How do we embrace enjoying life every moment when life feels heavy? How do we embrace love at times like this?
It’s a good question. One I have had to ask myself in recent months as an unexpected life situation landed unexpectedly at my feet. You can be planning your life, ticking off the boxes, enjoying every moment, and then boom… from left field you are given some surprising news that turns everything on it’s head. I don’t need to go into all the details, which aren’t necessary anyway. We all have experiences of life going topsy-turvy. Feeling heavy, uncertain. It’s how we are able to respond to these emotions that’s important.
Today I want share some beautiful ancient yogic teachings that have been instrumental in helping me through difficult and challenging times. I’ve listed them below, but not in any particular order because they work beautifully together. As we become familiar with what they mean and allow the energies of them to deepen within us they will become embodied through practice and available whenever we need to return to love.
Aparigraha – non-clinging, non-grasping energy. Its about not letting greed, in all it’s subtleties, take hold or rule our life. The driver of greed is the seeking energy. Seeking to be more, have more that comes from not knowing we are already everything we look for.
Vairagya – essentially means not attaching to outcomes. We give 100% to our soul work, but without attachment to how it unfolds. There is trust in a deeper wisdom that is supporting us to live our dharma (the way we are destined to contribute to the whole)
Isvara Pranidhana – the BIG surrender. Offering ALL to the divine (or whatever term you use to describe the absolute). Letting go of the sense of doershipand releasing ones false sense of control. Surrender and it’s companion trust.
When there is a feeling of heaviness in my life one of the first things I do is to offer it up to the divine. The practice of Isvara Pranidhana. Surrender comes, when I give it over to the divine. I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know what this offering will do, or what it will mean or how it will unfold. But I do know from experience that this simple practice of offering always brings a sense of lightness. It helps me understand how to surrender and let go of the need to control.
There is a sense of relief that I alone do not have to carry this heaviness. An act of offering it up like a prayer lifts this heaviness from me.
Note: Our offering isn’t always about our burdens. One can offer up joy, or love, or gratitude as well.
As a sense of lightness comes I can more easily practice letting go of outcomes, vairagya. I begin to foster trust in something bigger and wiser than my egoic mind. Being non-attached to outcomes helps release the tendency to cling to how I want it to be (aparigraha). This practice helps create a distance to observe false beliefs of not being enough that fuels the fear and the seeking energy. Practice of vairagya releases the sense of doership, ownership, and instead expands into a sense of collaboration with the divine.
The internal spaciousness created from these three practices allows us to be open and present to what is happening moment to moment. It helps us anchor into this presence beyond time and space concepts of mind. In the presence of NOW there is only the energy of love. A boundless and infinite expansive energy of love. This is not just a feeling or sensation. It is the fabric of what we are made of and what everything in the universe is made of. When we experience a heaviness we can return to love through the practices of Isvara Pranidhana, Aparigraha, and Vairagya, and then make our vow to enjoy every moment in life.
These three beautiful ancient teachings are an invitation to go deeper into the nature of who we are beyond what we think we are.
Let me know how you go and if these practices help you navigate life challenges with more lightness and ease.
with love and much gratitude,