I’m Coming Out!

I’m Buddhist.
There I said it.

It’s funny but even though I’ve been a Buddhist for nearly 10 years it’s something that I haven’t, up until now, talked openly about.
I’ve always assumed that it would scare people away; that everyone thought I was teaching or forcing Buddhism upon my yoga and meditation students.

Of course that was not the case, just my perception, and what I’ve now realised is it was actually me that was scared: scared of what people might think.
But what my practice is teaching me to do is allow and embrace the real Jo. What makes me tick, be happy, and feel at one with myself.

This is me.
This is who I really am.
And I want you to KNOW me.

For years I was stuck: in the same job for 12 years; with a man that called me a very nasty four letter word for 10 years; skint; and addicted to whatever I could get my hands on, to take me away from it all for a few hours everyday.
I found yoga and meditation a little over 15 years ago and from that moment the trajectory of my life took an upturn.

Now It’s Your Turn
Is there anything that you are not being completely honest about?
Anything you want to tell me?
Because when we are hiding something from ourselves/others how on earth can we expect to attract what we wish for into our lives. The universe is always listening, whatever frequency we have set ourselves to is what we are pulling back in. And if we are sending out mixed messages, then obviously we are going to be given even more confusion in the form of our relationships, jobs, and day-to-day living.

So lets get honest.
Don’t be afraid of what others will think, because you become more beautiful and attractive when you come from a place of truth. And the other vital quality, which will back up your honesty, is confidence.
ENJOY being you. ENJOY being authentic. ENJOY your truth.

An Ineffable Connection
The truth for me is that as early as I can remember Tibet held a sense of wonder and intrigue. As a child in primary school in Essex I took my very first glimpse of a map of the world, and I was immediately and unexplainably drawn to Tibet. Just the word had a magical ring to it and something within me stirred. It would be over 25 years later however that the calling became crystal clear…

First I lived in Thailand, a Buddhist country, for six years and was not in the slightest bit drawn to Buddhism whilst there. So it came as quite a shock when I met HH Karmapa in India.

I had been in the south in an ashram in Kerala studying yoga when a very special friend of mine, Maia, invited me to the Himalayas. I travelled on one train for 55 hours and 1,789 miles, then a further 15 hours and 520 miles on another to get to my destination. And I had no idea that I was about to meet two men that would change my life forever: my yoga teacher Sharat Arora, and HH Karmapa.
It was to be a pilgrimage to the foothills of the Himalayas, a once in a lifetime experience. That first visit to India was a unique six months of my life that stripped me bare and taught me true discipline within my practice.
HH Karmapa

I had never heard of the Karmapa. The Dalai Lama was out of town at the time so Maia suggested we go and see the Karmapa, who had recently escaped from Tibet and was conducting public audiences and teachings. I had no expectations, yet was met with the most intense energy I’d ever experienced. Being in the presence of an enlightened being is not something that you can prepare yourself for!

The effect is permanent. Just being in his energy field did something to me. I didn’t talk to him, just received a red blessing cord that I tied around my wrist (I would leave India months later with many of these red cords tied to my arms!)

I couldn’t speak for the rest of that day and evening. Luckily Maia knew exactly what I was going through so I felt fully supported as I made this transition. I went back to every teaching and blessing that the Karmapa gave whilst I was there, and the following year returned to India on my way home to the UK when I left Thailand for good.

I requested a private audience with His Holiness, which was granted (a very auspicious event), and there I took refuge with him. He bestowed on me my Tibetan Buddhist name, ‘Karma Choekyi’ meaning ‘happy teachings/teacher’ xx

That was in June 2006 and since then I have been in limbo: showing the world what I think it wants to see, and privately practicing Tibetan Buddhism. But that is about to change and I am finally ready to be fully me! To shout from the rooftops,

“I’m a Buddhist!”
“And it’s ok!”
“I have a Buddhist name!”
“This is who I am!”

In Hiding
I had two different CV’s when I came back from Thailand, that’s how confused I was!

One was for where I was going: yoga teaching.
And one was for where I had been: the corporate world.

I gave different CV’s out depending on what jobs I was applying for, and back then had no idea how this mixed message was messing up my energy, and therefore my life!
It was only when the two documents merged that I could finally be who I really was, and the universe knew what I was asking for.
And because the universe knew through my clear message, I began to effortlessly manifest the work I wanted and said a firm goodbye to corporate life.

So the moral of the story is, who are you?
Are you being honest?
Are you living your truth?

Do you enjoy your job?
Does your partner/husband/wife nourish and support you?
Are you in a healthy body?
Do you have unlimited energy all day?

Through hiding who I really was I feel that I’ve somehow disrespected Buddhism a little, so this blog really is about coming clean and being proud of my rock-solid beliefs.
The biggest realisation from this years’ Scottish retreat has been that actually Buddhism is the glue that holds all the separate parts of my life together. Up until so recently I had thought that the different areas were all working independently of each other, but no!, there is a common theme…and that is my faith.
I can tell you that the moment it became clear to me was a moment of such beauty that I couldn’t stop crying for days. A wall came down, a pretense, a delusion, a denial, as I fully comprehended that finding Tibetan Buddhism was my destiny, my purpose, and that everything that came before had led me to this point.

It had to happen, it was always going to happen, and I had simply discovered and ultimately allowed who I was supposed to be. With some of my earliest childhood memories being enchanted with just the sound of the word Tibet, how could it ever have been any other way….

And this is where I now stand, in the doorway of a newfound understanding that has led me to start writing my next book, because all of a sudden I can see HOW I can help others. It’s so clear, and there is so much more to tell in this body of work, which is revealing itself perfectly to me.

The Shift
I started writing this blog a week ago, and since then SO MUCH synchronicity has occurred around Buddhism. It’s like signposts, showing me that I need to do this, need to be authentic with you all and it feels GOOD!

And my meditation too has shifted, with a deepening of connection and calm. People close to me have even noticed, and this everyone is what meditation does to you, this is how you know that you’re doing it ‘right’. It emanates FROM you: a feeling of being ok, of everything being just as it needs to be. Even though you may be being bombarded with ‘crap’. That’s life! We all get bulldozered at times! No one is free of that!

But how do we deal with it?   
That is the test. That is the change. That is what people notice in you.

Wow! There it’s out! I said it all!

Let me know what you think…..
And let me know if there’s anything you need to get off YOUR chest xx

Copyright: Jo De Rosa June 2015

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