Today the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo and it’s strong emotional influence prompted the instinct for me to write again. I haven’t written in a while, which can induce pangs of guilt and anxiety at the fact of time going by without dividing all of your attention to the things you wish to. Instead of indulging in the guilt, I shall write.
The last couple of weeks, whatever crazy energies have been flowing have had me thinking and meditating on the old patterns which are stuck within my body - learning these and trying to process them. For me, this is one of the benefits of my practice. It shines light on who I am; not who I perceive myself to be, but who I am naturally, when I go within and resist all of the noise from the outside world. I talk about these a lot when I’m teaching, within the yoga tradition we refer to them as Samskaras - old patterns, maybe from childhood, maybe from adulthood, maybe even from past life, patterns which do not serve us. Patterns we slowly, over dedicated practice, learn how to identify and let go of. For me, now that I have started delving into what the Samskaras I’m dealing with are, they kind of multiply like a domino effect. Oh! I do this thing, that must be why I do this other thing! It’s like the fibonacci spiral of your own psyche beginning to unravel in your hands. This is where I’m at in my practice: identifying these harmful patterns (the ones which make you crazy), learning that they are not a defining feature of who I am. They are just a learned habit as a response to a trauma. Repeated negative patterns can, over time, lead to illness in the body. Figuring out what they are is half the work.
Maybe you’re lucky, you’ve long since identified these patterns, patterns in your mind - maybe patterns of self deprecation or unworthiness, maybe patterns of self destruction, maybe they’re patterns of obsession. Whatever they are, the process of letting them go is one of patience and dedication. It’s not like taking a pill and the symptom is treated. This type of healing requires doing the work. Showing up for yourself everyday. Whatever your meditation is; breathwork, running, yoga, cooking, walking - taking the time for you to be completely in that moment. To get out of your head and into your body. The sensations which come up when undertaking such activities, use this to go inward, to feel your body - taking yourself out of the constant commentary which is our modern lives. It doesn’t have to be sitting in a meditation seat for 20 minutes either, to start with it can be the simple practices, brushing your teeth, washing your hair, making the bed - these can be mindful practices too rather than something which needs to be rushed through to make room for the next thing.
These simple practices can lead to more serious meditation practices. They are all focused on being in your body with what you are doing. How many times do you eat, pick up your phone, turn on the tv, call someone up, have a drink to try to distract yourself from feeling the feelings? We do it all the time - without even realising! Samkaras in action, we are pacifying ourselves from sitting quietly and accepting what our bodies are telling us. You are in fact, so intricately tuned into what your body and mind need, if you would just listen - no one knows better than you.
For me, taking the time everyday to connect to this inner wisdom keeps me sane. Seriously, if I go a while without a practice, I feel completely unbalanced and depressed - this then leads to the fear, something I’m sure we’re all too familiar with from time to time. This fear for me anyway, is born out of these Samskaras. So especially on an energetically charged day like today, as yourself how have you shown up for yourself today?
I’ve sat down to write. Just this opportunity to write is a reminder that it is a practice which soothes my soul. I feel better already.