Ah, acne. The struggle is real, right? I had gone through the fires and challenges of dealing with acne. The chronic, cystic, and painful kind for the last four years. It was one of the most intense, emotional, and draining experiences of my life. It was such a tumultuous journey of trying everything and anything on the planet to heal it: Proactive, lemons, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, chemical peels, Evan Healy, facials, affirmations, topical urine therapy (yes, you read that right), acupuncture, herbs, supplements, love and f-ing light. I was fed up. I gave up. It would get better and then get worse, get clear and then breakout. I could never predict what was going to happen on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. It destroyed my confidence and broke down all the self-acceptance I had, and well, there wasn't much to begin with.
Over the years, I had learned that acne was a manifestation of a dislike of the self. In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay talks about acne as being an issue with inner anger. I thought, “What am I so angry about?” I couldn't figure out the connection of anger. Sad? Yes. Depressed? Yes. But angry? It was a mystery until one day, I was taking one of Guru Jagat’s classes and she said, “Self-loathing, when turned inward, becomes anger.” Aha. That was the missing link. I understood that anger disrupted the endocrine system, our hormonal system. I understood that hormonal imbalance was the cause of my acne, as well as majority of the acne cases around the world. I understood that in Chinese Medicine, the emotion of the liver is anger and anger (and stress) disrupts the liver’s functions, which is an important organ helping to regulate the hormones. And I finally had the missing link to the whole anger situation, my own inner-anger and understanding why and how so many women were manifesting hormonal imbalance more and more.
Self-loathing has become a dis-ease itself, especially with the rise of social media, advertising, and the like. We’re all so infatuated with everyone else and what they're doing, how they look, and how ‘perfect’ their lives are, when in reality, we’re seeing a tiny sliver of what their lives may look like, and then judging our own based on their offering of perfection. It’s enough to make all of us mad. We’ve grown used to this idea that we’re not good enough and create so much guilt, shame, and yes, you’ve guessed it, anger around the fact that we’re not perfect like everyone else around us.
I hate to break it to you. There is no such thing as perfect. Let me explain. What may be perfect to one person, is not to another. Which means, perfection is based on our own subjective views of the world around us. Perfection is an illusion that we’re all chasing after, hoping to one day catch it, praying that we don't burn out before we get there. Next thing you know, you’re 70-years-old, still running through the smoke and mirrors.
One of the reasons that I was so drawn to the Kundalini yoga was because all the women who practiced it were so radiant, confident, and powerful. I was tired of being insecure and dealing with so many physical and emotional issues. I was inspired by these women who exuded grace, power, and confidence. Their eyes sparkled, their skin glowed, and even just being around them made me feel better. I decided to stop trying to fix my skin through all the external means and to focus on healing my relationship to myself through yoga and meditation. A few months later, I signed up for a teacher training, thinking that by the end of the seven months, my skin would be totally clear.
Little did I know, it would be a lot quicker than that. Over the second weekend of training, I was talking to my teacher Harijiwan about obsessive thoughts. I wanted to know what we could do to stop a thought from taking us downhill. I started to say, “I have OCD..” and he cut me off immediately. “Cut the psychotherapist diagnosis out. If you say you have OCD then you will continue to meet experiences around you that will match the OCD you say you have. You need to change the communication.”
That whole sentence changed my entire view about my skin. These past few years, all I did was talk about my skin, my acne, my pimples, my journey, my problems. I have, I have, I have. And consistently, I was met with the experiences that matched the communication of I have acne. I became obsessive of looking in the mirror, I picked my skin, I had cysts, I had backacne, I had everything that comes along with “I have acne.” I realized, if I wanted my skin to clear up, I would have to start affirming something entirely different: “I have clear skin.” All these years, everything was matching the need for acne. And now, my skin is reflecting the new affirmation of having clear skin. I stopped looking in the mirror. I stopped picking like a madwoman. I stopped being anxious about how I looked. I started to notice calmer, clearer, smoother skin in a matter of days.
Our minds are so powerful. What we think, we become. What we say becomes our reality. What we affirm becomes our destiny. Yogi Bhajan once said you can change your whole destiny by changing your habits. All it takes is one small simple shift in perception, and committing to that shift in perception, over and over, to change everything. You are the author of your life - what stories will you write?