"When you are a light to yourself, you are a light to the world. Because the world is you and you are the world." - J. Krishnamurti
We have a tendency to label ourselves. From a young age, we're taught to compare ourselves to others. Growing up, I thought I had to be smart, interesting, a good athlete, different, a standout. Through yoga, I've come to realize that I'm like everyone else. And I've come to realize that that's beautiful. I'm more like everyone I meet than I ever thought. I used to see differences between myself and others. Through yoga, a transformation happened to these differences. They became similarities. Once you let go of labeling yourself, you see that there isn't much separating you from others; we really are all one.
Our labels are extensive - tall, short, account manager, musician, flexible, tight, cat lover, dog lover, Mets, Yankees, angry, kind, good hair, smart, average, tattooed, outdoorsy...and on and on. The thing is, these labels are limiting. They're so small. The things they describe about you are minuscule. You are the universe. You are huge and all encompassing. You reach far and wide. You have tiny stars within you that haven't been discovered yet. Within you lies the power to love, the freedom to fly, a depth of which you cannot see the bottom.
When the chatter of the mind subsides (notice I say subsides, not disappears), the labels float away. What are labels anyway? They're part of avidya, or ignorance, or incorrect comprehension. We don't understand that we're so much more than tall or short. We don't understand what little that label means. In the whole scheme of things, it means nothing. You are larger than life. Everything you have known or want to know or will know about your ultimate unchanging soul is all inside you. Don't relegate yourself to identifying with your (or other's) labels. Pish posh. You're so much more. There's nothing separating you from those next to you and far away. You are me and I am you. If it didn't sound so ridiculous, I'd say we are the world. Patanjali said that yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind. If you get quiet, if you still those little tornadoes of thought in your head, then you'll see how big and beyond those labels you are. You'll see the connection between yourself and others and realize that others are not "other", they are the same. As Krishnamurti said, you are the world and the world is you.