What Does Namaste Truly Mean?

I am deeply empathetic so at times like these, I try to search for meaning and understanding.

My heart is heavy with sorrow because of the latest tragedy at a Florida high school.  I feel that these children are all of our children and it pains me to continue to observe tragedies that could have been avoided.

It is true that we have deeply troubled people in our society.  I think we all ask ourselves where did things go wrong for that individual to perpetuate fear and inflict harm on others.  We quickly jump to mental illness and lump people into categories.  Us versus them.  However, there is only US.  We are one and I know it is hard to swallow the idea of oneness when there is so much disparity.  I struggle with it too.  I want to be above the differences, the varied experiences but our realities shape our perceptions, our choices, our words and our actions.

Recognizing our differences, acknowledging our realities is the beginning to healing.  To listen, truly listen without interruption and judgement may lead us all to compassion.

Through yoga, we talk about compassion and I wonder is the message really sinking in.  For me, I smile at myself everyday and I try to forgive myself.  When I do these things for myself, it helps me to open my heart to smile at someone else and to forgive them.

This week has been exceptionally triggering because I have been in positions to have difficult conversations about things that I am passionate about.  I am passionate about human rights, preventing gun violence and respect.

So what does namaste have to do with me venting? To get through these challenging moments, I close my eyes, bring my hands into prayer (anjali mudra), breathe deeply and repeat namaste.

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Nam + as + te = Bow + I + You

I bow to you means that I see you.  We are one.  I bow to the divinity within you from the divinity within me.  This centering of our spiritual selves brings one back to a higher understanding that we are bigger and connected beyond this challenging moment, than our past experiences and our personal views.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t recognize them, we honor and embrace these challenges while keeping a connection to a higher sense of unity.

It’s a balance and it’s hard.

I practice at being a human everyday just as a doctor practices medicine.  I study it.  I read materials to make me a better person, I talk to my peers and learn from them. I am committed to being my best self.  So with that, I say namaste.

Share how you are getting through these hard times and daily challenges with compassion.  Would love to hear from you!

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