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The Greatest Gift is Being You

6 Dec 2015   Shanti Gowans
The Greatest Gift 
is Being You
Being born a human being is your natural birthright, that has arisen out of actions from the past. With the wisdom of age and the perspective of worldly experience, you will come to recognise that your identity confers precious, divine gifts that you must never take for granted. 
Here are some of the greatest blessings of you being you..
Your Unique Mission
Your are not only blessed, you are indeed a sacred blessing, a source of divine spirituality, goodness and sanctity, here on earth.
Your role in the world is your link with the original Truth. Whatever theological beliefs might separate you from ‘them’, and there are surely many, clearly recognise that your unique mission is to serve as a light that has transmitted from generation to generation. You are chosen not to claim superiority, but to accept the responsibility, to convey spiritual purpose to the rest of humanity. In all humility, you must now honour others with this divine benediction from your authentic being. Can there be anything more precious than being a part of the universe entrusted with this mission?
The Means
Here’s a provocative question for you to reflect upon: Do you live by default or by design? While living by default is a recipe for mediocrity and leads to dissatisfaction, living by design makes you feel alive! 
The three major means for designing a life, namely the body, mind and spirit, have teachings and traditions that date back to antiquity, and all people and nations in the world willingly accept this. No one even asks about yogic content before they make a commitment to it. However, when they discover that one or more of these committments precludes them from continuing a lifestyle opposed to divine ethical norms, they decline. Only real yogis readily submit their lives to the divine will. Yogis are the choosing people - a people for whom morality is not defined simply by personal preferences, nor happiness by the self-serving motto of “whatever makes me feel good right now.”
To be a yogi, is to submit to the firm conviction that a user’s manual for how to live a good life…a life in which the quest for holiness (i.e. wholesomeness) grants us the greatest happiness. And to declare every day, “How wondrous is our portion and how pleasant is our lot” because we are privileged to hear the divine speaking directly to us through our silence.
Yogic philosophy reminds us that we have a personal responsibility to ourselves, our relationships with our neighbours, together with respect and understanding for the history of the universe itself. The roots for what individuality, personal accountability, conscience, and culpability for ourselves and the world can be traced to are the monotheism of the one-verse, the universe.
Yoga and its adherents make profound contributions to humankind. The gifts arising from the practice of yoga change the way we think and feel. Yoga can be credited not only with monotheism (oneness), but also with the cultivation of a personal relationship with your Cosmic Presence. But perhaps the most important gift of all is that yoga gives to the world the idea of evolution, progress. We are born. We die. The next generation comes along and repeats the process. But life has a deeper purpose than merely reiterating itself. Through yoga, we recognise the idea of life as a journey of discovery, where form seeks spirit.
You are the first explorer, the first human being to intentionally set out for the unknown. This notion of life on earth as a process or progression creates the very idea of history, of the present different from the past, of moving towards a destiny, and perfecting the world by perfecting ourselves. We have an obligation to become partners with the Cosmos in completing creation. It is an awesome task and a huge responsibility, yet a profound gift which makes our lives have meaning and purpose.
The world is as it should be, and yet, you have not as yet reached your divinely ordained end or your divinely promised glorious future. The plan for all, will eventually be fulfilled. No matter how long it takes, yogis remain eternal optimists. In order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles. Despite the horrors of history and the calamities in the world, yogis do not buy into the luxury of pessimism, as one of the yogic observances (niyamas) is contentment. Yogis learn to look at all the problems they face in the present with an abiding and unconditional trust. To forever optimists, “it is as it is, is good,” yogis look at daily life through the same divine perspective: i.e. samadhi, equanimity. Even if we cannot presently understand it, somehow it is all part of the journey. The gift of optimism is what turns our lives from pain to hope, from difficulties to challenges, from troubles to confidence in what is, in reality, the key to a sanctified and meaningful life.
The Gift of Others
Religion is far more than your faith in an Almighty God. It is demonstrated and validated by the quality of your relationships with fellow human beings. The yamas and niyamas are in two separate categories. The first five are the commitments between yourself and other human beings. It is where you love your neighbour as much as yourself, and demonstrate this in thought, words and actions that are nonviolent, truthful, honest, trustworthy and non-exploitative. The next five, outline the relationship you have with yourself, demonstrated by pure love, contentment, effort, self-awareness and awareness in that which is beyond your personal ego, again in thought, word and action. Together they encompass the dual provinces of human responsibility. It is an incredible idea. We are all family. We share a common self. When we help others, we make ourselves happy. When we ignore or harm them, we weep because we fail to live up to our responsibility. Abject rejection and pain is felt by people who feel they are alone. Great sorrow is known when we need someone and have no one with whom to share our life’s journey. Yet, to be a yogi is to know that you are always alone, yet never alone. It is knowing that you are always in each other’s hearts because heart is singular. It is knowing that every one of us is part of a larger, caring community, one heart, one world.  
You have been gifted with the incredible gift of yoga and its practices, to guide you shift your perspective and experiences.  Each one of these is sufficient to warrant our gratitude. We need to give thanks and celebrate our committemnt to all our gifts. 
What do you think are some of the greatest gifts you have in being a yogi? Complete the sentences below…
• I’m so happy and grateful now that …
• I am a loving, conscious creator of change in our world. By ……… I am making it a better place for all.
• I have an abundance of amazing tools, such as ………to help me make changes in my life.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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