What keeps you from slipping into your greatest aspirations and living your wildest dreams? I recall an old poster hanging on my wall as an adolescent, a beautiful, giant, blue butterfly and the sentiment read, “You can fly, but that cocoon has got to go.” What’s holding you back? Tired relationships? Destructive behaviors and self-talk? All that chronic negativity that we often wear like a badge of honor destroys vitality, joy and forward movement. We often don’t even realize how we create chronic conditions that lead to a vicious cycle of illness, failure, relational problems and paralysis. We are resistant to positive change and often repel higher levels of consciousness where our abundance, loving relations and perfect health are to be found. Eckhart Tolle calls this habitual grouch-like persona “the painbody.” The painbody likes to drag others into its depths of despair. It is unconscious of itself and its actions insidious, living in a kind of in-between, hellish state of misery, negativity and doubt.
The inherent spiritual nature that is programmed to evolve within each of us can begin to recognize this painbody in self and other. Another way to perceive it is the “triggers” that cause us to react. This is how we create the negative feedback loop in our lives. The moment we react we give our power away, relinquishing self-control and spiritual perspective for our belief in “the fight.” The “fight or flight” response dwells in the mind like an internal armageddon and has serious consequences upon the physical body. Adrenaline and cortisol overload is the result of chronic stress and a major catalyst for chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, diabetes, cancer and a host of other debilitating western dis-eases.
In her book, “Who Would You Be Without Your Story?” Byron Katie illustrates the practice of questioning repetitious painful thoughts that are the true cause of inner & external pain and suffering. The first question she asks of one’s painful thought, “Is it true?” If the answer is yes, the second question is “Can you be absolutely sure that it is true?” If the answer is yes again, then one is asked to turn the question around. For example, if your painful thought is “I am unhappy because my boss has unrealistic expectations of me,” then turn the thought around, “My boss is unhappy because I have unrealistic expectations of her/him”. This illuminating practice, called “The Work”, when done with meticulous self-honesty can help release old patterned thinking and help us see it for what it is, illusory. You will find details and free downloads to support The Work on her website.
Conscious awareness liberates us from the negative feedback loop. Meditation grounds and holds us in the power of the present moment. Letting go of the “what ifs”, which is living in an unrealized future. “Coulda – shoulda- woulda” living in the past and in actuality not living at all. The present moment is all that is real, and that is your point of power. We are living in a fragmented society using all manner of devices to escape the present and our own personal realities, ie: materialism; substance abuse; web surfing; work; care giving; travel; social media; etc. The problem arises when these activities become OCD and an avoidance tactic from experiencing discomfort, contributing to the epidemics in ADD and Alzheimer’s disease.
“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
- Marianne Williamson
There are countless ways to meditate. Trataka is fixed gazing, concentrating on a single point such as a small object, black dot or candle flame. We practice drishti in the same way in our Yoga practice to develop concentration, strengthen the eyes and stimulate the Ajna or third eye chakra. These practices actually serve to heal the neurochemistry of the brain by moving us away from obsessive compulsive thinking into a more healthy practice of observation detached from outcomes. Practice means a daily commitment for a desired outcome or goal. Results are real and life changing when one makes a concerted effort to daily mindfulness practice. Balancing the neurochemistry and taking matters into one’s own hands is not only critical for our health and wellbeing in these times of great fragmentation, it is liberating! Freeing blood flow and circulation to the brain allows us the freedom to manifest our dreams. Letting go of habitual ways of thinking makes room for an influx of new ideas, creativity and the motivation to serve our true life’s purpose with passion and ease.
Listening to your intuition can lead to a fulfilling life. Health and wellbeing are essential to finding one’s passion and living the life you were born to live! Untether and be well.