Wisdom by Sally Kempton
Most of us hold buried emotions. We might not be aware of them, but they can affect our mood and our relationships without our even knowing it. When we meditation, those layers of emotions are brought up so they can be seen and let go of. So there will often be periods, especially in the early days of practice, when emotions keep bubbling up from inside. Just understand that this is part of the process and that it can ultimately be helpful to our emotional state.
One of the great practices for working with emotions is to embrace an emotion by making space for it. You begin by feeling the emotion, focusing especially on the energetic experience of it rather than on the “story” it is telling you. Try to find the energy of the emotion. Notice what part of your body it seems to affect the most. Focus your attention on the felt experience of the emotion in the body. Breathe into it. Now imagine that a space surrounds that part of your body. including the feeling of the emotion. Let the emotional energy and the space be present together. Without trying to make the emotion go away, notice how it will naturally evanesce into the surrounding spaciousness.
When you practice with emotions this way, over time you will be much less subject to emotional upheaval. Yet you’ll be able to feel your feelings without being scared of them.
Everything at its finest level of creation is energy. We are exchanging energy and silently communicating with every person we meet or come into contact with. Energy impressions are always our first impressions that influence what we think or feel about others. – Carol Tuttle
All people will hold negative energy at times – we’ve all experienced it ourselves, and we’ve all experienced being around a person when they are holding negative energy – it simply doesn’t feel good in either instance. But we all have a choice to stay and hold onto that negative energy or we can work to release that negative energy and come into a positive state again. When we are in a positive state, or when we are around others who are in a positive state – it simply feels good – there is a flow and a magnetism. It’s dynamic.
The most common term for negative energy or blocked energy is stress, anxiety, and depression. Think of a time when you’ve felt any of these energies – also think of a time when you’ve been around another person who is experiencing these….no good. But – again we have a choice to grip onto these feelings and allow them to take us on a wild emotional roller coaster ride – or we can release them.
We all have the capacity to clear our energy. We can do this by practicing asana (physical yoga) and working with our chakras. We can also do this during meditation. There are many guided meditations on the internet. Some people have a hard time letting these kinds of feelings or mental and emotional blockages go. Sometimes it’s simply too hard to do the work on our own. That’s when it is useful to work with an energy therapist or a yoga teacher who focuses on energy healing.
Wisdom by Sally Kempton
It is the nature of the mind to create thoughts and images. The energy that we call “mind” is dynamic. Like an ocean, it has an innate tendency to create surface waves. Yet when you sit regularly, you’ll begin to become aware of a part of the mind that is untouched by thoughts. You might experience that deeper layer of consciousness as pure sense of being or as a sense of being a witness. Sometimes it feels as if you have plunged into the deeper “water” of the mind, where it is calm – while all the time, the mental chatter continues. In other words, the mind can keep thinking, but “you” are not affected by those thoughts.
So let the thoughts be there, and see if you can become aware of the awareness – the sense of being present – that is behind the thoughts. Or simply let yourself keep coming back to the sensations of the breath in the body, or the felt sense of energy in the heart, or the vibratory quality of a mantra. In time, you’ll notice that the thoughts drift more and more into the background while the underlying sense of being comes more into the foreground. That’s meditation.
There is within every human personality a child. Everyone can remember how it was to be a child, to feel the inner freedom of a child and to experience life in a simple way.
This inner child is very wise.
It feels CONNECTED to ALL LIFE.
It knows LOVE without question.
This inner child gets covered as we become adults and try to live by our rational minds only.
This limits us.
We all long for freedom – it is through the child that it will be gained.
– Barbara Ann Brennan “Hands of Light”
“Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or community to break. I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.” – Author Unkown
Your mind is a thought-generating organ. Thought forms perpetually arise in your awareness. If you try to stop your thoughts with the intention of creating stillness in your mind, your mental activity may quiet for a few moments, but it will almost certainly start up again at full speed.
The activity in your mind is communicated to every cell in your body. When your mind is turbulent, your messenger molecules communicate turbulence to your cells, tissues, and organs. If you can quiet your mind, you can send messages of peace and harmony to every cell in your body. To experience the real essence of yoga – the full integration of body, mind, and spirit – you need to develop the ability to calm your mental turbulence.
Meditation is the technology that enables you temporarily to escape from this cycle. Through the process of gently focusing your attention (known in yoga as Dharana) while innocently witnessing the thought forms that come and go in your mind (Dhyana), you enter into the gap between thoughts, glimpsing the domain of unbounded awareness (Samadhi). – Deepak Chopra
These gaps between thoughts are what I refer to as – Slivers of Peace – it can be difficult work at first to calm a turbulent mind – but slowly it happens if you work at it – and then these slivers of peace grow into chunks of peace, longer and longer – and it also becomes so much easier to find that peace within yourself. It is definitely worth the time and effort.
…the process of replacing old patterns with new and more appropriate patterns. ST Krishnamacharya
Study after study shows that high levels of stress, experienced day in and day out, are significantly detrimental to health and well-being. Scientists warn that stress contributes to health problems ranging from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and infertility. One study shows that working more than 60 hours a week and failing to get regular sleep can double the risk of having a heart attack. But only 28 percent of Americans say that they do a good job of managing stress. Companies are – thankfully – getting involved. Wellness programs are becoming robust within medium and large organizations across the US and throughout the world.
- DuPont reports a 47% reduction in absenteeism over a six-year period for participants in a corporate fitness program. They also found that such employees used 14% fewer disability days than nonparticipants – a total of nearly 12,000 fewer disability days overall.
- A study in the journal Ergonomics concluded that “Mental performance was significantly better in the physically fit than in the un-fit. Fit workers commit 27% fewer errors on tasks involving concentration and short-term memory as compared to un-fit workers.”
- In a study of eighty executives over a nine month period, those who worked out regularly improved their fitness by 22% and demonstrated a 70% improvement in their ability to make complex decisions and compared with non-exercisers.
- The Canadian Life Assurance Company found that 63% of participants in a fitness program reported being more physically relaxed, less tired and more patient during the workday. Some 47% reported being more alert, had better rapport with supervisors and co-workers, and experienced a higher level of enjoyment at work.
- At Union Pacific Railroad 75% of employees reported that regular exercise improved their concentration and overall productivity at work.
- General Motors found that employees who participated in a physical fitness program had a 50% reduction in job grievances and on-the-job accidents, and 40% reduction in lost time.
- The Coors Brewing Company found that it got as much as $6.15 return for every $1 invested in a corporate fitness program. Companies including Equitable Life Assurance, General Mills and Motorola have all reported at least a $3 return for every dollar invested.
This is all great – I’m so excited to see companies investing in their employees wellness – but at the end of the day – it is our own individual responsibility for creating balance and wellness for our own selves – in our own lives. If you live in high stress, start chipping away at areas where you can reduce this – and counteract those areas in your life that are stressful by adding daily meditation, breath-work, yoga or other mind-body-spirit practices. Eat for fuel, not for emotional reasons. Sleep well. Our society equates success to always being busy – always doing something or you aren’t being productive – but a successful person knows – or relearns – how to sit still and rest – because resting is resetting/recharging/renewing yourself – sitting still you find insights that would have never had surfaced had you not taken the time to sit still and reflect – work when you work, rest when you rest. Your whole wellness – your whole being – will thank you for it.
Take a deep breath. The breath is not something we just “take”. Breathing is a gift. It is a miracle that is offered to us over and over again, yet much like our health, we often take it for granted right up to the moment we no longer have it.
If you look at life through the lens of love and gratitude you will transform people. You will transform places. And you will transform the way you do things.