Wishing you a fantastic day, week and month ahead.
We’ve made it to April and I hope that it has been a great start to the year for you! If you are feeling tired or distracted, there is always an opportunity to get to bed a little earlier than yesterday, to meditate, to go for that walk/run or to choose a fresher meal option. But I have another suggestion which requires a little introspection, which might give you the energy you need.
The concept I’ve been thinking about lately has been one of an intriguing duality which has really put a smile on my face when I’ve thought about it and experienced it. Let me explain this simple concept and hopefully you find it somewhat interesting or useful.
Much of the world of self-improvement is around goal-setting, vision creation, affirmation and in some cases, bringing about an increased productivity in our lives in order to achieve our objectives. Whether or not you employ these approaches, it is undeniable that time goes by, the world keeps moving and we need to work, build and grow to keep up and to progress! It feels like we’re always moving, always busy and mostly focused on getting things done.
I have always been a very busy and active person, which I enjoy, but often I find myself exhausted, which is partly what lead me to yoga. Recently I realised, or rather remembered, that there is a subtle but significant difference between constantly trying, pushing and manipulating the world to get things done, and being aware and in alignment with how things are moving. I believe that by gently taking a side step from high exertion and effort, into alignment with this inevitable unfolding of thoughts, emotions, events, our natural surrounding and interactions with people, we might be able to harness this flow of energy, instead of constantly struggling and fighting to make it work for us.
This is actually an ancient spiritual concept, and the duality, or maybe an illusion of duality comes in, is that by becoming still, quiet and alert, we are not actually stopping, we are not in opposition with productivity and progress, but rather we are choosing to be part of the flow and not in resistance to it. By becoming aware, we can feel and understand how to harness the flow of life intuitively, and let it work for us, as opposed to forcing it to meet our requirements. When we struggle and force things to meet our needs, we experience significant anxiety, anger and frustration in the process or an inflated sense of self when we are able to successfully manipulate people or things. However, I would argue, in the words of Jordan Peterson, that this is a suboptimal solution, and that when we take a moment to become more self aware, that we also become more aware of the way things are moving and happening, and that this might allow us to better achieve our goals, and enjoy doing so more than when we push and struggle.
The benefits of a shift in perspective is in supported by psychological literature, which states that the way you attribute good or bad labels to what happens in your life, makes you more or less susceptible to mood and anxiety disorders. So we could suggest that by seeing the world as a place which supports you and gives the tools you need to be successful, and by sensing this on a deeper level, that you can actually enjoy a healthier, happier and more successful life. Perhaps we can achieve this by embracing this illusion of duality, where we become observant of surroundings and ourselves, whilst at the same time using that heightened sense of awareness to move and progress in harmony with the flow of energy which we call life. This is ultimately the true meaning of Yoga – union with all life. You can test this yourself, becoming still with a breath and allowing your intuition to guide you.
I wish you a calm, balanced outlook, and through acceptance of the way things are, that you may be able to see the correct choices to make and feel the energy which is available to be harnessed. I hope this will ease your fear, sadness or frustration and replace it with a sense of true empowerment and fulfillment.