Be the Calm in the Storm

Anchor yourself in Peace

Its only 7 more Fridays to Christmas and life is as busy as ever. Before you wind up, now is a great time to take a moment to set your attitude to the silly season so you can enjoy this period of holidays, love, sun and sharing in the best way possible.

It is so easy to get caught up in the external happenings of life and be at the whim of the moods and dramas of the world around us. This creates a tendency for anxiety, stress, overwhelm and, if there seems to be no way out, depression and feelings of defeat.

heart-of-qualitiesIn the system of yoga, there is a model for understanding this human tendency to become stressed. Yoga is the science of the mind and the whole system is geared towards bringing the function of the mind into a healthy state and for the mind to be positioned exactly where it is supposed to be for optimal function and health.

This correct alignment and integration of mind/body/being function creates a life experience that has a resilience of peace, a perpetual understanding of our place in life and a sense of lightness and joy in how we move through the world….

…Yoga describes the root of our suffering as being based around our state of avidya, or being unable to see the true nature of things. This then creates confusion of what is truly valuable, cravings, aversions and attachments which follow with an underlying fear and concern that, in the unpredictable nature of life, we won’t be able to attain that which we think (through our ignorance) we need to regain our peace. Ironically, this perpetuates our state of anxiety.

The mind works furiously (often throughout the night!) to ensure we achieve these things and to protect us from all the things we perceive as threats to our identity, status and bodily survival, only to realize that no matter how hard we try or how much stress we exert, we can never control all of the outcomes in life.

This is exasperating for the mind, and the more desperate it becomes to keep life in check, the more illness develops- social, physical and mental illness. In the end, something gives… the mind must surrender…

Yoga suggests that the mind is not meant to be trying to run the show. It has its place, for sure, but it is not the boss. What exists prior to all thought, feeling, emotion and bodily experience is the awareness of these things. When we investigate, we see that the awareness holds the space for the mind, body emotions to be experienced. Everything arises out of awareness and returns back to awareness. The awareness remains unaffected.

The awareness remains eternally peaceful. What we are searching for through the experiences of the mind, beliefs, emotions and the body in the transient and ephemeral world of stuff can be seen to already exist as our natural foundation state of awareness. What a relief! as we practice resting back into this foundation of awareness, we connect more and more deeply to the true nature of our being; a resilient state of peace and quiet accepting joy. The key to freeing ourselves from the suffering of the mind is to anchor ourselves in awareness. This may also be called presence or consciousness.

www-last-fmSo where does the mind fit into all of this? In this realization, the mind can become a little disorientated. What does it do if it is not trying to desperately manage our lives and save us from the horrible fates of the world? The mind’s role is simply to feel, through the experience of awareness, life’s natural desire for us, through us, and turn that feeling urge of life into a language of action, of communication and expression with the world. The mind is an interpretation and command center receiving direction from a higher source.

The mind is meant to trust these intuitively guided directions, and follow with faithful surrender to life’s wisdom path for us that always lead us to life-affirming living. The mind, through its conditioning will call out in protest to this suggestion, fearing that if we surrender to life’s spontaneous wills through us, that our life will fall apart and the without the mind at the helm in all its anxieties and fears, it will not be able to protect us. We will die!, it proclaims, don’t do it! it is too risky!

But, in truth, if the mind should only practice surrendering we would see that life continues to desire life-affirming action through us, and the source of inspiration for our living comes not from the limited conditioning of a limited mind, but from the infinite eternal desire of life as it is connected to the infinite expanse of the universe.

In truth, our lives become bigger, more life-filled and the experience of fulfilled living is joy, with no attachment at all as to how that looks. Life becomes spontaneous, flowing,  unknowable and exciting!

The mind relaxes, as it hands over all the responsibility to life itself, felt through awareness itself and the mind simply returns to its right place, receiving life’s desires, interpreting and sending commands to the body for action! No concern needs to be part of this process. There is trust, faith in life and flow of action and we feel our perfect place in the amazing, infinite, universal expression of life.

The ancient science of Yoga suggests a multitude practices that support this awakening of awareness, consciousness, presence. These are best prescribed for each individual as needed by a suitably qualified yoga teacher. Contact your yoga teacher for a personal practice that awakens life’s beautiful expression as it desires to flow through you. Are you ready for fulfilled living?