Driving down the winding, nimble, tree lined streets of Mountain Brook, I knew not where I was going (cognitively) but everything else in my heart told me to keep driving. It felt like years had passed since I had driven to this place, and while a few years had- there certainly weren’t enough between me and this place to label it as “deep history”. My mind wanted to drive, but was fully aware that it had no idea one turn from the next… eerily though I knew exactly where to go. It was as if my body was being controlled by some outside source… HAVE I BEEN ABDUCTED BY ALIENS!?!?!?!?…. Nay, I was being driven by my moral compass.
When I arrived at my destination, a little sweaty from the early morning heat due to my reluctance to use A/C (because I’m earth friendly like that #whiteguilt #imcrunchierthanyou #Istilleatoffofstyrofoamandweardeodorant), I peered through the vast iron gates into an oasis of memories. A flood of tears washed over me as I was swept up in the memory of the day of our wedding, the most beautiful and wonderful day of my life. I stood before Sloss Furnace, a retired iron mill (#TRENDYASFUCK), and wept tears of joy.
It had been three years since Peter and I got married (like I said, ’twas not that long ago), however I felt like it was centuries ago. So much had happened since we said our vows. So much life had occurred since we laughed ’til we cried and cried ’til we laughed (que Dolly Parton,” Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.“) that it seemed impossible that it was only three short years ago. As I gazed upon our wedding venue, driven there by some magnificent force, I was taken aback by my inability to remember how to get here. I had driven to Sloss countless times, and yet it seems as if the gravity of the years between this day and our wedding day had pulled my memory out from under me and I was relying on some greater force to help me find my way back.
That force was my moral conscience. Without it I would have powered up Siri and said,”bitch, get me to Sloss Furnace,” which she would have, with recalcitrance, directed me to my destination.
Moral conscience. It’s something we all have. Our moral conscience is there to help guide us to make the decision to take us back to ourSelf. Notice I am refraining from saying making the ‘right’ choice or to do the ‘good’ thing. Morality is subjective based on your upbringing and your values. What moral conscience does is guide us, like a compass, back to the original Self. It is of the yogic belief system that we are all born with the God given right to be our highest Self and dissolve back into Universal Consciousness. The concept of Hrihi is the map in which helps take us to that birthright.
Remember the first time you smoked a cigarette? Drank under age? Stole something? Cheated on someone? Did something regrettable… how did you feel? Was there a gut instinct churning in your belly telling you to turn around? DO NOT PASS GO!? That is your hrihi (moral conscience). Depending on your upbringing and value system, some of my examples may not have made you feel anything- so back to the right or wrong, good or bad conversation- it is dependent on what your Highest Self is. That being said, there are plenty of guidelines within the Yogic texts to share what would be considered a more valiant path than another, but each path is different depending on your karma, your dharma and your samskaras (no idea what that shit is… well keep following our blog! we’ll touch on them sometime :).. or be the most American and Google it).
So there I was, standing at the gates of what I would consider the holiest and most profound day of my life, and I felt like I was home… and yet, I couldn’t remember how to get home?! How does that even make sense? Samskaras, or our thought patterns, are like powerful rivers. They carve out paths of thought over continuous usage of them. They literally make pathways in the brain that override and undercut other pathways in the brain. Since we got married, a lot has happened! We have opened businesses, had a baby, bought a house, fought, loved, etc. We have lived a lot, and as such other thoughts and memories have been washed over by my samskaras. However, underneath those pathways that had been cut into my mind, the bedrock still stood firm. My moral compass was the unseen river beneath it all that continues to guide me back to my true Self.
When I look at pictures of myself on my wedding day, I see my best Self. I am happy, beautiful, in love and with my soul’s match (my sweet hubby, Peter). I know that day bears significant weight in my life’s karma and journey, and the morning I drove back to that site I had to rely on my hrihi to get me there. Without fail though, my compass stepped in. I don’t believe in coincidences, I don’t believe in accidents. I was supposed to make it back there, to remember the love of that day. I’ve been in a funk lately. Maybe because I have gained 10 pounds or because I’m in transition, but heading back there was an intentional gift from the Universe. This is who you are. This is how you can be all the time. That happy, that in love, that effervescent- that is the true you.
So this week we are focusing on our moral compass. What guides you in times of trouble? What is that little voice that whispers to you when you are unsure saying? Sometimes we are so clouded by ego, stress, false perceptions, you name it that we cover up our hrihi. It takes careful listening to rediscover it, but it’s there. Try tuning into it this week, and you may find yourself guided back to a physical, emotional or mental place of wholeness. Take a picture of that moment, for it is your truest Self shining through… and even if it is just a glimpse, try to capitalize on that moment. Let it spark a new fire and thirst for your quest to the Self.
Alright yogis, good luck and God speed!