We are quite simply thinking and feeling machines. Through our practice of yoga, our journey teaches us to become the observer of our thoughts and our feelings and to choose how we express them, preferably in a resourceful, healthy way.
Emotions are a tricky thing. They are little triggers that can cause momentary pops and clicks within or they can be massive raging bubbling infernos that exploded out of us.
Let’s imagine that there are no good or bad emotions, there is simply Energy in-motion (Emotion) within us.
How do we express this in an appropriate way?
Let’s get some context and connect to our feelings.
Think about when you read something funny in a library.and you just want to burst out and laugh or when someone really ticks you off and you want to spit venom all over them. Just as you do on the mat when you are finding your balance, you have to draw into that centre line, compose yourself and be with what is going on for you IN THAT MOMENT.
When we are triggered by the people around us and we find ourselves in conflict within, we must realise that the problem is not with the other person it is with in ourselves. Gabor Mate says “the explosion is within you.” We are the one that has been triggered, the problem lies within ourselves, not the person who has done something you do or don’t approve of.
Here inlays the gift of this seasons energy. This house within the zodiac is the house of transformation. It’s in taking responsibilities for our e-motions that we can make the greatest changes, to our response to the world around us and begin to live from a place of action rather than reaction, from love not fear.
To start to express ourselves in a healthy resourceful way and through this, transform our lives, and the lives of others through honesty and authenticity.
Our bodies response to any situation is a clear message that you need to come back to present moment awareness and evaluate the situation for what it is, not what your past may tell you.
Most spiritual texts ask us to begin to take the journey from fear to love. From protection to connection. When someone shouts or screams or speaks to you indignantly how do you feel? Do you feel inspired to listen, pay attention. To open up to the possibility that they may have something to say that is worth listening too? No of course not.
When we come to our relationships with this kind of attack language, tone or body gesture, you can guarantee there is a Klesa at work, the afflictions of the mind, that we develop on order to stay safe. But they don’t keep us safe they keep us disconnected and at odds with the people around us.
The Klesa’s according to the Yoga Sutras of Patangali are what create the disturbances within our mind. These are
Avidya: Wrong Knowledge.
Seeing a situation clearly as it is can sometimes be very difficult. We have our own filtering system based on what we believe to be true. Intern our brain generalises distorts and deletes information that may be coming to us which could open us up to seeing things differently. For example when we jump to conclusions based on the evidence we are privy too, like “ My son is lazy, rebellious and irresponsibility because he wont put the bins out every night” His filters are very different. He cant see why they need to go out each night he just does them when they are full. Can you see how a full blown argument could happen here?
If I take the time to explain that the smell in the mornings coming from the bins is so pungent that I don’t want to get out of bed and come to the kitchen. He may change his perspective. He could also have the opportunity to let me know that VCE is really overwhelming and that the bins are about 10 tasks back in his mind. Maybe then we could find a way to help him to remember. Once we have the whole picture and connect through listening to each other, this becomes Vidya correct knowledge
Avidya is the root of all other Klesa-s
Raga’s & Dvesa’s: Likes (Attachment) and Dislikes (Aversion)
Likes and dislikes pull us from that centre line of balance and can tip the scales of consciousness
Always our sense are involved here and when we tip we usually tip in a big way. It is pretty normal to have preferences, but when we become emotive, that is when our relationships begin to get rocky. To expect someone to like or dislike something because you do can be very domineering and is defiantly you protecting yourself. Just like emotions that you like and don’t like the feeling of, what if we were to take that scale away and just say it is what it is. People are allowed to pray to who they want to pray to, to eat what they want to eat, to think what they choose to think and to feel how they choose to feel. You don’t have to agree.
There could be some risky questions that you need to ask yourself about the relationships in your life, like;
How could I show up differently in this relationship?
Is this the right relationship for me?
What needs do I meet being in a relationship that doesn’t serve me?
What is best for me right now?
The extreme edges of Raga and Devsa are addiction and phobia. Keep coming back to that centre line and be the observer.
Choose how you want to be and who you want to be.
The Ego, the little I is the contracted protective small minded ego. The Big I is the expansive connective Ego.
