Charlie Chaplin and The Self

It was my second yoga class with Amala at the yoga retreat I joined early January in Goa, India. What I have always been trying to achieve with intellect and reflection, it came by surprise, on a Hatha yoga afternoon practice.


My inseparable bike waiting outside the Yoga Shala

The Shala (the place where students gather to practice yoga, litterally “school” in Sanskrit) in the forest was lightened gently but progressively by sunset sun beams with an orange-like color. Amala started the class by taking us through breath techniques, known as “Pranayama”, from the Sanskrit words “prana”, breath, life force and “yama”, channeling, expanding.


Wandering barefoot. “Orange” is the warmest color.

The purpose of the asanas/sequence of Hatha yoga poses we were asked to perform after the breathing exercises is to “create Space” in the sacral area, above the pubic bone and below the navel, to subsequently work, through quite hard body postures, on what is commonly referred to as”the second Chakra” or the “Sacral Chakra”, from the lumbar-sacral area of the body where it is “located”.

Well, I don’t believe in “supernatural” forces, but I do believe that we can experience ourselves not only as a mixture of meat, water, intellect and emotions, but as a wholeness.

The need for “Space” and “Centeredness” I was seeking, it just happened.

I had never felt so grounded to earth, full of creative energy and experiencing the empowering effects of Hatha Yoga at its fullest – I think I (re)found my SELF – CENTERNESS.


Down to earth 

“The day I truly loved myself” is a poem attributed to Charlie Chaplin, probably written on his 70th birthday On April 16, 1959. Amala read us the poem on December 31st during the evening meditation.


Amala reading aloud the poem @ Yogamagic Eco Retreat Goa, India

“When I Started Loving Myself
I Understood That I’m Always And At Any Given Opportunity
In The Right Place At The Right Time.
And I Understood That All That Happens Is Right – From Then On I Could Be Calm.
Today I Know: It’s Called TRUST.

When I Started To Love Myself I Understood How Much It Can Offend Somebody
When I Tried To Force My Desires On This Person,
Even Though I Knew The Time Is Not Right And The Person Was Not Ready For It,

And Even Though This Person Was Me. Today I Know: It’s Called LETTING GO

When I Started Loving Myself
I Could Recognize That Emotional Pain And Grief
Are Just Warnings For Me To Not Live Against My Own Truth.
Today I Know: It’s Called AUTHENTICALLY BEING.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Stopped Longing For Another Life
And Could See That Everything Around Me Was A Request To Grow.
Today I Know: It’s Called MATURITY.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Stopped Depriving Myself Of My Free Time
And Stopped Sketching Further Magnificent Projects For The Future.
Today I Only Do What’s Fun And Joy For Me,
What I Love And What Makes My Heart Laugh,
In My Own Way And In My Tempo.
Today I Know: It’s Called HONESTY.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Escaped From All What Wasn’t Healthy For Me,
From Dishes, People, Things, Situations
And From Everyhting Pulling Me Down And Away From Myself.
In The Beginning I Called It The “Healthy Egoism”,
But Today I Know: It’s Called SELF-LOVE.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Stopped Wanting To Be Always Right
Thus I’ve Been Less Wrong.
Today I’ve Recognized: It’s Called HUMBLENESS.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Refused To Live Further In The Past
And Worry About My Future.
Now I Live Only At This Moment Where EVERYTHING Takes Place,
Like This I Live Every Day And I Call It CONSCIOUSNESS.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Recognized, That My Thinking
Can Make Me Miserable And Sick.
When I Requested For My Heart Forces,
My Mind Got An Important Partner.
Today I Call This Connection HEART WISDOM.

We Do Not Need To Fear Further Discussions, Conflicts And Problems With Ourselves And Others Since Even Stars Sometimes Bang On Each Other And Create New Worlds.
Today I Know: THIS IS LIFE!”


Lemongrass tea after morning meditation @Yogamagic Eco Retreat

  One thought on “Charlie Chaplin and The Self

  1. Christine
    February 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Francesca…. Love the poem…. So relevant to all of our lives….. Enjoy your time at somatheeram…… The gift from you to you, guided by …….all
    Biggest hugs
    Joyful journeys for us all


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