MATURITY IS NOT CHRONOLOGICAL
OCTOBER 19, 2010 When I learned that we all don»t mature at the same rate in all aspects of our lives at the same time a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders! Up until that point I believed that everything was supposed to mature at the same exact rate. And I felt some sense of failure that I couldn»t be like everyone else. Earlier in my career while in the corporate world I had financial maturity but was physically immature (poor eating, sleeping habits, workaholism) and I was in adolescent spiritual maturity and emotionally in grade school. Then yoga found me and I took a breath and asked myself "what is maturity?" And does maturity mean the same thing as perfect?
"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present." - Anais Nin
This whole time, up until that point, I was expecting that my physical, mental and emotional maturing was meant to be the same everywhere. And I thought life was often moving backwards. But life doesn»t move backwards. The sun that rises today will not be the same sun that rises again tomorrow. Even when we feel like we aren»t making progress we are always maturing on some level, just not everywhere at the same time. To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. - Henri Bergson
So what does it mean to mature? I believe that this means when we are aware of our physical, emotional,and spiritual needs and can make the sensitive adjustments to determine what is necessary to maintain a healthy balance in our lives. Now this is like an umbrella definition but maturity the yoga sutras tells us are like layers working on multiple dimensions. These are the layers or koshas of ourselves. Think of Russian dolls, our physical layer or kosha is the outer most one, then we travel through our breath layer pranamayakosha and keep going inside deep into our hearts and spiritual maturity.
- Three of these layers can be thought of as:
- Physical Maturity
- Emotional Maturity/Mental Maturity
- Spiritual Maturity
What is Physical Maturity? Do you know what your body needs to be healthy in terms of oxygen, food, sleep, quiet time away from the tv? If yes then these are like a sort of destination and therefore physical maturity is the easiest to measure our progress. On my annual physical where I score 99% I know with proof how I am doing. Do you understand your physical nature and use your humanness in a positive way? Treating your body like a temple.
What is Emotional/Mental Maturity? Well there are two levels: with yourself and with others. That saying where instead of saying "it got lost" we evolve to that place where we take responsibility and say "i lost it." We no longer blame other people for how we feel. As yoga teaches we create our world from the inside out. And as we mature we tame our own thoughts and take responsibility for living from love and moving away from fear. Emotional maturity is where we want to self-heal and self-comfort rather than waiting for someone (knight in shining armor) or something (alcohol or chocolate) do it for us. We start to do the work of becoming more expert in our own humanness and as a result have healthier more honest relationships with others.
What is Spiritual Maturity? To be inspired is to be "in spirit" with the blessings around us. It is something we can see exactly. So what do you mean to "progress spiritually?" What does spiritual maturity look like? Is there a destination or goal to spiritual maturity? To me to mature spiritually is to ask better questions. Not that we get all the answers but we are wiser and more grown up in the questions we pose ourselves. We are willing to SEEK. Or maybe that»s it, spiritual maturity is to embrace your role as a seeker. And you won»t see the result, it is like all great things something beyond the mind...things like faith, hope, love.