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ARE YOUR ACTIONS KEEPING YOU BOUND OR MOVING YOU BEYOND?
This #sadhanaha didn’t come up during my morning practice. It’s an especially challenging obstacle for me, and the reflection, aha’s, and shift in perception and action often come AFTER a struggle. That is how it has been happening FOR (not TO) me recently.
In this instance, I was getting ready to give a yoga talk in my hometown, and the time was drawing near. I was a little nervous, rushing around the house (NOT breathing deeply and evenly!), getting dressed, gathering the materials, grabbing a quick bite of dinner, and in this swirl of frantic energy, I glanced over at my husband who was sitting comfortably on the couch watching TV. “Are you kidding me!?”, my mind said, along with a few additional rapid-fire thoughts about how inconsiderate and selfish he was for not noticing me, reading my mind, and helping me. Welcome to my VICTIM MENTALITY! As long as I allowed my mind to stay busy condemning AJ and feeling sorry and self-righteous for myself, my breath continued to be shallow and my actions, chaotic and aggressive, taking me further and further away from the practices and state of being I was about to teach!
Previously, I might have remained stuck in this mentality and stayed passively aggressive and angry toward my husband for the rest of the night while feeling guilty and criticizing myself for feeling those feelings, but since beginning a regular meditation practice, where I sit with my mind, with the thoughts and emotions, and their root, in a neutral and compassionate way, an increased awareness has resulted. This time, instead of feeding into those OH-SO-TEMPTING emotions, I said to myself, “How would be most helpful to you right now?” I decided asking AJ to dish up a plate of dinner for me would be most helpful. I took a deep breath, asked him for the favor kindly, and he quickly agreed, glad to be clear on what he could do to help. THAT is moving OUT of victim mentality and into LIBERATION! My ego was a little angry that it was so simple, but she got over it, and I was able to save SO MUCH energy that was then channeled into a MUCH higher service while giving the talk.
In Yogic philosophy, actions that BIND us to our old habit patterns are called Karma, while those actions taken with the intention to move BEYOND the limited beliefs and into greater space and awareness are called Kriya. In each moment, we have the opportunity to choose, to let go of the heaviness of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that stem from fear, anger, uncertainty, and insecurity and to embrace the lightness and peace of love, humility, forgiveness, acceptance, and trust. Most of the time, we all want the latter; it’s the becoming AWARE of our default patterns that keep us bound (karma), creating a better alternative (kriya), and choosing the action that liberates when the opportunity arises. Starting out, this happens most easefully for us in the space and quiet of our practice of turning inward and getting to know, understand, and befriending our minds, the space without the intensity of another person’s energy and the stimulation of the environment. While our victim mentality would like to keep us stuck by saying “that’s too hard; there’s not enough time; I’m too busy; I don’t need one more thing to do; my spouse/friend/whoever isn’t committing to doing that” our liberating mind says, “what will bring you the most peace, space, and greater awareness? Do that!” And I would have to say I agree with that mind J.
Give it a try, even if it is 3-10 deep breaths upon waking. I would LOVE to hear your aha’s as you are lifted out of default mode and into liberation.
Love to you and the space that awaits.
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