No need to push the river
It flows by itself.
Sometimes we feel compelled to continue taking action when what we really need is to stop, refresh, and re-align to our inner being and connect to that source of wisdom that flows to us effortlessly if we would allow it to.
When we allow it, when we relax and breathe consciously we align with our inner connection to source. Then we feel refreshed, invigorated and inspired. And when we’re inspired and feel good, actions come effortlessly.
We live in an action-oriented world where doing gets more kudos than simply being.
So it’s easy to forget the essential ingredient of resting with conscious breathing, having no agenda except to allow a gentle releasing of stress.
The simple joy in breathing
Whenever we focus on the flow of breath, it takes us from thinking and doing into relaxing and being. We can think of breathing as the mediator that connects our outer physicality to our inner non-physical connection to the source of universal life force energy.
Taking time out to just be may seem like a luxury, rather than a necessity. But our inner being and who we really are is a luxurious, joyful happy state. Why would we not want to hang out there?
However, sometimes as we rest and relax into non-doing, we may discover buried judgmental thoughts rising up, like “you’re being lazy”, or “you’re indulgent”, “you don’t have time for this”, or similar erroneous beliefs about non-doing. Time to let those go!
Our natural state is joy and we are meant to feel good. So whenever we’re not in our natural state of feeling good, it’s an opportunity to stop and re-align to the pleasurable feelings of inner relaxation and ease.
It’s natural to takes actions towards our goals and dreams. But our actions must come from our inner connection to the creative source and when we take actions from this place, we are inspired and our actions flow easily and productively.
In yoga practice there is a balance between doing and being, or effort and surrender and the Sanskrit phrase for this is abhyasa and vairagya.
When we practice yoga we find effort with the in-breath and surrender with the out-breath. The various yoga poses allows the breath and life force to flow into different areas of the physical body. The stillness of being in the yoga poses provides an opportunity for the mind to let go of the constant activity of thinking. Instead, we observe and witness and the breath is the mediator between our physical world, and our non-physical inner being or spirit.
Each day we can let go of all the mind’s “shoulds” and the “have-to’s” by taking moments throughout the day to consciously breathe which allows a gentle attunement to your natural rhythm of wellbeing and joy.
Remember, we have a choice to flick the switch at any moment from thinking mode into a relaxed state of witnessing or observing mode.
For this next month practice noticing that whenever you are thinking there is a tension in the body and whenever you switch from thinking to witnessing and observing the tensions are replaced with sensations of relief and relaxation.
love to you, you are love,
FLICK THE SWITCH AND NOTICE HOW THE BODY RESPONDS
1) Set an intention that you will notice at various times throughout the day when you are engaged in thinking.
2) When you become aware of thinking, you will flick the switch to observing as we do in yoga class. Remember you are either thinking or observing and you can switch your focus of attention in any moment.
3) As you get good at noticing “ah, thinking again”, in that moment, notice the state of your physical body and how it feels. Notice any tensions.
4) Then flick the switch by taking a deep breath in and out. As you continue conscious breathing observe what’s happening in your physical body, how it is letting go of resistance and feeling more deeply relaxed. When you find you are feeling good, this is a sign that you have re-aligned to your natural state of wellness and joy and who you really are.