QUESTION: Masters, being humble has played an important role for me and has helped me to develop mind and spirit through the internal art Tai Chi Chuan (37 years). With this humbleness I have felt bashful and embarrassed when I am teaching or sharing my experience. I feel I need to share and express my art further but these feelings are holding me back. I have tried and at times the bashfulness and embarrassment can be overbearing. Please can you advise me? ~Graham, UK
ANSWER: Some of the most spiritual people of our time—Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Sai Baba, and Pope John XXIII—were truly humble individuals. Being humble, which is to walk away from your ego, has absolutely nothing to do with bashfulness or embarrassment. A humble soul is not arrogant, proud, haughty, or assertive, but moves forward in a state of reflection and inner peace.
To be embarrassed or bashful, one must think one is supposed to be something one is not. This is a judgment of the ego. Your feelings do not result from humility but are actually life lessons you are not confronting. A very essential ingredient of being humble, and understanding yourself as a soul, is to love everything about yourself. Your being embarrassed or bashful demonstrates your belief that you are not all that you should be.
But who is telling you that? It is coming from your experiences and memories inside. Whenever you sense any discomfort, stop and say “what am I feeling?”—not just the discomfort but the exact sensation. Once it is identified, ask why it is there and/or where it came from. You are going to find that beliefs given you by other people during your upbringing are now influencing the way you feel about yourself.
Your life lessons can be learned, and then the next step is to find if there is anything else that is preventing you from loving yourself. You came from Source and are as magnificent as it is, so you don’t have to be anything but unconditionally loving and humble. Use that training which creates a reflective state resulting in true inner peace, and be at peace with your life.