Steve Harrison interviewed by Natalie Dekel. Part 4 of 5.
Natalie Dekel: In other traditions people seem to ‘heal’ other people; they project the energy and the intent for somebody else. While, Yoga is experienced individually.
Steve Harrison: The main thing to understand is that we have to walk our own walk. We have to do our own work. Nothing can be done without our own participation and our willingness to consciously take part in our unfolding.
We’re making thousands of choices every day, about how we cope with life. To take responsibility for those choices is a big thing. To accept one’s responsibility for one’s experience of life and to no longer blame it on any external element at all. It’s a big step up, a big growing up.
What comes along with the challenge is very empowering. It is awareness that I am responsible for my experience rather than having a thousand factors determining how I feel or what I experience.
It’s down to one thing – my choice to open and grow into a situation or to close and retract. So now, I’m getting back my own self-mastery and choice – it’s challenging but empowering.
Natalie: We’re so used to think that if you’re unwell, then the doctors will sort you with medicine; and then you’re happy that they fixed it for you. It’s always somebody external that solves the problem. You suggest that in yoga the awakening depends on how much you do the work yourself.
Steve: You can still take Paracetamol if you need to…
Yes, however it can also stop the feelings the sensations and we won’t make the choice about opening up.
But if the life situation is very difficult or it’s no longer possible then it’s just creating a contraction – then it’s okay to take recourse. With the element that you’re choosing – to take some painkillers in this case if we’re using this analogy. So one learns to blur one’s edges where one can. It’s not always in one’s hands. But the main thing is not feeling that one is a victim of life’s situations; that life hasn’t got it in for us. Perhaps more like it’s conspiring for our freedom and for our growth, but providing the necessary challenges to break down our conditioning and set us free. Whether we step up to those challenges is the thing… As long as there’s a capacity inside of us to continue to open and there’s a potential to relax into the situation then this is good; you can take this as your growing.
Rather than being in a passive relationship with life, you take full responsibility and become as conscious to life as possible. Life is intense. And if it gets more intense, the more we open to it.
In essence, the way that we mostly choose to live is to dull down life, to put a buffer between us and life. When life is actually experienced and interacted with, it has such intensity; it’s totally alive and throbbing. It doesn’t have a holiday or a weekend or even a second off, it’s constantly expanding itself and renewing itself.
It could be a little intimidating. The baby in the womb is totally supported and it’s a physical buffer, isn’t it? The baby don’t hear directly anything or feel direct impact, you’re just there. And then we’re out so we have to deal with life and its intensity head on.
We’re exposed to it.
So it’s for protection, for surviving?
And then as human beings become conscious, we have this huge opportunity to go further than just surviving. For me, life is about a little bit more than just getting through it and managing to survive a certain number of years before the inevitable occurs. It’s about gradually becoming more compatible to life and more able to contain it… becoming a greater capacity to embrace the fullness and the intensity of it.
The reason we think so much is because we need a break from the intensity of being fully alive and in the moment; so we choose to take holidays within our own mind and create fantasies and other worlds. We think to take a break!
Because when we stop thinking we are very much in it or with it and very transparent and very on the cutting edge of it all. Yoga is about getting used to being right there in life without a buffer.
The body/mind is designed as an instrument that connects the un-manifest with the manifest. This is an incredible instrument that’s compatible and capable of expressing the fullness of spirit, fullness of life with an incredibly advanced nervous system.
That brings us back to your other question: can another being help to raise your level of consciousness? I feel it’s a little bit naïve to say ‘no, I have to do it all, all through my own hard work.’ Quite clearly, we’re affected energetically in numerous environments during our day; we’re raised or we feel a drop in our energy. Certainly I was directly affected by my guru’s level of consciousness. I sat and I opened, that much I could do, but then as a result I was drawn up towards his level of frequency of vibrating.
We can affect one another and that energy can also be channeled into sacred spaces; it’s called consecration.
7 May 2014.
Exclusive publishing rights © Natalie Dekel and Gil Dekel. Images © Gil Dekel. Text editor: Gil Dekel. Interview conducted on 29 April 2014 in Southampton. Steve is based in Southampton, UK. Natalie is based in the UK. Steve’s Website. Natalie’s counseling service.