224 N Broadway
Salem NH 03079
There has been so much talk of tragedy in the news this week. I've read about it and we've talked about in my yoga classes. I am not trying to lessen the tragic nature of any of it but what I am doing is telling you to read this whole post. Enough is enough with our squirrel mentality...exercise some self-discipline.
Here's what I see when tragedy strikes...FEAR. Fear consumes us and the worst part is that we let it. You know what, it is scary and yes sometimes things feel out of control. BUT we as individuals and as a whole have this amazing ability to transform fear. We have the ability to move into peace. We have the ability to create peace from the inside out and become a beacon of light in the world.
Did I lose you in that beacon on light statement? Cut it out and keep reading. In order to move from fear to peace you must exercise discipline. We are lacking in that department. I spent 12 years as military spouse. A spouse of a Marine Corps Officer. The Marine Corps manages to train the spouses in a very nonchalant way...which I resisted of course but am now grateful for.
Between being a military spouse, raising 2 children, living away from family for 12 years, trying for 10 years to get my severely mentally ill mother help, studying and practicing eastern science and philosophy such as yoga, meditation, zen Buddhism, and ayurveda, now 15 years later running a successful wellness center and starting an online wellness business I'd say the common thread has been self-disciple. If we can bridge the two worlds to encompass emotional, physical, and spiritual strength the result would be profound. It would change the world.
The Dalai Lama stated that if every child learned to meditate starting at the age of 6 there would be almost no violence in world. He does not state things lightly and is a man of science and meditation. He is physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong as are most well rounded leaders.
So how does FEAR and SELF-DISCIPLE relate? Let's first recognize that just because I'm using the words yoga and meditation doesn't mean I'm talking about some flighty practice where we focus on fairies and unicorns. I am talking about building the mind, body, and spirit in a strong impenetrable way. I am talking about emotional strength, physical strength, and spiritual strength.
Why are those qualities so important in moving from fear to peace? Haven't we proven enough that our re-activity to tragedy and suffering is first fear, then anger, and sometimes unity which is great but unfortunately it is not usually sustained because it is an outside venture.
When we build emotional, physical, and spiritual strength we are building our foundation from the inside out so when tragedy or suffering strikes we resist the urge to react, and with practice we remain neutral. This does not mean we don't feel sad or even angry. We recognize these emotions instead of reacting to these emotions. When we recognize our emotions we can then work with them in a disciplined way.
I hear from people all the time, that they can't meditate and maybe from where they are in that moment they can't but EVERYONE can with the right tools and self-discipline.
Here is a piece of what I offer to students and clients.
Start small. 5 minute increments.
5 minutes of exercise: it can be walking, yoga, push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks. Anything that gets your body going and also helps clear the mind and promote creativity.
5 minutes of deep belly breathing: train yourself to breathe in and through your nose and feel your belly expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. Don't do this breath deeply or for 5 minutes until you have figured out how to do it correctly first.
5 minutes closing your eyes, observing your thoughts and the process of your mind. Our thoughts that flow through unleashed are NOT who your are. They are the same 72,000 thoughts you have every day. Thoughts matter when we work with them constructively and with intention. I will discuss this in a future post.
What you are doing is building physical strength, emotional strength, and spiritual strength.
Over time you build up your workout, you learn to breath the belly breath all the time, you become aware of your thoughts and begin to find little gaps in between thoughts. You will also begin to recognize the vast world of your physical body and all it's trying to relay to you through sensation or aches and pain if you have ignored them long enough. Emotionally you are recognizing your thoughts and becoming aware of emotions that arise. Acknowledging emotions as a friend no matter how uncomfortable they make us is a productive way to work through the things we have ignored. Spiritual strength, through these practices we recognize our higher self, the part of us that is connected to the whole, the part of us that knows our true purpose. Maybe even God, if you will. Faith an invaluable tool.
Are you still wondering how the hell this relates to tragedy and suffering. When you have self-discipline, because it is your duty as a contributing member of society, and you build your emotional, physical, and spiritual strength you can then respond to anything by turning within and automatically find your peace, become more peaceful which reduces your stress and the stress of those around you. You can then, because you are strong enough, take the suffering of others into your heart, your body and release it as peace.
Science has proven that we are all connected by our electromagnetism so it only makes sense to become a warrior of peace. Strong, stable and able to remain calm and peaceful and with that strength and stability take the suffering in and transform it into peace.
With this practice we let go of anger, fear, and aggression. We remain aware of all that is happening in the world but in a less reactive way. It's our duty to become active participants in this world. We are not helpless at all. Do the work and contribute to creating a better world within yourself and outside of yourself.
We can build one another up by building ourselves up first, but we have to stop being lazy and do the work. DO THE WORK!
One of my favorite books is The Blooming of a Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book illustrates how to get in touch with your body so that we can water the seeds of positivity not the weeds of negativity.
Want to learn more about the relationship between self-discipline and emotional, physical, and spiritual strength? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org I work with corporations, groups, and individuals.
Or just email me to ask me a question about this blog. I'll do my best to answer:)
jennifer is a mother, entrepreneur, artist, writer, peace activist, yogi, holisitc wellness and body work expert, and just a general lover of life in all its forms!
224 N Broadway
Salem NH 03079