TAKE TURNS WITH YOUR EMOTIONS
MARCH 9, 2010: So I read this great article abou Gary Lauder's clever idea to reduce traffic accidents: a traffic sign that says "Take Turns". I love this. It's solo yogic! It's simple, cheap, smart and kind. And if 50% of traffic accidents happen at intersections it could save lives. The yogi in me takes this suggestion and applies it to our emotions. So imagine you approach the intersection of your emotions (just like you would in your car) and you look around and politely allow the emotion you are feeling to cross over. Then the next emotion takes its turn quite politely. Splendid!
Yet as human beings we often push back our feelings creating in the flow of our lives a flood at some point of pent of emotions. Or we deny what we are feeling trying to run away from it. Neither of these works. When we allow our feelings to take turns we are really CARING FOR OUR FEELINGS. As Rumi writes; "It's good to leave each day behind, life flowing water, Yesterday is gone and it's tale told. Today new seeds are growing."
This is really getting to the heart of a Tantric practice which encourages us to embrace all of who we are. The sadness and the joy, the tiredness and the vigor, the fear and the love. This is a nondualistic approach to see that there is not a winner/loser or bad/good that we don't have to battle our emotions, thoughts or feelings any longer. Running away from what we feel will only prolong it. And all of our feelings can be put into 3 buckets: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. So as hard as it might be to heal and remain in a state of being healed we are taught through yoga to embrace your feelings, care for them.
A great meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh suggest we take a feeling, let's say sadness, and talk to your feeling: say to your sadness "breathe - I am taking care of you now." Acknowledge this feeling is you and as you breath out, let it go. Then allow for the next moment to unfold and the next feeling. Breath into that one. Take one at a time and stay with the flow taking turns. Most importantly know that whatever you're feeling is part of your humanness, love and hurt co-exist, one is the compliment to the other so to prevent staying in a state of suffering it helps to embrace all you feel and care for yourself. We literally learn about ourselves as we experience emotion, feeling and thought. We also become expert through this in the human experience. We can by caring for our own feelings learn how to care for how others feel.
If we can take turns in our emotions we can allow others to feel what they need to feel and take turns appreciating them too for their humanness. Through this we create a more polite world. A world of peace and authenticity. Love yourself, Love your life! Silvia
A great meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh suggest we take a feeling, let's say sadness, and talk to your feeling: say to your sadness "breathe - I am taking care of you now." Acknowledge this feeling is you and as you breath out, let it go. Then allow for the next moment to unfold and the next feeling. Breath into that one. Take one at a time and stay with the flow taking turns.
Most importantly know that whatever you're feeling is part of your humanness, love and hurt co-exist, one is the compliment to the other so to prevent staying in a state of suffering it helps to embrace all you feel and care for yourself. We literally learn about ourselves as we experience emotion, feeling and thought. We also become expert through this in the human experience. We can by caring for our own feelings learn how to care for how others feel.
RUNNING FOR LIFE OR AWAY FROM LIFE
SEPTEMBER 22, 2009:
I AM GROUNDED IN ACCEPTANCE.
Today is the Autumn Equinox. It is a highly auspicious day and there is an amazing energy available to us three days before today and three days after. But today the peak is at its highest. “To open deeply we need tremendous courage and strength. A kind of WARRIOR SPIRIT. But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart.” These are the words of Jack Kornfield from a favorite book titled A Path with Heart. That warrior spirit is always there as are all the most wonderful qualities of the heart. We need our most inner strength to learn the truth about ourselves.
Taking this literally I am thinking about starting to take up running again. I haven’t run for some years every since my Father, Papa passed away suddenly at the age of 59 years old. It is something that we did as a family growing up. He was my first running “coach”. And I’ve had this fear of the sadness I’d experience by going back to running. Now over the years I’ve still bought really great running shoes, just in case I just haven’t used them. But it has come time as I grow up and become more honest with myself and ground myself in my own acceptance that I see the situation for what it is. I am running away from the strong feelings I associate with my Dad, the sense of loss and hurt not having him here on earth. I have to face this.
“We need energy, commitment and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over with any philosophical – material or spiritual. We need a Warrior’s Heart that lets us face our lives directly. Our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities.” (Jack Kornfield)
So as I face myself I asked a sweet friend who is making their own expansion this question: ARE YOU RUNNING AWAY FROM YOUR LIFE OR RUNNING TOWARDS WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR LIFE? There is a difference.
I am seeking my own Warrior courage to put those running shoes on and get out there face my grief and get on with it. I don’t want to run away from anything, I’ve tried that you guys and it doesn’t help. So I encourage you to do the same in some aspect of your life. The reason why I think this is good is that we can’t choose to close down just one part of our life and expect everything else to open. Energies are not mutually exclusive, if we are opening to love and peace we must do so in all parts of our life. Jack Kornfield goes on to encourage us,
“To live in love:
· Look at every path closely and deliberately and ask yourself does this path have heart? If it does the path is GOOD, if it doesn’t it is of no use.
· Where do we put your time, strength, creativity and love?
· Does what we are choosing reflect what we deeply value?
· What might lead me to create openness, honesty and a deeper capacity to love?
We must have the courage to face whatever is present – our pain, our desires, our grief, our loss, our secret hopes, our love, everything that moves us deeply. Each of us will find something from which we have been running – our loneliness, our unworthiness, our boredom, our shame, our unfulfilled desires. We must face these parts of ourselves as well because to live in the present demands an on-going and unwavering commitment. Just as it is a courageous act to face all the difficulties from which we have always run, it is also an act of compassion. And compassion is the “quivering of the pure heart. With greatness of heart we can OPEN to the people around us.”
I want for us all to choose wisely and decide to no longer run away from life but instead to run towards it. Accept where you are and begin again from there. I will keep you posted on my progress putting on those running shoes and stepping onto the pavement. As I wish the best for myself I wish you the same and more! Love and courage to us all, Silvia