When we have been hurt in our past, we say to ourselves, our unconscious mind, I NEVER want to experience that again. And so it is done. Every time our unconscious mind perceives this situation could reoccur, you swing into protective mode. In this situation you are not acting from present moment awareness you are reacting from the past. You will act out through different masks that you wear in order to protect yourself. To hide your true nature in fear of taking another hit.
There is no growth from the place of Ego. We are stuck in old habits and continue to loop in our experiences.
To engage the Big I or higher self is to rise above or expand out of the limitations of the small I and be curious to how things could be different.
Where do you see those loops in your life?
When do you hear yourself say” that happened again”
What could you differently to bring love and connection into your life?
Abinivesa: The desire to cling to life
The ultimate fear that is ingrained into the limbic system of our brain, the most ancient part of our brain is hard wired for survival and protection Our greatest fear, The fear of death.
And so it should be.
Life is great right!
Regardless of the journey we take, while there is mental health we want to continue our lives.
When we live in this kind of fear, when we spend our days in fight flight freeze response it is so taxing on all of our systems. Physically, energetically, mentally and spiritually. This fear sends the mind into a frenzy and creates fogginess in our brain and exhaustion in our bodies. We can’t find clarity or focus. We procrastinate, overthink, feel overwhelmed, seek to be perfect. We bounce from anxiety to depression and back again.
The journey away from fear is looking it in the face, embracing it and proving to yourself that in fact there is nothing to fear at all.
By all means you must have your feelings. You may need to express that you just need a minute to feel, own, express and let go of what you are feeling. Not AT the other person. Find your centre line and N.O.F.L. then you can begin to express what is really going on inside of you.
When you feel this trigger…
Name the feeling,
straight away you are building a relationship within yourself to the feeling you are feeling, bringing consciousness into the moment
So often we try to push these feelings away, then they get louder because that feeling has come up to protect you. It has a job to do, that is why it has come. A trigger is a response to a past event or experience.Maybe a Klesa. All emotional responses are learned depending on what our tribes felt was acceptable and not acceptable and the meaning you gave this. Whether you agree with them or not, you still have an emotional response and this is what comes back from the unconscious. When we move towards this feeling, sensation or emotion and create relationship with it, straight away the edge comes off and we are free to bring kindness and compassion to ourselves and give ourselves what we need.
Move into your body and feel it. Come out of your mind and all of the excuses, analysts, reasons and justifications and feel your feeling. Give it shape colour texture and allow your feeling to expand, open and release. Stay in your body and “notice” what comes up in your mind.
Let it go,
Once you have given this feeling your attention used all your sense to know and be with it allow it to expand even more, you may find that the tight grip it had on you has now released itself and you can experience the lightness of letting go.
You are now free to connect with the real problem at hand.
In the library you can regain your composure and laugh about it once you are outside and relay this story onto friends ( I do hope you turned a few heads in the library )Instead of spitting venom all over some poor unsuspecting person, imagine, you took that moment to calm yourself through the NOFL process and discovered from that internal place, that you were afraid that they would harm themselves and you really want to express how important that person is to you.
Would you rather hear how loved you are or be yelled at?
Would you feel more connected if someone was present to your mistake and helped you see another way?
NOFLing is a skill that you can develop over time and if you really want to be able to have healthy relationships, you will develop this, with practice Keep going, don’t give up and be kind to yourself. Celebrate that you are being persistent and working toward your intention of cultivating healthy relationships
Can you see the massive transformation that is available to you if you choose to feel your feelings and express them with connection rather than protection? Your relationships will flourish from this place as they are based on honesty, truth, authenticity and present moment awareness.
Transformation will also come from letting go of the relationships that no longer serve you, freeing you up to do the things you love and connect with your tribe of like minded souls.
You have some great tools to work with for the next 4 weeks.
Can’t wait to see you on the mat in the Rise and Shine studio for 4 weeks of
Transforming your relationships
This practice is coming at just the right time for me. Especially I need to own my feelings, turn to them rather than away, and really understand them and feel them. Plus I need to work out the relationships that serve me and the ones that don’t , and move away emotionally from the ones that don’t, like water through my fingers. Thank you.