Practicing yoga or life is not a band aid for any emotional cover ups. I know this first hand and I can tell you I still have the enormous highs and lows like most people. I’m just more aware of them now and slightly more in control (slightly!)
Life can change in an instant. Last night my son knocked over a candle holder and split hot wax all up his arm. He has tender young skin and boy did it burn. So you think you can control your emotions? Yes when things are good maybe, but when things are bad something else more limbic (emotional ) and primal switches on. It came in this order. Panic ( oh no what’s happening, what do I do) fear ( he’s going to be scarred for life), blame ( why did this happen, were you not looking properly ……to partner), guilt (stupid place of me to leave that candle), anger ( I’m so angry at my partner who was standing there), remorse ( I’m such a bitch for being angry), sullenness ( disappearance after the drama) and these are just the ones I can remember.
When we are shocked or something bad happens in our day we have as a response that is triggered automatically. The interesting thing is that when we have this response it takes less than ninety seconds for it to surge through us and be flushed out of our body. What this means is that after this small amount of time the initial trigger and it’s response is no longer in our physiological system.
Ninety seconds is all it takes. This is really great news in some ways because just being aware of this will remind us that everything passes. The problem is that we choose to hang on to the feeling that the initial stimuli induced be that fear, anger, grief, shame or blame. Jill Bolte Taylor (*)says that responsibility is our ability to choose how to respond to any given situation.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl
Practice for today: If you have a situation today that evokes an emotional reaction, take a breath and see how you feel after following the ninety second rule. Most of our unhappiness in life is caused by holding on to our suffering. Let it be free today. If you have time read ‘the guest house’ by Rumi below.
ps My aloe vera plant did wonders in restoring the skin to new!
The Guest House
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.