By Leila Sadeghee
You know Ju-Ju? I think of it as that vibrant self-source energy that makes what you do and say and offer magical. That is something like charisma but not as personality-style dependent.
It’s the juicy LIFE creative energy that every single person possesses, no matter what your job is, whether you show up as a sparkly-loudmouth kinda jam or a centered-smooth-quiet-steady lustre-being — or anything else on the human spectrum of personality.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Ju-Ju. Most recently because I have been asked to give a talk on it. But I have actually been thinking about it for, like, a long time. As a healer, yoga teacher and wellbeing facilitator, showing people how to enhance their Ju-Ju is pretty much my bread and butter. In fact, you could say that my annual wellbeing course, The Practices of Freedom and Wellbeing Immersion — is a boiled down version of everything I teach on the matter — offering the tools to keep the Good Ship You rocking out solid, bright on the water, tingling with your own special vibe.
It’s what’s spilling all over the place when we are ‘on form’.
But, of course, we’re not always ‘on form’ — and as a wellbeing professional, I have spent years becoming adept at understanding how to retain that Ju-Ju and enhance it.
So, you know, compared to before my years of experience in practice and contemplation, I spend a lot more time ‘on form’ than ‘off’.
But yesterday I was way ‘off form’.
I was tuckered out from teaching the first five days of my yoga teacher training (which was incredible!) . Right after the training I had a rough experience with someone who holds sway in my life. I got some feedback that was challenging. We had some interacting that felt really diminishing and was super triggering.
I mean, I’m talking full tilt family-of-origin gritty-contracted painful triggering. Childhood trauma all-the-same-feelings-I-felt-when-I-was-eight going on. My sleep was troubled. I woke up the next day and my light was dimmed, seriously. I was all pale and sallow. People were asking me what was wrong from the first look at my face (even as I offered a wan smile…).
I had a slow morning, offered my sadhana*, ate a nourishing breakfast, and had my special morning drink with all them super-foods, but I still felt wildly drained, and I didn’t even teach inspiration in my first class of the day (which is a signature of my teaching style).
I got to my second class early, and I chose to lay down and rest for very nearly an hour in a time when I would normally have plunked it down in the cafe and caught up on admin.
Amazingly, the students waited until just before class to come in, it was just such grace for them to let me rest that extra few minutes. When I rose to teach, still feeling kinda low — but I took a moment to center myself and bam — there was the inspiration, just flowing from my lips:
It’s so easy to feel diminished — to forget and to get carried away with life, to let other people have sway over how we feel and what we do.
How many of you have felt that way recently? [Hands go up…] But we have to remember — WE are the great teachers of our life.
The word GURU refers to the teacher — but the word means ‘the heavy one’, the one with the most weight in the situation.
Your inner wisdom is always there. The more weight you allow it to have, the more radiant your life becomes. This is my experience, and this is what the yoga tradition reminds us of — to hold to center.
To acknowledge and dwell in our weight. To recognise that the depth of your own life is your true teacher.’
And so we invoked the Guru Principle, that yogic principle of potent sovereignty, that deep honouring of the innermost Self, the deepest invitation to trust your own life. We sweated and sighed and let ourselves feel into those places where we’ve let other people hold that influence, giving our power away.
After class, I felt so much stronger. My own true Guru actually taught the class I love the way I find myself saying exactly what I need to hear myself sometimes. It’s such a crazy joy, teaching yoga. It’s truly so full of surprises.
Afterwards, I made the connection:
My Own Special Ju-Ju = My True Guru
That the NUMBER ONE thing that takes me off my game is coming disconnected from that inner teacher. When I don’t listen, or I become a little too porous to someone else’s ideas or energy (especially someone I respect)— I get all fa-tootzed and my energy diminishes.
Now, if I’m not eating the right foods, not getting enough sleep, not enjoying the right relationships — it’s hard to connect to that Guru stream of inner wisdom. And so everything I do plays a role. But fundamentally, I really think that staying connected to my own special Ju-Ju is all about
And activating practices that allow me to have non-stop access to that wisdom stream. Like meditation, mantra, contemplation, asana, and energy healing — the latter is KEY in my own maintenance of that clear stream.
I find this contemplation has been really clarifying for me, as I think I often allow my sense of Ju-Ju to be tied to my mood. Like, if I’m in a bad mood, I’m just not going to have that Ju-Ju going on.
But, upon reflection, I can see how Ju-Ju is not quite the same thing as mood. I think we get pretty hooked on our moods as a litmus for what we are capable of in any given moment. But why wait for our moods to catch up, when the wisdom is right there and ready to serve the moment in a beautiful way, regardless of how we are feeling?
I felt stronger and clear after class, even though I was still in a low mood, per se. I mean, connecting to Guru as a means of activating Ju-Ju cuts across that tendency to deny our energy of the moment and just ‘push through’ (how many times have you done that? THAT was my first couple years of teaching right there) or start to fake it (Ugh! And when you do that — it becomes hard to distinguish between the real thing and it’s simulacrum… Oy Vey).
What’s going on with your present-state-of-Ju-Ju? How is your connection to your inner teacher? What knocks you out and what do you do to step back in?
Please comment below and let me know — I’d love to hear your wisdom.
Featured image: leilasadeghee.com
For Leila’s transformational workshops & events, please visit here.
The Practices Of Freedom And Wellbeing Immersion
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom.