How are you doing? Have you checked in with your heart and spirit? Have you offered up words of thoughtfulness to self as you navigate the day?
How much multitasking and conquering are you enduring at this moment in time? There are ways in which many of us are trying to conquer life right now. Conquer goals, conquer capitalism, conquer racism, sexism, homophobia, unsettled relationships, jobs, changing tides which we cannot control. Recognize the ways in which this desire to conquer forsakes your time to hold and love on self day by day. As always, recognize this without judgement. Self-judgement does not reside from our innate being, but from taking in ideologies that are not innately ours and placing them on our personhood as if they were...creating dissonance, dissatisfaction, and even disease.
As we shift into the cooler, dryer season of Vata it is incredibly important we make time for stillness, and quiet. I'm feeling the shifts of season, policy, organizations, communities, climate this month and noticing how vital this act of stillness is to the nervous system, to the core of our being, and to our communities at large.
One way of seating ourselves within the revolution is by setting aside at least 30 minutes to be still, quiet, collected. Maybe you're on the road a lot, so you take 30 minutes before bed and rub oils from the extremities of your body to your heart center, (abhyanga). The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth. -Sandhiya Ramaswamy
Maybe you're engaged in a number of projects so you light a candle three feet from your body after you rise and stare at the flame for 15 minutes in stillness, reflecting on the flames center with buddha like eyes, (Trataka Mudra). Maybe you are experiencing something out of your control right now like climate change and feeling helpless, anger, exhaustion, so you take a walk under moonlight or rest alongside a still lake. Take time for repose and reflection. This is not a time to ask what can I do. That will come when we give ourselves space to be. We also have to pull ourselves out of the western idea that these ancient methodologies have to look and sound glamorous. Do this without having to prove you've done it, and without a desire for more. Be right where you are. Simplicity and trust is power.
As we gather ourselves into this process, the unsettled mind absolves itself from the daily on-goings of the outer world resting in a place of clarity, illumination and quietude. This place may feel new, but it is a familiar place. You've been here before, perhaps many times in this lifetime or the last. Honor this practice as a journey. One cannot simply desire to be a rising first chair violinist without serious practice, dedication, separating self from attachment to the outcome. In the same way, remember that this revolutionary practice comes with patience, love at the heart center and dedication- all innate within you.