Self Love: Nurturing our #1 Relationship (AUDIO)
Surya (Silvia San Miguel) on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
By Amanda Follett Hosgood
When it comes to relationships, the one closest to us is perhaps the one easiest to overlook: our relationship to ourselves.
We spoke with Surya, whose given name is Silvia San Miguel, at Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas. Surya calls Montreal home, but spends winters at Sivananda practising karma yoga, or the act of selfless giving, through teaching yoga classes. After decades spent exploring bhakti yoga and Zen Buddhism, Surya was quick to define the difference between the little-S self—our ego or ourselves as individuals—and the big-S Self, which she describes as our inner divine nature.
Here’s what we learned: Developing a relationship to the Self is foundational to developing a relationship to everything.
“The problem is that we see the little self as an independent entity. The spiritual work, the sadhana, is to see through that idea that we are independent selves. In fact, we are not. We are part of the whole. We are part of the big Self,” she says.
I met with Surya amongst the palm trees of Paradise Island. Birds chirped. People chanted in nearby pavilions. Airplanes flew overhead, destined for Nassau’s busy international airport. Surya was always calm, always peaceful: an oasis of grace amidst the Bahamian heat as she explained how loving your(S)elf is really about loving everyone else.
Amanda Follett Hosgood is the editor of Culturally Modified. Born and raised in Ontario, she graduated from Carleton University’s journalism program in 1997 and headed west to Canmore, Alberta where she worked as reporter and assistant editor at the Canmore Leader and Banff Crag & Canyon. In 2006, she moved farther north and west to Smithers, B.C., completing a Master of Arts in Communication Specializing in International and Intercultural Communication through Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C in 2009. She lives with her family in the perpetually unfinished straw-bale home they built just outside Smithers.Amanda Follett Hosgood