(image via pinterest)
I haven't had an epiphany for awhile (a few weeks at least!! LOL). However, the practice of yoga, I have noticed, is helping me notice my thoughts and really pay attention to what they are saying, allowing me time to let go of the "rot" and really listen to the 'gems.' AND these 'gems' are proving to be quite revelatory, or epiphany like.
On of these revelations was about the thoughts that create anxiety/stress/worry, and how these thoughts truly stop you from expanding into life, living the life of your dreams, from really being YOU! I also saw where these thoughts are coming from - they are coming from the past and the future (not literally, of course!!).
When you look at your life outside of the present (you know, this moment right now, this moment as I am typing or you are reading this post), your thoughts turn either to the past or to the future. What do you see in that past? What do you see in the future?
Negative crap? Long held issues and disaster movie scenarios? Anger? Sadness? Frustration?
about things that have happened and you can't change or things that may or may not happen.
This, quite obviously, is not a path to happiness, acceptance, and gratitude.
Being in the present? Inhaling Prana? (Prana = life force or breath) Going inside to see what's going on . . . how you feel in that moment, what you are thinking, seeing, tasting, hearing? Noticing and accepting change? (because frankly change is the only thing you can be sure of). Exhaling that which is mad, bad, and sad?
(image via pinterest)
This was my epiphany the other day - an epiphany I have had a few times in life, but one, it seems, I have to have over and over again . . . hopefully this time it will stick. Our stress and worry is all a construct of the mind - what causes us stress are moments from the past and thinking about the future in negative terms. Our minds create stories that are designed to leave us in a heightened state of awareness, that leaves our bodies on alert to potential danger, that drags our adrenal glands through the wringer (adrenals - controller of all icky stress hormones).
But how to release ourselves from this self perpetuating stress? One thing yoga has been teaching me is that our bodies and minds are as they are, no fiction or fakery about it! Well, what if we approached our thoughts with this idea of our thoughts being fiction; that we should step back and look at the fact before buying into the tragic disaster our minds are telling us has happened or is going to happen?
when we step back and allow our minds to take account of the here and now, we can see that the stories we have told ourselves, especially about the future, are in all likely hood a good trick from the brain trying to control the hype that is reality - when in actual fact, reality cannot be controlled.
So, how I am trying to combat the storyteller that is residing in my head? I am practicing and practicing and practicing focusing on the moment, being present, living in the here and now. Of course its not an easy, quick fix, the process of awareness, breathing, meditation, and yoga is an ongoing process - hence why it is called a practice and not a goal (or solid concrete ball of unchangeable limits). When I find my mind wandering to the past or the future in a non-nostalgic/optimism kind of way I gently remind myself that this is the storyteller that is trying to make drama and I bring my thoughts softly back to my breath, bring my awareness back to what I am going in that moment - I take note of how my body is feeling, what I am smelling, hearing, and seeing. You see, we cannot change the past, we cannot control the future, and we certainly can't control other people, but we can control how we respond to the current moment and if we respond to the current moment with a positive light that can only step us into the next moment and the next moment with a peaceful calm and a smile on our faces.
IMAGINE NOW, when you let go of your fears, your worries, and your stress, HOW MUCH MORE OPEN LIFE IS TO YOU NOW - THERE ARE NO LIMITS, JUST YOU IN THE MOMENT!
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright