Free Your Mind
On July 4, we celebrate our independence and our freedom in this great country. But, what does it mean to be free in the mind? Many of us are conflicted in the mind, allowing it to run wild with thoughts, desires, and memories that seem to haunt. It’s often those painful memories of the past that begin to shape our beliefs and the way we live our lives in the present. It’s as though the mind is a cage and we are a caught bird that longs for freedom. Why is it some birds won’t leave even when the door is open? Fear of the unknown? Fear that what happened the last time they flew may happen again? In many ways we are like the bird.
We come to the mat because we are physically weak, overweight, underweight, unhappy, angry, lost, confused, or searching. As the practice begins with meditation we begin to think of all we have to do that day, of the heated exchange between ourselves and another. We come back to the senses and the breath and begin to travel inward. We move through practice and end in savasana, rest and allow our minds to drift. Time seems short; we awaken and wonder, “Where did I go?”
The Deep Lake Samskara
I like millions of others lived through trauma on more than one occasion. Through my life practice of introspection I move the memories up and out. In yoga we refer to the trauma and resulting impressions as samskaras. These samskaras are stuffed down into a dark abyss in the mind and in the body. Imagine a murky deep lake within; this is the home of samskaras.
Once our yoga practice is created and consistant, we create a vibration within the body and the mind, this vibration shakes the murkiness and allows the samskaras to release. Sounds simple, but it is anything but. This process at best provides an ‘aha’ moment and sense of relief and at worst, for me personally, crying on my knees in the tub during the cover of night. The latter is when I am truly thankful for the guidance that yoga offers on becoming the witness, so I know I’m not that person anymore, I am not in that situation, and I give myself permission to feel the pain with a sense of awareness enabling a release and the hold that each memory, thought, impression, and belief has on my life.
To begin this process today, move through your daily routine and watch your thoughts. What do you think of as your wash the dishes, cook dinner, clean the bathroom, and do laundry. Go into each of your senses; what do you smell, taste, hear, feel, see? What feelings arise? And what are your intentions behind each action? Are you content? Disturbed? Open? Closed off? This is where we begin to deepen the understanding and acceptance of ourselves. Give yourself permission to feel the full spectrum of emotions. Know that now is the time for you to be free. It’s time to fly out of the cage and flow with what life has in store for you. Realize each experience good or bad is a learning and growing experience. Give yourself permission to love and move into the real you.
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