How are you?
I would like to share with you in these monthly letters some of my thoughts and reflections on my own personal journey on the path of yoga.
The other night I had a dream which woke me up which is something that happens very rarely. In that dream I was in an airport in what seemed to be a foreign, distant, third-world country. I was pushing an airport cart with all my belongings on it when all of the sudden I realized that I forgot my passport in the security check area. For whatever reason I left the cart there and ran back to search for my passport which I wasn't able to find. When I came back to where I left the cart it was gone.
In my dream I was dealing with the local airport security people, trying to explain what happened and realizing that they cannot help me and that I am now in a tough situation - I have no personal documents, no phone, no money, no flight ticket, no extra clothes.. This made me feel so uncomfortable that I had to wake myself up just so I can get out of this situation.
The next day I was pondering this dream, I tried to imagine what it would be like in real life. I know there could be much worse things that can happen but nevertheless it is a tough challenge to face. I started to think what would I do on a practical level to resolve this situation and realized I am again feeling highly uncomfortable and there is an internal force that pushes me to ignore this and come back to my problem-free present moment. I didn't.
Yoga at its highest potential is meant to transform our internal landscape in such a way that we feel peace no matter what the external situation is. Of course it is just an ideal and most of us do not reach this highest goal, and yet we can and should feel that there is a gradual process of increasing our overall sense of peace and tranquility and decreasing our experience of worry, anxiety, stress etc.. the best way to measure this is in real life situations.
I continued thinking about this situation, simulating it in my mind, and slowly the discomfort went away and some practical ideas of how to get out of it came up. There is no doubt that when we're calm we are able to make much better decisions, but more importantly we avoid distress and tension that weakens us and doesn't do us any good.
How to enhance this state of peace when one is in the middle of a crisis?
That is the million dollar question..
There are few tools that may help:
1. Slow down the breath, particularly the exhales.
2. Focus our attention on one part of the body - the belly, the feet, the palms of the hands, or anywhere else, and just take a moment to notice any sensations there.
3. Use a mantra, such as "everything will be ok, it always is", or "this too shall pass", or anything else that brings us comfort, repeating it a few times mentally, quietly.
4. Give the emotional part of our brain a big symbolic hug and thank it for its service. It does serve a very important role in our life, but at this moment it is of no use to us.
5. Bring to the front the rational part of the brain, the one that is more equipped to deal with problems and challenges, the one that can assess the situation and come up with solutions.
These usually really help me, maybe it can be of some use to you as well..
Wishing you a happy November, full of love, peace and health
And looking forward to seeing you in yoga :)
With love and gratitude,
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