Where in life do you feel weak? We all have some sort of monster lurking in the background ... and not just during the month of Halloween. Where do you find this weakness? In the body? in the mind? in a relationship? in yourself?
The foundation of a "weakness" is perception, your own perception. Often we allow this perception to solidify as a truth, accepting the perception as reality. However, rather than accepting this false weakness, take the time to challenge that thought. Replace the thought pattern with strength, viewing it as an opportunity to grow. Like a flower blooming past the dirt towards the sunlight ... growth is never truly easy. However, if like the flower you can focus on the sunlight of the outcome the journey will be that much easier.
By identifying that space within that holds that weakness, we can acknowledge that feeling but then let it go in order to fill that space with the perception of growth and opportunity. The yogic fist step in doing so is mindful meditation without judgement of whatever takes up that inward space. Mindfulness meditation is essentially a way to train yourself to be more present. It teaches you to slow down the racing thoughts in your mind, break free from negative thinking, and experience more calm. During the meditation, you focus on your breath, your senses, physical sensations in your body, and your emotional state. However, you do this in a non-reactive way, meaning you observe how you feel without judgment, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go.
Mindfulness alone won’t lead you to enlightenment. But, it will improve how you respond and react to stressors in life. It will help you understand that you cannot remove all stressors from your life, but by changing how you perceive and respond to them, you can choose for them to not affect you. You can choose to NOT accept the falsehoods of weakness. You can choose to flip the script on negative self talk or a doomsday attitude.
As psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein says, “Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is.” So what is it in your life that you currently label as a weakness, as less than what could be? Capture that monster, acknowledge it and let it go in order to make space for positive truths and growth.
Quick grounding practice to feel rooted and strong:
*Chair Pose - Warrior 1 - Triangle - Pyramid - Half moon - Standing Splits - Forward fold - Step back to plank - Chaturanga - Upward dog - Downward Dog - Forward fold - Monkey Pose - Arms overhead in high prayer, down through the midline of the body to the heart - Mountain. Repeat opposite side. After completing two rounds to each side, close your eyes and identify your perceived weakness, find the space in the body where you hold this monster. Breathe into that space deep down into the belly and unleash that monster through the exhale.
Written by Brooke Halperin
Join Brooke every Tuesday at 430pm at Good Juju Lombard. Sign up at Goodjujuyoga.com