I do a lot of stretching exercises. I need them. And I often count to 10 during each rep. But today it finally occurred to me to do attunements during the rep instead, and so i timed out some attunements from Paul Selig’s work and now I feel like i am going to ramp up my personal attunement while i stretch for the double win! So exciting. Why didn’t I do this ages ago?
About 2 weeks ago I added a 25 (slow) breath front forward bend to my routine morning and evening. adding 50 deep intentional breaths to the day really is a quantum addition. This is something I will probably continue counting with because i find it quite meditative and i stretch and straighten on the inhale, relax and drop my head on the exhale. it makes the counting really easy and fun. Often in my normal 25 breath practices (when I wake, before I sleep, and in activity through the day) the breath is an anchor, but i often get tangled in the rope. With the forward bend, the breath is an anchor and a support, it lifts me as much as it grounds me. A new favorite.
All of these practices support the kind of lifestyle my body requires of me, and as I listen to my body it also is beginning to discipline my mind. Unfortunately, part of disciplining my mind is tending to plenty of the poor behaviors my mind has been free to engage in through habit and culture and neglect/misunderstanding. As these things come up, do I remember all of the tools I’ve learned to meet them? sometimes. Luckily, my deepest practice has become going to mantra when uncomfortable, so this more than anything else puts a halt on any wallowing (I’ve been extremely achy lately. there’s been a little wallowing) and puts me into a mindset that really any outer circumstance can be brought for acknowledgement and blessing, and frankly that’s the best possible use of my time. Often it helps, sometimes it doesn’t, but the simple act of turning to Life Itself, acknowledging it’s wisdom and my own limited vision, being willing to undertake what life asks of me, being curious about what that might be and why on earth it looks the way it does, but going back and resting in the mantra, in the knowledge of great wisdom, compassion and redemption – far greater souls than I (forgetting for a moment that we are all, each one of us, equal) have put their energy into mantra, I feel like i get to draw on an unlimited bank account that just keeps refilling. In the mantra space, it’s no longer a mental game, it’s a decision of being. The mantra opens up (or actually IS) a higher vibrational reality, and by deciding to go there and hang out for a while, I bring myself there. What a great idea!!
Maybe it would help if I demonstrate. If enough things pull at me and I become even a little out of alignment, my inner dialogue goes something like this: “why are things this way? what did i do wrong? why am i in pain? I’ve uncovered so much stuff and it has helped me get better, but why can’t i figure this out? what is wrong with me? what do i still have to learn? why is it so elusive? why won’t this release? could i DO anymore freaking practices?” (cap “DO” meant to imitate Chandler Bing).
Introduce mantra into that bouillabaisse of frustration and my inner dialogue goes something like this: “om tare tuttare ture soha” and occassional thoughts like “all of the great souls of history raised their energy to this and greater frequencies, and energy never dies. I humbly bow to the great souls, and I resolve to raise my own energy for the benefit of all, no matter what it looks like to my limited mind”
An improvement, wouldn’t you say? Then the pain, instead of being some judgement and sentence of my wrongness, is just a condition. A condition that I am tasked with and I am up to the task. And just like when my kids do something grumpily, I try to remind them that their contribution matters and is important to the people around them, the sun shines a ittle bit and we feel the warmth and having a little purpose and contribution goes a long way 🙂