I wrote a blog on Spiritual Hungers just over a month ago, and since then, have been asked to give some examples of spiritual hungers and how to work through them. So here is one example.
In the beginning of June, and during the transitional period between the last week of school and summer vacation, like any mom, I mentally prepare to let go of my usual routine, make a check list of what needs to be prioritized, and then I go with the flow. Soon enough, the kids and I get into our summer routines, and life finds a new pattern.
That transitional time can be challenging. I know that I am not alone in this.
So when I show up to teach my Wednesday morning yoga class, and no one showed up, well, I was frustrated. I felt like maybe I'm not such a great teacher, so I felt sad and a bit like a failure. I thought maybe the studio was not valuing my class enough to do its part in marketing my class, so I felt angry with them. I looked at the clutter in the studio and decided that they are not organized. I felt irritable and wanted to judge their clutter as a reflection of what was going on. Maybe I am not putting enough love and energy into my classes to command priority in my students' lives. I felt regretful. Then I went back to being frustrated because I pulled away from a million things on my plate to be here. Then I was mad again because no one showed up.
Of course, what followed -all in the blink of an eye- was what seemed lacking in my relationship (why hasn't he called?), what I perceive to be abundant on my waistline (it was lunchtime. I should have a salad), the lack of email replies. Am I making this up? Or has everyone abandoned me? No one loves me.
I got in the car. And I stopped for a moment. I drank some water and connected with my breath. Then I asked myself, "Savitree, right now, what is your hunger?" I remained silent. To hear the answer. And it came. "I hunger to matter." "I hunger to be important enough to be a priority!"
Next question to Self: "So how will you make yourself a priority?"
Important to note: I didn't ask, how will you make others prioritize you? or how will you make yourself important to others?
Reality check: I know I matter. I also know that I can do more (or less!) to prioritize myself. I know that I can shift my own actions to reflect mattering more for myself.
Once I asked myself this question, and then answered it, I knew exactly what to do.
Here is a list of spiritual hungers, which was given to me by the Wright Leadership Institute of Chicago. Hunger to...
- to be seen
- to be heard
- be touched
- be loved
- be affirmed
- be respected
- be known
- be understood
- know another person
- be close
- feel connected to others
- be intimate
- experience fully
- make a difference
- be valued, and to value
- fulfill my purpose
- feel connected to the greater whole
- know God
Yoga teaches us to serve others. But we can give only what we have. Our capacity to serve others is limited to our capacity to serve ourselves before we feel depleted. It is up to us to make ourselves whole. No one can do that for us. It wouldn't even be fair to ask.
So what happened once I had my answer and I realized what I had to do? I took action. My actions did require reaching out to others for sure, as they typically do. We are interdependent beings. I just didn't transfer the responsibility onto another to make me whole. My hunger was met.
Photo credit: [ changó ] via photo pin cc