Twelve Week Challenge
Week Eight – praśānta
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SELF DISCOVERY
It is week eight of this twelve week challenge. I know you are curious what happened to week seven, some of you have reached out and asked. I will get to that in a moment. A quick recap is in order first. This is a challenge of self discovery. Finding time for yourself once a week, experiencing art and looking inward. This is my experience. What I am doing to bring art to me, how I am looking inward, how I am self developing. I am looking to you to share your path with me, if you feel inclined. Reminder that art is anything creative that brings love, beauty, and light to you. So where was I last week you ask? It was a challenging life week for me. We had some personal junk that caused some stressful events. Rather than elaborate on these I want to shed some light to them and tell you how I managed. Once things calmed down it was midweek, time for my blog to publish and I hadn’t even written it. I decided I needed to retreat. I did just that. It was best for me to just be, in the moment, reflect, and find stillness again. This week I got deep into my yoga practice and tried to reconnect with my inner self and balance. I had the opportunity to do a workshop this past weekend that was perfect. Perfect in time, perfect in content, perfect in energy, just perfect.
I am sure I have told you my experience with yoga in a previous blog but it has really changed my life. I credit so many things to my practice. I have found a different side of me, a different energy, a different connection, and a balance I never had before. For two weeks things have been off for me. I know why. I know because I finally got still to find out. I have been in a working zone so deep I have neglected myself in ways that keep me grounded. It is ok to be in that working zone, self motivated, on a roll, and accomplishing things in leaps and bounds. Often when this happens we also experience a CRASH. Why? Things are one sided, off balance, parts of us are neglected. That is when things crumble.
This week for me was all about yoga. After all a calm mind is what I needed this week and so no better way. On Saturday I had the privilege of doing a workshop at Namah Shivaya Jyoti Yoga in Dallas. The workshop was called How to Yoga: Get to know the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. I practice regularly in a studio. What I have been feeling I am missing out on is the philosophy behind yoga. In western culture we get caught up in the body part. Yoga is unity of mind, body, and spirit. Sure there are physical benefits but what it is capable of for the mind and spirit is life changing. That is why it was perfect for me this week. I have been craving that. I study yoga philosophy on my own and have a mediation practice, but to be in a setting that is instructive, has open conversation, with take aways is what I had been craving.
So I won’t go into everything I learned but I do want to send you some things to think about. When our mind is busy we tend to identify with the objects. The analogy that was used was this… You are having a great day, like all things perfect. You get home and find that your spouse, roommate, whomever didn’t do the dishes. Now think about this… you have a difficult day, one filled with complications. You get home to the same situation. What is the difference in how you handle that same situation having experienced each kind of day? On a good day our mind is calm and at ease so we deal with things easier. On a day that is filled with complications our mind is busy so we identify with all of those complications. Whether your day is good or complicated yoga gives you a calm mind. Gives you the tools you already have to deal with complications. Yoga helps us create less internal suffering. It gives us the means for right living. It helps us identify with things that are not serving us, recognize it, and move on from it. Yoga helps us quiet the mind and it is there that we can experience intuition, inner growth, enlightenment, and peace.
The one thing that I am always curious about and was again reminded of in the workshop is, What brought you on a path of self discovery? We all have a reason, a realization, an event that brought us to the question about life. What am I doing? Why am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing? My path started a few months after my dad died. My dad was my compass. When he died I was truly lost. I didn’t realize how much I relied on him. How much I sought his approval. Not his fault by any means it is just what I did. I am not even really sure why. He loved me, I knew that. He believed in me, I knew that. But I deeply sought his approval. When he died I needed to figure out life without him, I needed to figure out me without him. I had been ignoring my consciousness because I was so busy seeking him. Being that lost threw me into darkness. I had no choice but to find light because I was fading and fast.
So maybe you practice yoga, maybe you don’t, maybe you want to know more. Some recommended books from the workshop were “Meditation and Mantras”, “Light on the Yoga Sutras”, “Yamas and Niyamas”, “The Four Agreements”, and “Spirit Junky”. Share with me what brought you to a path of self discovery. What is challenging? What is rewarding? Just a few weeks left of this and I hope it is something you will continue. Until next week…
Eliminate your Doubt, Activate your Confidence, Create your Future!