Article by SOYA lead trainer Terri McDermott E-RYT500, Spiritual/Life Coach, Teacher, Nurturer, Guide and Friend


I recently left the theatre after seeing the highly publicized “Barbie” movie by request of
my 13 year old granddaughter and her friend, who had all the pink one could handle on their
bodies. Without a clue what I was getting into, other than thinking this was all about living in
Barbie’s Dreamland, I obliged.

Photo by Bernard Hermant, courtesy of Unsplash.

What in the world was I thinking, seeing a movie without reading reviews first? Onward we went. When I left, it took some time to process all the possibilities and meanings behind what I’d just seen and exposed these young women to. The last 20 minutes of the movie provided the message that hit home for me.

I spent some time explaining to the girls my beliefs around self study, which leads to self discovery, getting to know and become familiar with our true nature and its opponents. We spoke about the energy we surround ourselves with, our connection to the energy around us, and how it sucks us in.

We step into a world of perfectly pink where everything is as it should be, according to Barbie in her perfect world. This is a replication of what many of us long for, a perfect world.
What exactly does that mean? Does this mean we overextend ourselves to a life of living for material possessions, the perfect career, the perfect family? Do we identify with and live life based on the size of our home, the numbers of cars in the driveway, the number of 0’s in our paychecks?

For many, it certainly does. We’ve been led to believe that our importance lies with the things we possess, the letters at the end of our name. These can be the things that pull us away ever so easily from that beautiful voice and “being” that resides within.

Image credit to Clickmanic, via Pixabay.

I wonder, oftentimes, what that “being” feels as it watches us get pulled further and further away from our source. It is in that pursuit we get lost. We move so far away from our center, we now lie within the physical realm of a constant state of flight, fright or freeze mode.

Yes, it is indeed factual information that we, in this day and age, live in this constant state. High stress is considered to be the new norm. What does this mean to us? We are pulled into a space of constriction, of struggle, of numbness and we exist there. In this state, there is neither gain nor loss, just continuous forces pushing and pulling, creating the largest of stressors in our life.

Physically, our body also has to work more intensely, with much more strain and difficulty, to keep us healthy. We run in frantic circles to attain more with less. This leads to stress, high blood pressure, cardiac and respiratory issues, and much more. Dis-ease in any way, shape or form, can settle into the body, taking root in a weak spot and, inevitably, takes over.

Can you take a moment for me right now to stop everything you are doing? Note your body and any tension you may be holding at this very moment. It’s there…it’s natural and it will remain until you choose to find balance and harmony in this life.

Energetically, our Pancha Kosha or five layers of consciousness, move further and further away from our true nature, our soul. It is stated within the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu scriptures, that human birth is given to us so that we strive to know and understand the “being” within. How is that at all possible when we have moved so far away from that connection to self?

Spiritually, you no longer hear that beautiful voice of intuition, faith is lost, relationships are disrupted, values become questionable and disconnection to every living thing takes place. Patterns of the past are repeated and we remain in a rut that seems impossible to move away from.

License free image by Sandra Gabriel, via Unsplash.

In Barbie’s Dreamland, all is perfection. Day to day repetition of the same things and patterns exist and never change… until one becomes aware of what it is they are lacking in this life. How is it that we truly come to know that “being” within? We must become aware of what it is that is important in this life. Become aware of what one truly needs for this existence. Become aware of the repeated patterns that provide continued uncertainty in life.

It’s time that we all PAUSE, take a step back and seek our “being” within. How might we do that when we come to that realization of the need for self-discovery? It is the path of yoga! Yoga is not a practice of asana alone. It is not a path of meditation alone. It is not a path of soul searching alone. It is the ongoing work in this life to shed the layers of illusion that “what we need lies outside of us and what allows us to feel secure is in owning things”. It is a beautiful path of caring for oneself and others. Even if that means stepping away from all that we’ve become comfortable with until now, this is the moment when we realize there is more.

It is time for each of us to ask the question of ourselves, “What is it that truly matters in this life and how do I connect deeply to who I am?”

I am here to work with you, at your place of realization in this life, to guide you back to
the tools to connect you to your own personal space of contentment, of harmony, of balance and connection to self, to all that truly matters! No matter how far away we’ve gone from that connection to the self, we can always return, but the work must be done.

“When we become the observer of our own self, without identification, justification or condemnation, the inner music of silence becomes a joy. As long as we identify, as long as we condemn and as long as we justify, it will be noise.”

Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

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Terri McDermott currently divides her time living and teaching yoga in Traverse City, Michigan and New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and offers many yoga retreats in beautiful destinations around the world. She currently serves as a board member for Yoga Alliance and teaches SOYA’s 200 and 300 hour programs including Online and Hybrid Programs. She is the founder of Svastha Wellness and Peaceful Poses, whose mission is to incorporate wellness, yoga and meditation into the daily lives of her students.