Continuing from Part 1…… enjoy!
Awareness of thoughts, words, actions and emotions is paramount. Swami Vivekananda writes in his book Raja Yoga: “A Yogi must not injure anyone by thought, word or deed.”
If we begin with right thoughts, wholesome thoughts then we can begin to change our internal world and how that flows out to our external world. Patanjali explains this beautifully: “The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga”. Which is regarded as the essence of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the goal of Yoga (Yoga in this instance being the science of all-knowing).
Sharing our thoughts and opinions, our experiences and feelings mindfully and with respect takes awareness of both our internal and external environment. Recognising our stressors (helpful & unhelpful) and creating positive habits to maintain balance. Creating awareness of what is going on within us and how we are responding to a given situation and ultimately mindfulness in our daily life and how we choose to live.
Recognising negative patterns
Taking a step back and firstly having the ability to recognise any negativity that is arising in one’s thoughts, words and actions is a powerful reminder of our full potential for awareness. Although we are prone to this inherent “negativity bias”, of being on the lookout for harmful situations that may jeopardise our existence whether real or perceived, it can keep us trapped in this negative loop of thinking.
Reflection on our daily life, our purpose and our contribution to society, includes areas for improvement, gratefulness and appreciation. Creating some time each day for quiet enjoyment, stillness, and observation, gives us a chance to breathe, to have awareness and investigate meaningful connections in our life. The clarity that arises affords us self-compassion and the opportunity for loving kindness for others in this quiet reflection. With a more positive perspective and awareness, when we can connect to our heart with a wiser intent.
Buddha said: “……. So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let them spring forth from love. Born out of compassion for all beings. As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.”
Being in Awe
By creating the space to soak up times we when we are in “awe” and can connect deeply to the present moment in its mysterious, majestic, powerful forms, we can nourish ourselves deeply in our purpose. This goose-bumps feeling of “awe” reconnects us with the natural world, in the present moment, away from our busyness and screens. Being with the simplicity of life in that moment of awe for me only this week was when I saw both whales and dolphins playing in the ocean, when I felt the energy of nature whilst bushwalking and when I felt the joy of watching children play and laugh unbounded. Latest research shows that these times of awe create moments that we can enjoy their flow-on effects for days, and offer feelings of being deeply satisfied, in our flow, connected and happy. With this fresh momentum we can begin to nourish ourselves and guard against depletion.
Albert Einstein expresses awe in this way: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”
Expansion here means personal growth into our full potential, to be our contented best, with creativity and curiosity, as we make a difference to the lives and the world around us. Indian poet Kabir says: “…..just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are.”
With the capacity to learn and integrate our thoughts, and emotions for greater peace, harmony and equanimity within, expansion draws on how we best connect to our internal and external world, using the foundations of connection, awareness and also creating time for reflection. Perhaps integration is something similar to the Buddhist two wings: compassion and wisdom.
Tools to stay connected and purposeful
Using CARE, we can better understand how we best to connect with ourselves, others and nature, what gives us a sense of purpose and then beginning to create daily practices that support our deepest foundation.
Throughout our lives we have many chances to look deeply into our own “teacher burnout”, and then as we face it remind ourselves to come back to purposeful and connected living using tools such as CARE, which guides us back and also offers a recipe for some much needed self care.
Latest posts by Gabrielle (see all)
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- Awakening connection & purpose with Care: Part 1/2 - November 22, 2019