10 Permissions

signboard with inscription about parking on stone wall
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God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours, I 59

Most times before we start our yoga sessions we go through a list of permissions. These are meant to create enough inward space for everyone to move about without bumping into the boundaries of our habitual self-help agendas for maybe all of two seconds. (Confession: The two seconds part is usually the time span I have where I am free of my own agendas.)

I share the permissions because sometimes we have a hard time enjoying the moment and we miss out on being right here, right now. Using them is a good on the mat practice and good off the mat practice. I frequently come back to them when I find I’m on a bit of a self-judgment kick and feeling the weight of my expectations and I’m forgetting the words I heard dimly in the original before times.

Take a look and by all means change them to suit your needs.

Oh, regarding the two seconds, the fact that I forget so often is actually not such a terrible thing. I keep realizing that forgetting is actually part of the practice of returning to myself and my own sanity. Every time I return, I know I am strengthening my awareness muscles.

Here are the permissions:

  • I give myself permission to be here.
  • I give myself permission not to fix anything about myself (even this no fixing permission.)
  • I give myself permission not to improve anything.
  • I give myself permission to feel my emotions.
  • I give myself permission to be distracted.
  • I give myself permission to sense my body.
  • I give myself permission to feel pleasure.
  • I give myself permission not to put so much effort.
  • I give myself permission to be at ease.
  • I give myself permission to practice.

By Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez teaches English at Miami Dade College and yoga and wellness in the community through Miami Firm Body, the company Maribel (his wife) and he co-founded. He works with words, movement, and the body. His calling is to invite others to join him in the joy of searching within and finding the strength and courage to walk toward wholeness. Carlos is a spell caster, an educational shaman whose core mission is to transform grief into a source of possible beauty, vulnerability into strength, fear into wonder.

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