🌟Our Soul is always speaking to us in the form on our intuition, our inner voice. For some that voice is very loud or very subtle. This voice can also be visceral, a deep heavy feeling in our body. When you ’know’ something to be true, you just KNOW.
Everyone has a drama queen in their life in one way or another. Either we can get caught up in the chaos and let them influence us or we eliminate them completely from our life.
Back in the day before I started meditating I was an expert at medicating myself. I had been doing it my whole life without even realizing it.
I used to medicate myself with food, shopping and sleep. Sleep was my favorite drug of choice. When I was asleep I was in the utmost unconscious state and I did not have to feel my pain or much less face it. When everything became all too much I would just go to sleep. I did this for years until I learned how to meditate.
Whenever we want to adopt a new healthy habit like incorporating a meditation practice into our daily life—usually the first thing that creeps up is resistance.
Yoga is a space–it is not an action.
It is not limited to an asana (pose) or a fancy arm balance, it’s a state of being—a lifestyle.
It is a way of thinking, breathing, sitting, eating, speaking, sleeping and doing.
Life can get downright messy sometimes and we all could use some reprieve once in a while.
This day in age most of us get inundated with so much information, stimulus and the to-do-list a mile long. Everyone has busy lives and sometimes it just seems to much.
I love writing and I want to do more of it but I find myself constantly battling procrastination and resistance. So I have set out to embark on creating the right atmosphere for my writing to take place, grow and evolve. Writing is like any other practice in our life whether it is yoga, meditation, healthy living or mindfulness. It all involves practice, so why should writing be any different?
Two Words that Can Destroy Your Life: “It’s Okay.”
The words we utter are a direct reflection of who we think we are.
When reflecting deeply on your own life, how many times have you uttered defeatist words while procrastinating or trying to dodge some responsibility?
For instance, say you made a declaration to wake up one hour early every day to start a yoga practice or start a new exercise regimen. You start out with such enthusiasm and vigor, but on day three when the alarm goes off, you instead mutter to yourself, “it’s okay.” You roll over and go back to sleep with the presumption that tomorrow you will start again.
How about when you decide to start eating healthier, only to reach for a bag of chips or chocolate (not that I have anything against chocolate) after a stressful day? We fall, not only off the wagon, but into guilt. I don’t know about you, but I cannot have just one. The whole bag must be consumed.
photo by Sean McGrath
When We Continually Hit the “Snooze Button” of Life
Self-destruction is disguised in these two little insidious words: “It’s okay.”
In the beginning these justifications all start out very small and innocent, but the magnitude and impact they have on our consciousness can be detrimental. Once we accept failure, it becomes acceptable and easier to continue the habit of breaking commitments to others and ourselves.
How many times have these words gotten you into serious trouble?
It’s okay, I am just doing a little harmless flirting with my co-worker. Before you know it, you’re having a full fledged affair and in so deep you can’t get out without others being hurt. Maybe you were going through a rough time in your life financially and you needed a little extra cash. It’s okay, I can just take a little money out of the cash register now to get me through. Next thing you know, you’re fired and charged with stealing.
“It’s okay” becomes a continuous, unconscious mantra which we live by.
People start losing trust in us and we start losing trust in ourselves. We start carrying a deep resentment inside. This is how the pattern of failure begins: we lose an inner sense of integrity. Integrity means honoring the words we utter to ourselves and to others. Some of us may be very good at keeping our commitment to others but when it comes to ourselves, we cheat with the “it’s okay” attitude.
This puts us in a continual state that lacks authenticity, where we can’t live to our full potential. We start tolerating our inauthenticity; thus becoming insensitive to authenticity.
How do we regain trust ourselves?
By finding integrity with the words we utter. Honoring them no matter what.
Our words are our life. We are the manifestation of our thoughts. We have the power to create a magnificent life and relationship with others. When we trust our self, we trust life and when we trust life, we trust existence.
Yoga As a Vehicle to Overcome Resistance
One day when I was trying to talk myself into doing a much difficult asana I suddenly realized how much resistance I was having to it. I didn’t want to do, it was too painful, oh some day I will practice it, I don’t have enough time, etc. as the list of excuses streamed through my head. Not only was I having physical resistance but psychological resistance as well. Then almost instantly I noticed that I do the same thing in my life when I have to do something that I really would rather not do but know it is for my highest good. The same scenario plays out all the sudden I seem to be hungry, hhmm, maybe I’ll have some tea or I have to go to the bathroom (the classic escape route). Frantically my mind is thinking of things I could be doing except for what I really need to be doing. I was creating all these distractions to avoid the pain either externally or internally. I was allowing myself to be in bondage of procrastination. Putting off what could be achieved today. The beautiful thing about doing yoga asanas is, when done with complete awareness and being fully conscious of your breath it brings you directly into the moment in that space of pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). If I just fully allow myself to be completely present and breath through the discomfort, the pain disappears then I feel as if I created space for something new. It’s as if this physical release is causing a psychological breakthrough. Moving through my asana practice unconsciously is the same as moving through my life unconsciously. This is the main reason why I do yoga is to awaken my awareness in all aspects of my being. If I can achieve this in my physical body I can certainly achieve this in my external world. So the next time I am struggling with Urdvha Dhanurhasana I have to remind myself it is part of my breakthrough.
I have always been one of those people who when things get to much or I am feeling overwhelmed I want to run away on vacation or hide in my cave, meaning not wanting to get out of bed. I experienced a lot of stressful situations in my life and got to the point of complete burnout and chronic fatigue. After taking many programs with Swamiji and living at the ashram for 6 months my being underwent a complete overhaul. Before I got there I felt so tired and beaten down from life I just wanted a rest and a long one at that. Little did I know that the path of enlightenment or self realization includes a process or self purification which is tapasya (tapasya is a means of purification. It’s a process of elimination which cleanses our mental and emotional bodies of deep rooted engrams or samskaras.) and for each of us this word can mean different things. For some it may come in the form of yoga, sitting in meditation, pranayama, or even depression. When our mind says we need a break, yes, we need a break. Our mind needs to be broken. We need a break in the root. This is the only way a particular habit or engram can be destroyed is by the psychic root. Just by trying to do it on the conscious level is not enough.
After undergoing a steady diet of meditation and tapasya I have never felt better in my life. I have more energy, enthusiasm and am experiencing higher levels of productivity.
Living enlightenment can be doing things we don’t want. If we can receive our suffering as prasadam or the nectar as poison (what we think is as poison) then we will be supplied the energy we need for the rest of the journey. I know it’s tempting to get off at the nearest rest stop and take a break that would be so much easier. But if we can just continue on our journey despite of what our mind says eventually it will disappear.