A regular practice framework can be a lifesaver because it is the only way we can function or navigate as a better version of ourselves through life. However, if we continue to stay rigid in our beliefs and rituals we become stuck in another way.
Many times I have witnessed the most committed, disciplined practitioners of meditation and yoga who are stuck in their life. Yes they feel better in their mind and body than they did, but they are unable to move forward with practical living and the positive manifestation of comfort and healthy relationships.
How often have you criticised yourself for wanting more because it is not spiritual to desire, or because you think that only what you deserve or that you have because it is your karma? The framework has then become another unquestioned belief, that does not set you free but stops you becoming your potential. Have you become indoctrinated into another limiting belief system.
The other aspect of a ridged practice is that it can mask our deep hurts and our addictive cycles. It numbs the pain and lulls us into a different kind of illusion. It is another hiding place from the things we really need to work on. Rather than listening to ourselves and feeling empowered to what is right for us we can become confined.
To truly grow and heal we also need to take stock of the negative aspects of ourselves; the things that trigger, irritate or cause us to act in a way that does not create positive outcomes. By noticing these aspects of ourselves and fearlessly facing them, by admitting our wrongs we can start to forgive. Only then can we accept and start to love ourselves.
The messages that our thoughts and body give us are reflected in the emotional body. It is all too easy to keep distracting ourselves with new projects or filling our time so we have no energy to think and no time to feel. We have to start by consciously stopping all the noise around us so that we can reflect and be still.
Systems such as yoga and meditation, that create a safe space where we can explore thoughts and feelings. They condition the body and mind and allow us to dissipate and transform energy gently, by slowly releasing blocks.
These practices are an opportunity to feel more grounded, knocked back and smoothed over. They give us an opportunity to listen to our mind and body and help us to understand and move into a place of acceptance. Real transformation starts when we are still long enough to let our feelings rise, sometimes that can just be a few minutes or half an hour.
By taking note where in the body we feel the feeling we can start to understand where it came from and why we felt it. For example, when someone says or does something that hurts us we can literally feel it in the solar plexus or heart. Grieve (loss) sits at the heart where someone has been ripped away from us by death or rejection. We literally feel like we have a pain or tear, that is if we allow ourselves to feel it. If our hurt resonates at the solar plexus then it is our ego that is hurt. We also have to acknowledge that it is ‘us’ that feels and therefore ourselves that needs to do the work.
Once we know where and why we may feel something we can start to acknowledge our mistakes and pain not just at the intellectual level but at the level of action. This knowledge creates awareness that we can use in our everyday life to make positive change. Taking a small step forward no matter how small lets us create a new outcome.
Hold your breath my child, for you have the knowing to see into one's heart.
Take a chance and take a deep dive into the murky pool below.
Move past the reflection on the surface glistering with shining light.
Trust your breath will rise and fall as you move through the muddy waters.
The monster will not hurt you more, it is only part of you.
Release your breath my child, for you are free from fear.
Keep moving through the silt back to the light.
The darkness no longer holds its power, the surface is always bright.