Unless and until I know myself, I am driven by habits which I do not see and over which I have no control. I am a machine, an automation, a robot moving in circles - constantly repeating myself. I am not aware but unconscious, habitual, mechanical. I imagine I am conscious, awake, aware because my eyes are open. But habit is unconscious, automatic-pilot, without volition or intention - inside I am asleep.
“Self observation” Red Hawk
I’ve been contemplating on how our states of being are affecting everyone around us. Every state of being, that we internally host, is being transmitted and broadcast outwardly to everyone around us. Wow - if you just think of all the billions of people and the impact we have on each other. Right now as I am writing, the state I am hosting is being felt by you guys - right now and each future moment will too. I cannot imagine arriving to teach yoga class without anchoring myself first in my own heart - plugging into a place of ease and calm so I can be of better service to all of you. That often includes a set of actions in preparing for my class - taking a moment of silence, a short walk or going through my recent notes (I am always teaching from a place where I am at the moment). Sometimes my class themes come from very small incidents that happen to me during my day. I take them forward and create a theme for a class. That’s how personal the teaching is for me - I cannot lie or reciprocate anything without honesty, where I stand as a man and teacher. It is my personal choice.
The process of teaching has become a journey of integrity. I can be that person of ease and clarity. I can walk the talk. When I get up in the morning, I do my practice, I study, I meditate, I read poetry. I do everything possible to take care of my possible misalignments, to be a better person for the people around me. Throughout the years on this journey, I have met other quality men doing their own “maintenance work,” connecting with daily chaos and inviting it into the creative calm. I’m very grateful for that. I think we all do our best!
THE WAY FORWARD
Start with self-observation. The Practice of self-observation is the practice of “finding yourself” - locating yourself in time and space in the body and then managing the body. If you imagine your body to be a house you live in, everything matters: everything you do, think, eat, your habits, the words you choose to express yourself, and communicate.
Our daily yoga and meditation practice is our way to move forward and keep our body/house clean. It’s our daily maintenance work. Our bodies and minds need to be cleaned from toxins the same way as our houses needs to be cleaned from dust and vacuumed. Our house needs to be re-arranged the same way - as we move our body through asana practice taking different shapes. The toilets needs to be flushed the same way our kidneys and liver need to be flushed. Our lungs needs to be opened up as they are the windows of our body. Every time you clean up your house and you move your house - you enhance the way your energy can move.
We somehow have to find a way to keep ourselves in a space of true ease. When we are in that place, those around us will become more at ease, just simply because of our calmness. We are changing the way we show up in the world and we are enhancing our broadcast.
We do it for ourselves and we do it for others. Think of all the people around you - your work colleagues, your family, boyfriends, wives, children. Our inner state has a direct effect on how they feel.
WHAT IS YOUR BROADCAST TODAY?
What are you choosing?
What is your mood?
What is the quality of presence?
Bad habits multiply and then lead to trouble. Good habits lead to personal integrity, which then leads to success. Success is when we are perfectly content with ourselves and we joyfully rest in a place of true ease and flow with life. We need to learn how to take care of our souls first on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
5 STEPS TO NOURISH YOUR SOUL
1. Daily practice
(5, 10 minutes of yoga enhancing energy flow)
2. Find a moment of quiet and stillness
(brew a pot of herbal tea, sit down with a book or magazine or just take a break from the world with your eyes closed)
3. Take a class at least once a week
(sweat time releases toxins)
4. Journal your thoughts to identify your habitual tendencies.
Be creative with it, play and observe.
- Pick 3 character traits you want to grow and expand in time and space; cultivate them
- List 3 others you want to shed; focus on what is blocking your experience of ease and integrity
5. Be consistent. Create a routine. Follow it. Stick to it.
Think about the kind of influence you can have on people around you as you are remapping your brain in the direction of ease and integrity. Even if you think you don't know how to do this - trust me something inside you does….
Verify, verify, verify everything for yourself. Free yourself of the habits of a lifetime, of blind following, of not thinking for yourself. There is no better path to freedom