Bram Levinson

I had an interesting thing happen last week that I’ve been mulling over ever since…figured I’d share it, as it’s been fascinating me. Shortly after the Montreal Yoga Mala wound down, I found myself mentally going over the whole planning process and remembered that I hadn’t yet watched the CTV news spot I did to promote the event, so I sat down in front of the TV and played it back. I remember doing the same thing with last year’s promo spot, and this year brought about the same reaction: I didn’t recognize the guy on TV as being me. I could obviously see, hear, and understand him, but as much as I sat there with the knowledge that I was watching myself, I felt completely detached from that person, as if I was watching someone else.

I found myself thinking about this over the next few days, especially when I found myself post-shower, getting dressed and looking in the mirror. The reflection I saw looking back at me was more familiar, someone I knew and identified as myself, someone I was familiar with. I then thought about (and checked out) some of my photos around the loft and on Facebook, and saw other versions of myself I knew well, and then started comparing and contrasting all those versions of myself…from TV to my reflection to photos of me. And I came to somewhat of an epiphany: I’m all of those people, but mostly, I’m none of them.

I truly think that when we hear our own voices and immediately cringe from barely being able to associate it with being an extension of ourselves, when we see ourselves in photos and think “Is that what I really look like?”, and when we look in the mirror dissecting our reflections, it’s because on some level, we know that what we’re seeing is of very little significance. Yes, we live in a world that’s unfortunately becoming more and more steeped in superficiality, and yes, we react favourably to those who appearance pleases us on whatever level speaks to us…but I really believe that once we remove the ego from our discriminative faculties, what we’re left with is a consciousness that speaks to and identifies with the essence of what is essence, and not with the shell it’s contained within.

Watching myself on TV really showed me how the way we see ourselves is less dependent on how styled and groomed we are, and how the intention and energy we infuse our words, actions, and, ultimately, our lives ends up conveying monumentally more than the sum total of all the elements that comprise our aesthetics. Maybe we need to get out of our own way a bit…perhaps the self-scrutiny that we seem to be obsessed needs to be pushed aside in the understanding that we can make the efforts to look good and tweak our appearance, but if we’re devoid of humanity, love and kindness for others, the attempts at looking good are all for naught. If we all spent as much time examining what lies within, that which exists superficially would quickly follow suit. Think about it! It’s inevitable…and most probably a great thing.

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