As Within, So Without
When it comes right down to it, your primary power and responsibility in life is to foster more peace within your own self. Period. It is to BE more for yourself and others rather than to DO more for yourself and others.
Revolutionary, right? Let’s make sure you didn’t skim that last paragraph. It’s a lifetime’s path.
Your internal state emanates into the world. It creates either healing or dis-ease in the world around you. You have a very large chance here to affect positive change in the world.
What feel do you want to add to the mix? What do you want to wordlessly put out to those you love? Something tight and constricted or something spacious and vast? What do you want internally for yourself?
It is for yourself AND all others that you learn how to experience more space and breathe easier.
How? Consistent practice.
What do you practice? Developing your skills of releasing tightness, constriction and old self-critiquing. Integrating what is fractured within. Becoming whole. Learning to accept and even love all the parts of yourself.
Again, how? One way is yoga. This is the real magic of yoga practiced and taught in an authentic way by skillful and experienced teachers.
Doing yoga poses on a mat is a metaphor for your entire life. If you can understand the dynamics and mechanics of seeing tightness in your body and allowing its softening or seeing your own imperfectness and relaxing with yourself anyway while on a yoga mat, you can then bring every bit of that skill to your whole life.
“As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars. What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm” (Chandogya Upanishad 8:1:3).
If it’s true in the microcosm of your body, it’s true throughout everything in the entire cosmos. Find the truth in the nature of your own body and expand the principles to the rest of your life.
You can skillfully and confidently bring the mindset you discover on the yoga mat or meditation cushion to your relationships, jobs or memories where there’s tension. You will see you can use the same tools to relax with it all and STOP TRYING TO AGGRESSIVELY ‘FIX’ IT the same way you relaxed with your tense muscles, your perfectly imperfect body and the subsequent sensation/emotion that rolled through.
This form of being ‘selfish’ and putting all your awareness into sensing your own internal rising and ebbing constrictions as life and interactions roll by is the highest thing you can do IF you use the information wisely.
This is not about realizing when something causes us to constrict so we can control, manage or run from a situation. That’s the mind functioning in fight or flight mode. It is about realizing what causes us to tighten so we can apply the tools we’ve learned, witness our own physical/mental/emotional softening as it slowly (or maybe quickly) occurs, return to relaxation response versus fight or flight and bring THAT simultaneously to ourselves and the others in the situation instead of bringing more stress to the party.
The wordless FEEL that is within us emanates outside of us. Like a glow of a firefly. Or the light of a lantern. Or the warmth of a wood stove. It radiates out.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”
The only thing we have any real say in is our own internal state of tightness or softness, density or space, constriction or relaxation with what is.
Waking up is understanding this. Healing ourselves and helping others at a deep level is making the choice to soften and be the wood stove. Right in the middle of our messy, crazy, joyful beautiful lives.
Go ahead. I dare you. Let go just a little more on your very next breath. It’s always right there waiting for you.