to implement ‘Humble-asana, though yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices as they encourage me to accept and trust in myself, consequently allowing myself to let go of self doubt. Humility doesn’t seek at all it accepts and that is the heart of our practice To accept ourselves wholeheartedly.
‘Humility’ is for your eyes only, we can only try our best but with a life time of practice, perhaps we can begin to release ourselves from ego, become more unassuming and exude that beautiful quality of grace and don’t forget its contagious……!
Love and Blessings