Returning to our true nature
As we progress on the process of waking up to the uniqueness of each day, the ways in which we distract ourselves become more obvious. Perhaps we notice how we create veiled excuses to avoid facing uncomfortable moments or how we fabricate justifications for actions that do not contribute to enhance our participation in our life. Some of us notice the elaborate games that we have created so that we do not have to address some of our shortcomings. All of these are the ways of being that Patanjali mentioned; that is, the internal filters we use to modify our perception. We already have a simple technique to brighten our awareness of our true nature, so that it is easier to stop believing the stories that we keep making up. Noticing all of these internal activities and patterns in our ways of thinking, feeling, acting and interacting with others is a sign that we are growing in our awareness. So, instead of feeling like we are failing, it is important to recognize that we are actually making progress. Remember it is never about self-judgment.
Today let’s practice a way to connect strongly with our home base, a place where we feel at peace. This is a simple, effective and enjoyable practice. As usual, find a comfortable position that enables you to feel supported, relaxed, and aware. Close your eyes. Offer yourself your undivided attention. This is the most important moment of your life. Notice how your body is supported by whatever surface it is resting on. Feel that support, knowing that you are also supported by the floor and the ground and also by the earth. Connect to this feeling of being supported. Notice if this helps to release unnecessary tension. Recognize that there are many systems in your body that are constantly supporting you without you even having to think about them. There are also plenty of natural systems that support your life, the sun, the earth’s atmosphere, all the nature that makes air, water and sustenance available to you. Feel that support. There are also human created systems that provide support for you. Repeat to yourself: “I am supported.” Feel it.
Now turn your attention to the space that you are in. Notice that this space provides protection from the elements. Recognize, for instance, that the magnetic field of the earth protects our planet from the powerful radiation emitted by the Sun. Take a moment to reflect on sources of protection for you. What protects your body, your mind and your whole being? What are the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that you feel when you are protected? Most likely, right now you feel that you are protected. Take a moment to feel that sense of calm and ease from feeling protected. Repeat to yourself, “I am protected.” Immerse in this feeling.
Repeat to yourself, “I am supported. I am protected.”
Remain still, calm and relaxed. Now take a few moments to think about nourishment. What gives you a sense of being nourished? What helps you stay healthy and have energy to pursue what is meaningful and important to you? What are the sources of nourishment that you have? Reflect on the ways that you feed yourself at all levels. What do you offer your body as nutrition? What is the sustenance you give to your mind? How do you feed your emotional self? How are you cultivating your ability to relate to others in caring, loving, and compassionate ways? Feel how you are giving yourself nourishment and repeat to yourself, “I am nourished.” Immerse in the sensations and feelings that result.
Repeat to yourself, “I am supported. I am protected, I am nourished.”
Appreciate yourself and what you are feeling right now. Turn your attention now to feeling a sense of happiness or joy. Perhaps, by thinking about something or somebody who brings a smile to your heart and to your face. Maybe it is a sense of gratitude to someone who has offered you kind guidance or assistance. It could also be a feeling of gratitude for the opportunities you’ve had to offer guidance, love, assistance to someone else. Notice if underlying these feelings is a sense of lightheartedness, of peace and of happiness or joy. Connect to these emotions by feeling them throughout your whole being. Remain still, relaxed and continue orienting toward the feeling of happiness or joy. Repeat to yourself, “I am joyful.” Feel that joy as a gentle aliveness traveling through your body and mind.
With intention and feeling repeat to yourself, “I am supported. I am protected, I am nourished, I am joyful.”
Remember how Patanjali at the beginning of the Yoga Sutra, in sutra 1.3 said modulating our ways of being brings us to abide in our own nature, the direct experience of embodied presence. Is it possible that when you feel supported, protected, nourished, and joyful you feel that you are returning to your home base, in other words, abiding in your true nature?
Notice how this practice offers you a simple way to return to your home base. Can this be a way to enhance the quality of our participation in our life and in the world? To firm up this motivation, you can ask, “May I be guided by love and compassion.” Recognize, that this intention simply extends what you are feeling into the realm of actions. Repeat to yourself, “May I be guided by love and compassion.” Feel this experience of being you, at peace and ready to participate in your life.
Once again with intention and feeling repeat to yourself, “I am supported. I am protected, I am nourished, I am joyful. I am guided by love and compassion.”
Could this be a way of enhancing your life experiment? Put it into practice this week as often as you can and notice its effects so that you can decide intelligently if you want to keep using it.
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This is an excerpt from the book Unravel the thread: Applying the ancient wisdom of yoga to live a happy life
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