Nature never ceases to amaze me. Recently in my Kripalu Retreat based on the Five Elements, the only day of rain was on the water element day. This is not the first time synchronicity has happened. In fact, every time I’ve offered this course, whether at Kripalu or Esalen in CA, an eerie synchronicity like this happens!
In life, there are no coincidences. Whenever any synchronicity happens, it’s the affirmation of the universe telling you that you are in the right place and that grace has your back. When it started to rain on the water day in my program, I said to myself, “Okay. I get the message. I’m meant to be doing exactly what I’m doing.” As I surrender to the power and growth of Ashaya Yoga®, I hear the voice of the universe whispering in my ear, “Trust the process.”
The truth is that whether there’s a synchronicity or not, grace always has your back and the universe is always giving you signals and subtle messages of how to proceed. “Go this way. Go that way. Stay steady. Let go.” When you align with the divine, every moment becomes an opportunity to lead from your heart and flow with the current of life.
The problem is that we become out of alignment with nature. We are out of touch with the deepest desires of our heart. So often we get distracted or deluded into negative thinking or feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness. When I give way to my negative, habitual mind, it will take me to the bottom of the well where I can’t see anything except darkness and despair.
Yoga teaches that you have a choice. You must choose to create a boundary of protection from thinking habitual negative thoughts. It’s just like mantra practice. When the mind is restless, you need to lean into the mantra. Each time you choose the mantra over your distracted mind, you strengthen your capacity for consciousness. The mind will invariably continue to obsess. But you need to activate your will to create new channels of thought; channels that accept, allow space, forgive, love, and uplift. You need to create new channels of hope, opportunity, inspiration, and goodness.
In my experience, the way to overcome negative emotions is not to push them away but to learn how to move toward them, accept and embrace them. You need to look deeply into them and listen for the message they are trying to tell you.
In Non-Violent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg says that all negative emotion comes from unmet needs. When we are out of touch with ourselves, he says that negative emotion is our “suicidal attempt to get our needs met.” Suicidal meaning that it doesn’t work. For instance, getting angry with a loved one only makes things worse. What’s the need underneath the anger that’s not being met? Usually it’s hurt, fear, or perhaps sadness. That takes some inner reflection. It’s not always obvious what your deeper need is underneath the surface expression.
Since this is the end of the summer, I challenge you to begin or restart your yoga practice. I challenge you to re-boot a regular meditation practice every day as a way to change your mind habits. Choose to favor the mantra to strengthen your ability to set boundaries and bounce back sooner.
Remember you are already free. The question is not how can you become free. The question is what do you want to bind yourself to? If you want to experience your freedom, you must choose to bind yourself to something of value, create healthy self-boundaries. “In order to unbind yourself, you need to bind yourself”, Dr. Douglas Brooks.