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inclusive-evo: how does someone live a life of inclusiveness?

inclusive-evo: how does someone live a life of inclusiveness?

Inclusiveness is not a word we hear every day. Yet an exploration of this idea can have a profound value in how we experience ourselves and the world around us.

So what is inclusiveness? The root of the word is the verb, to include. We know what it means to include a thing because we know what it means to exclude a thing. Similarly, to begin to deeply explore the idea of inclusiveness it can be helpful to first clarity what it is not.

what is inclusiveness?

Inclusiveness is not simply saying “yes” to everything that appears in our experience. Doing so would amount to an abdication of our response-ability for ourselves and for all that we experience in life. So the attitude or approach of inclusiveness is not simply to say “yes” to experiencing everything; instead it’s saying “yes” to the validity of everything. It’s simply acknowledging that what is, is. The happy side effect of which, is often greater peace.

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Continuing a little deeper to explore the idea of inclusiveness and it’s benefits, we see that rather than being some sort of dictum or prescribed code of conduct, it’s more like a paradigm, or a lens through which we view worldly phenomena. It’s a consciously chosen attitude towards each and every aspect of our experience. Why would someone choose this particular lens? All of the same reasons that we practice the eight limbs of yoga, which as we know have numerous personal expressions and forms, but even while all of those individual goals are being achieved and comforts are being gained, we are also reaching the ultimate goal: to increasingly expand our awareness as we increasingly integrate with the true knowing of our enlightened Selves.

inclusiveness to expand our awareness

To explain this by way of counterexample, consider for a moment what a person’s day-to-day life would look like if they expertly practice the opposite of inclusiveness. They would in essence continually and repeatedly be saying “no”, to everything! “No,” in this context, is a summary judgement. It precludes any further investigation or inquiry into the subject at hand. Every topic is then closed to any form of deeper examination.

By contrast, to approach daily living from an attitude of inclusiveness, to accept the validity of each experience, whether internal or external, leads us to ask more meaningful questions. Questions such as, “How is it that this thing, this thing that on first impulse I would have chosen to reject and turn away from, how is it that the very existence of this thing could still be explained by my present view and ideas of the world?” Since it’s a widely accepted spiritual truth that all of the manifest universe has arisen from the one non-stuff that continues to pervade and permeate all existence, having the attitude and the will to ask questions like this is what helps us to deepen our understanding, and thereby deepen our awareness. Our awareness and understanding deepen because all honest questions such as these will inevitably lead us to one of two conclusions: either our present understanding of the Universe is flawed or “missing a piece somewhere,” or that there must be more to this thing I’ve been rejecting than I’ve been willing to consider.

“The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite”
– A Course in Miracles

For the next 30 days invite the possibility of inclusiveness into your yoga practice, both on and off the mat.

Parveez Shahviri

After 15 years of sitting at desks and ignoring warning signs of back pain, Parveez's world got turned upside down in 2002 when he was hospitalized with a severe spinal infection. The doctors told him that so much bone mass had been lost, the best case scenario for him was going to be wearing a back brace and he had a very real possibility of being paralyzed. After leaving the hospital, he was determined to become more aware of his body’s needs and that intention was what led him to his first Bikram Yoga class in July 2003. Soon he had direct experience that convinced him this practice could meet anyone else right where they were, and take them as far along the road to wholeness as they chose to go. He stayed gratefully and happily on that road, until 2014 when he attended the 250 hour evolation yoga Teacher Training program. Parveez's reaction at the end of the teacher training, "[a]s much as my first 11 years of practice had done to help build my mind-body awareness, improving my health, strength, flexibility and mental outlook on life, the benefits I got from the teacher training program felt like a further quantum leap forward on rocket fuel."