Meditation can be like taking a shovel into your subconscious and shoveling out the crap. What no longer serves you, what negative thoughts or beliefs lie there, what you are ready to release. But in meditation, you aren't left with a gaping hole. You are able to fill it with prana (life force), mantra, hope, possibility, intention. Thus, you are able to start fresh, creating new habits and thought patterns. Filled with the breath of possibility.
"It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed." Ram Dass
Rest in power. Akaal Akaal Akaal
This week, I was inspired to teach a yoga kriya called Emotional Resilience: Cutting the Negative Thoughts. It felt like a perfect yoga set to teach as we wind down the year and prepare for 2020. In this set, you have an opportunity to pull up all of the negative thoughts you have about yourself and cut through them, releasing their hold on you, creating emotional resilience. You then move your body to fling those thoughts away, releasing the physical hold they may have in your body. Finally you draw in radiance and light, replacing that negativity with new possibility. I like to end the practice by chanting, I am the light of my soul, I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am bliss, I am, I am.
I have spent a lot of time in my life trying to avoid thinking of my negative aspects. Notice I say trying because they continue to emerge for a reason - they are there! While I believe in the law of attraction and what we think about grows, I also believe we need to address our challenges. Admitting to my challenges, my faults and destructive thoughts allows me to confront them, acknowledge them and release their hold on me. Through this process their impact lessons, the emotions around them become less potent and their hold over me releases and disappears. This is why I appreciate this kriya and find it to be so valuable. We need to call up our destructive thought processes, acknowledge them and release the hold they have over our lives. Ending this practice with chanting fills that open space with a beautiful mantra of affirmation. I am beautiful. I am bountiful. I am bliss. Chanting I am, I am repeatedly allows you to connect in with who and what you are. I am, I am becomes I am what, I am who and over and over you can fill in those blanks for yourself.
Don't forget about the Strong Ones. You know, the people in your life that you can always go to. Who will listen, who know just what to say, who know how to respond in a crisis, who know how to get things done. The Strong Ones have struggles too. Like you, they need to have a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to help with decision making when they are feeling vulnerable. Reach out to the Strong Ones in your life and ask how they are, let them know you are thinking about them. It will mean a lot to know you care and are there for them too.
My teacher says, "keep up and you will be kept up." What does this mean?
For me it means keeping up with my commitments. When I keep up with my commitment in one area it shows me, I am capable of following through even when I'm challenged. It builds confidence and self-esteem. It creates discipline. If I can be consistent in one are, I can be consistent in another area.
For years, I have had a daily yoga/meditation practice. In some ways, maintaining it has been easy. I receive great value from it and it truly does keep me up. My Kundalini practice has softened my rough edges, helped me process and release anger and allowed me to forgive myself and others. I keep up because I don't want to go back to how I was before. The challenge is applying this discipline throughout my life. When something makes sense to me, I can change it fairly easily. I received information that was valuable to me, I became vegan. I run, I feel good - I run farther and enjoy the challenge it brings me. I know I need a goal so I set it, create a plan and execute it.
This year I have used this foundation to challenge myself further. Listening was first. Listening to myself and what I want and need. Listening to others (especially those close to me) to hear their true intention. This practice allowed me to become less defensive, more open which resulted in deeper and richer conversations. I have had the opportunity to put this to the test in the last few months and what a difference this makes in relationships! To be able to listen deeply and process my internal thoughts and emotions and speak from the heart in response (not rebuttal) has created a deeper level of understanding in my relationships and has saved me the stress of becoming anxious, upset or defensive. The conversation is able to move forward toward understanding or even resolution instead of dissolving into an argument.
I also began a practice of writing daily. Sometimes I simply pull a quote to share with or without reflection. Some days I have a lot to share, others a few sentences. I often find inspiration in my meditation and morning reflection and share from this space.
These are becoming habits and they feel good to maintain. They were challenges in my life and working on them regularly inspires me to challenge myself even further in the new year. Can't wait to see what I will come up with!
Whether you are spending this time alone or with others, take time to go within and discover the richness, beauty & wisdom that is you.
Ask for help.
It can save time.
You don’t have to do it all.
It gives others a chance to be helpful.
You may avoid a conflict.
It’s an opportunity to collaborate
...and share In the experience.
Holiday time is here and with it brings parties, events and gatherings with our family, friends and co-workers. For some this is a festive and happy time of year, for others it brings up wounds and resentments from the past. As you are engaging with others, just remember you are only responsible for you. Your words, your actions and your feelings. You cannot control how the other perceives you nor can you "make them" feel a certain way. Take care of yourself and your needs. Nurture yourself, a little extra self care can go along way. Ask for what you need, it could help shift the dynamic of your relationships. Just be you. It's all you can do.
"And don't think the garden loses it's ecstasy in winter. It's quiet but the roots down there are riotous." Rumi
This season is perfect for going within. Spending time in meditation, with your journal, engaged in thoughtful conversations. It's a time to discover something new about yourself.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.