We Are All One: When In Doubt Connect with Your Mat

Written by Cat O'Connor

There is a level of understanding, of knowingness in all of us. An understanding, albeit often subconscious, that there is a connection to something bigger than ourselves. I have come to recognize this as our collective connection. We are all one; we belong to each other.

Having come through the past 36 years of living in this body, on this earth, I feel as though I have learned a little, yet grown a lot. I am not a body with a spirit; I am a spirit with a human body, which will be shed at some point while my energy continues on in the collective with the force and omnipotence of all universal energy.

Whoa, hold on... Before I lose you on some spiritual road trip (and trust me I’ve got a big map and a keen knack for digression), let me root my feet back on the ground, onto the earth. With all of this knowingness, you might think “My, that Cat has it all together, geesh, what an enlightened Cat...” to which I would laugh and say “knowing something and truly being that knowing are two very different things”.  Although I have an innate understanding of our oneness and this is something that I have tried to delve deeper into over the past many years (whether I actually knew it at the time or not) I am still far from the place of living that understanding. I judge, criticize, get angry and, of course feel guilt as a result; Oh, that monkey mind.

So what, you might ask? What’s the point of knowing if you’re not doing anything with that knowledge? Although I’m far from fully living it, I do like to think that I am applying this understanding in small ways (and, here’s the point, knowing it or not, I would dare say that you are as well).

We are all one; we belong to each other. This simple, yet profound statement acts as a compass that guides me towards kindness, compassion, and acceptance. Sure, those sneaky human feelings get in the way sometimes – anger, fear, inadequacy, jealousy – but, more and more, the knowingness gently nudges them away to be replaced with letting go and letting things flow. This, of course, is immensely helped by my yoga practice on the mat.

When I step on to my mat, I immediately feel a sense of calm and groundedness. It’s like coming home to that safe space that exists only when we connect with our true essence. No matter what is going on around me off the mat, I know that I’ve got it goin’ on, when I’m on the mat; nothing can stop me, anything is possible. I can be in the simplest of poses or an invigorating asana such as Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana), and I feel this sense of strength and aptitude that I rarely feel as resolutely off the mat. However, through my practice, I am learning to carry this feeling with me as I venture off the mat into the ‘real’ world; with it I am reassured and confident. This, I’ve come to realize, is so incredibly important to my well being, to my showing up in life.

Knowing: consider the past few paragraphs. Do you sense the connection? Do you have a similar inner compass guiding you?

We are all in this together, yet alone. Our human experience disconnects us from each other even as it provides us with a physical space to truly experience our connectedness; Strange, but true. As I have said embrace the messiness, knowing that it belongs to each one of us and none of us at the same time.

Knowing innately, that we are all one, provides me with a drive to give, to grow and to gain as much as I possibly can from this human experience while also trying to let go and give way to the universe. Let go and let flow...

Now, take with you whatever you are intended to take; my hope, with no strings attached (well, maybe our energetically connected ones) is that today, you may be a little kinder, gentler and truer to yourself and to those around you.

When in doubt, connect with your mat. It can always bring you back to that space of knowing.


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