Smarana: To remember that which we once knew
There is a word in Sanskrit 'Smarana' which means 'to remember that which we once knew' and when I learnt this it felt like a piece of my heart clicked back into place. The last 10 years of my life has felt like a journey of smarana with many threads weaving me back to my own wisdom.
The journey starts from a place of disconnection where I felt lost and adrift from my body's own wisdom, from nature, from practices, herbs and wholefoods that would help me heal and from my natural state of bliss and wholeness.
To remember our body's own wisdom means to reconnect with our intuition, to the messages our body sends us and as a woman, the natural monthly cycles. To become aware of the ebbs and flows of hormonal changes and how this affects our moods and energy - (more on this in another blog post). It also means reconnecting with our intuition about what foods will nourish us and bring us back to a place of balance. There is so much nutritional information out there telling us what we should be eating that it can be confusing. What Ayurveda has taught me is that there is no 'correct' way to eat for health, everyone's body is different and has a different play of energies through the doshas (constitutions). Eating to balance my doshas is intuitive once we understand the principles and if we trust in this inner knowing.
Remembering our body's wisdom is also looking at what has been disconnecting us from it. It is from my own experience of searching for ways to get to the root cause of my symptoms that I began to question our Western medical system. For me it appears to be a system based around fear and disempowering people. I'm not knocking it completely as it has it's place with treating acute conditions and trauma medicine but for chronic conditions it is severely lacking and in some cases I think it can do more harm than good.
Our bodies are continually working for us rather than against us, so when we display symptoms it is a sign from our body that something is out of balance whether physically or mentally. By suppressing these symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs we are driving that imbalance further into the body which may later manifest as a more chronic condition. Knowledge of herbs, wholefoods and naturopathic techniques may alleviate those symptoms just as well and get to the root cause of them by working with the body's natural intelligence. I believe that we would have known some of this information generations ago but it has become lost when our culture started to favour pharmaceutical drugs and view them as superior.
To remember our connection to nature and to the natural cycles of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Living in awareness of these cycles reminds us that we are part of the dance of life, the ebbs and flows of water, of light, of the turning of the Earth. What we witness in the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm because we know that we are a part of this dance.
A knowledge of herbs and local plants is also remembering our connection with nature. There has been a resurgence in recent years of people wanting to learn more about foraging wild food and I believe this comes from wanting to remember this knowledge that we would have known many generations ago when people lived more connected to the land and the plants that grew around them. We would intuitively 'know' what herbs and plants would heal us, we would listen to the whispers of the trees and the call of the birds to bring us back to the voice within.
To remember our true nature is to remember who we really are without all the negative beliefs and critical thoughts, to know that our natural state of being is one of wholeness and bliss. We are led to believe in our culture that happiness comes form outside - from stuff we buy, TV to watch, romantic relationships etc. Remembering that we are already enough without these things. We don't need to prove ourselves or constantly strive for perfection. We can realise that we are actually whole, complete, perfect exactly as we are. Remember it over and over again. This is not always easy to remember since we have probably spent most of our lives believing that we are not enough.
To remember who we really are is powerful. We realise that we are responsible for our lives and our experience. We remember the knowledge within us to bring our minds and bodies back to health. We remember that we are here in this body, having this experience for a reason and we remember how powerful we really are. We remember that we are divine beings, that we are connected to nature and to all of life.
Through our journey, we don't learn, but remember who we were before we got lost.
Claire is a Yoga teacher with a particular interest in teaching women to become more in tune with their bodies and listening to their inner wisdom. She is also a Reiki Master Practitioner and loves talking about all things spiritual and self care. Contact her to find out about her classes and treatments.