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The Witness Within Me

 by Romona Mukherjee

Romona head shotIn my practice, both in the asana practice as well as in living mindfully, I focus on cultivating the witness, or rather my awareness of the witness within me.  I practice finding that sweet spot where I am not controlling my every action but rather observing myself, and taking action from a place that is steadfast and fluid.  It’s fascinating to observe the twists and turns that arise.  As my repertoire of life experience grows, I start to recognize the mechanisms that operate throughout my system with a sense of wonder and humor like, “Oh gees, there’s that freaking fear again, why are you still here?”  Sometimes the conversation in my head goes like this, “Really?  You again?  I’m bored, I thought we dealt with this during that one workshop a few years back!”  Other times I completely drown in anguish, and humor is lot harder to find.  The truth is, it is not easy being here on earth, doing this life thing.  It is designed to challenge us, to test us and keep us on our toes.  As we know from any physical practice, no muscle can grow if it just lays dormant.  

Recently, I find myself confronted with a situation that is very familiar, very similar to a place I have been before; I see a few old patterns surfacing and my first reaction is-disappointment.  AGAIN??  I thought I evolved beyond this stuff!  This is a judgmental thought, so I quickly work on letting it go. In that spacious pause, the witness chimes in and reminds me that evolving doesn’t mean we won’t be confronted with the same stuff over and over again.  Evolving means that we will move through those prickly moments with greater ease and clarity every time.  By ease I mean, freedom from the paralysis and fear that inhibits our capacity to act.  And by clarity I mean, that steady sense of knowing that when one moves with awareness and an open heart, she or he really cannot go wrong. 

So, do I know exactly how and what to do or say in this particular situation with which I am confronted?  Nope.  But I recognize that I must stay steady with my practice; consistently show up for yoga class and meditation, continue watching my old mechanisms without collapsing into them or judging them, and trust that in doing so, I am moving through this situation.  I am steadfast in my resolve to move through it, and transform it into something positive.  And I am fluid in my willingness to let it move without gripping on and trying to control.  I’ll be honest, I can’t say I feel a grand sigh a relief listening to my own advice here.  But do I want relief?  Not really, I want to be present and engaged.  And I can honestly say that I do feel a deep and invigorating breath of satisfaction knowing that I am here, fully engaged in the colorful and juicy vibrance of this life!

Romona Mukherjee, LMHC is a mindfulness based psychotherapist at Therapy to Evolve (  She teaches Bare Bones Basics at Reflections on Monday nights from 7-8; check out her class for an insightful and explorational asana experience.

Romona teacher Bare Bones Basics on Monday evenings at 7pm at Reflections.