As the instructor/owner of Lake Norman Bikram Yoga says, “Concentrate, meditate, look at your own eyes in the mirror. Every class I’ve taken at Bikram, this is what I’ve done. I’ve found that we humans often think we look one way when we really look another way, ways that we are not seeing. We see from our current perception. We see though old stories still lingering around in our psyche about ourselves, who we think we are, how well we think we’re doing based on some current influenced mindset. And, fortunately we see ourselves as doing well, going for things, in control of our lives. This is the mindset which I have been seeing myself more often in the past few years.
I have always been one who reaches farther, outside of my normal patterns, for greatness. That fantasy that many people have of being a lead singer on stage, well I did that! I made it happen! Now, I have not reached what most would call fame, but hey! I felt what it’s like to sing on stage, connect to an audience, and grow my art of it from there. This is one of the things that I’ve gone for, that if I hadn’t gone for, I would not have the level of belief in myself that I do, most of the time, now.
It’s about the feeling. To gain belief in oneself, I believe that you have to actually do the act that you want to do. Understanding how it feels to try and miss the mark, try and get better, try again and soar, try again and fall again, is essential to truly gaining experience. All of us have to do it. If a baby bird never tries to fly, it will not. And, it will miss out on it’s full flight of life. May we all feel our full flight of life! May we not allow the films of our perceptions in our mind to keep us from trying that which is our instinct and our deepest heart’s desires. It is our birth rite to go through every experience we feel we need for ourselves!
In the spring of 2014, I found Warrior Goddess Training while flipping through Facebook. I am not an easy sell, but there was something about that book I saw advertised. My soul quickly captured and said to me, “Do not let this get away. There are big things here for you!”. I listened and bought the book.
Through Warrior Goddess Training I’ve uncovered much more of myself, and found more things in life that light me up. I’ve gone for many of those things. And, things that I had on the back burner that I knew I wanted, but was probably never going to go for, I am going for now!
The way Warrior Goddess Training works is by showing us the ancient and forgotten way that women loved, honored and believed in themselves. There are a lot of lessons in accepting ourselves as we are on a deeper level in Warrior Goddess Training. So much of what society shows is that we are not good enough the way we are. Warrior Goddess Training unleashes the truth which is that we are not only good enough, but we are the best miracle that’s ever happened! We are powerful! We are not broken. We do not need to be fixed. We are a solid life form who has carried herself through the ages, and have been great warriors for eons. Through Warrior Goddess Training, we remember ourselves!
Everything is connected. And, once we start to trust ourselves and go for the desires we have, more opportunities show up in the direction that we most want to go. Over time we get better at reading the signs. We get better at believing. We follow our intuition more. We widen our sight and our doorways for synchronicity. One of the things that I’ve gone for more since going for Warrior Goddess Training is more yoga.
When I showed up for a list of duties and instruction to clean the Bikram studio, I was shown these mirrors in closer detail. I was told that my major duty would be to clean them. Cleaning a huge room full floor to ceiling mirrors would not be an easy task. I was shown how to look at them from the floor up using the glare from the light to ensure that there were no smudges. If there were smudges, streaks, or spots after using the squeegee, I was to polish them with water and special towels. Which, I have found myself doing on a regular basis. And, I have gotten more particular and quicker to see the spots, as we do with anything over time and practice.
The first night cleaning the mirrors I had a hard time getting the squeegee to get the water off clean without leaving streaks. I realized that I would have to start at the very top and shoot it down, then shoot the squeegee from one side of the mirror once it was midway to leave no evidence from where it started. Then the rest could be polished with the special cloths. I got my time down from two hours to one hour. And, I got my confidence down from unsure to pretty darn certain. This is just the way with anything in life. It just takes walking our way up to it, making our willful steps to the challenging things, and beginning. The more we do this, the more of the warrior we find in ourselves. And, the rest is tell tale techniques that become evident to us as we go. This is the journey of the warrior. We are ever getting clearer as long as we continue. This is how it is in yoga. If we cannot get into the full expression of the pose, we go toward it with our intent and do our best. And, we accept and learn who we are in a deeper way there, in the active alchemical midst, the midway, the best part of the journey.
Midway through cleaning the mirrors one night after getting my technique down, I noticed my strokes, and the way I moved my body quickly and precisely from one side to the other, reminded me of Kung Fu. I took Kung Fu training for a while, and plan to go back to it. This was another thing I went for in life that was often hard, but raised my confidence level. I was reminded of this, and began to pride myself with these expert-ish moving the squeegee on the mirror Kung Fu style. Then, using the polishing cloths it was like Daniel in “The Karate Kid”, wax on wax off.☺. I realized I was becoming my own warrior on a deeper level with these new cleaning and polishing skills I was learning. And, at that moment my warrior self took presidency, a powerful, and fun state came over my being. I enjoyed this feeling as I watched my eyes in the mirror. Every stroke, becoming clearer was my focus. Along with the mirrors, I too was getting clearer. Into clearer focus I am becoming each step, each strife, each effort, each time I have fun with it. Every time I listened to my own voice inside that told me to go for something I wanted, a streak was cleared. Every time I’ve gone for my goals despite their inconvenience to my life, another spot was cleaned. Every time I’ve stood in the mirror facing the truths of my midway state, I’ve cleared the way wider than ever. Every time I’ve finished cleaning the mirrors for the night knowing I’ve done the best I could possibly do, a new doorway appears that I’ve never seen. And, more trust and respect for myself emerges. The doorway was always there, but was out of focus because the mirrors had to be cleaned first. All things have order. To further find our greatness we must start step by brave step, never giving up, never putting down our sword or our squeegee until we are clear. And, to keep the clarity, we must do constant cleaning. Through all of life there is no ceasing. We must practice. We will find new ways to clean along the way. We will create new pathways to greatness. We will always uncover new parts of our warrior, for she is never ending. She is life!
I’ve done lots of mirror work in Warrior Goddess Training in other self-help spiritual trainings, and by instinct on my own. But the fullest level of mirror training I ever got was cleaning the full length mirrors at Bikram yoga. I took a great video I with my phone camera one night while taking a break, dancing with those mirrors, with newly found parts myself. I had just come off of a twelve hour day of healthcare work, as I always do before cleaning the studio on Tuesday nights. I love watching that video of me, dancing with my Warrior. It’s so fun and beautiful to watch. I can see myself expanding and flying. We must both try and go for things, and play to clear the way for our spirit’s furthering. May we clean our mirrors, clear our doorways and soar!?
-Leahanne Woods Smith