There are specific roots that can be directly cultivated. These roots include the capacity for being present, generosity of spirit, gratitude, loving-kindness and forgiveness. As these capacities are nourished, we become increasingly connected to our true nature – in which happiness is a natural by-product.
The ability to repair – be it your body or relationship – is a life skill. We’re not taught this. We’re a fast-paced culture that doesn’t encourage slowing down, but that’s exactly what healing demands.
Many of us want to be the best version of ourselves possible. We want to eat better, feel better and be better. The question of our own unique journey is whether or not we are willing to take it.
While it’s hard to fathom pain, despair and trauma as blessings, there are gifts to be gleaned from having experienced them. For instance, some of the early lessons of the pandemic were an appreciation for a slower pace of life and spending more time in nature.
We cannot experience the full flavor of our embodied life without dipping into the depths of anger, sorrow, joy, fear, contentment, and all the other subtle and complex ranges of emotions that lie on the spectrum of life.
This life force is known by many names. The yogis call it prana and activate it through breath and postures. Acupuncturist call it qi and balance its movement through a network of pathways.
The more I practice, the more I realize yoga is quite possible the best therapy there is. Why? Because yoga works at both the subtle and the gross level, allowing the body and mind to soften. Additionally, yoga quiets the daily chatter of the mind.
As a holistic practice, yoga is more than a philosophy. It’s a vibrant, embodied, living practice that increases self-awareness and deepens insight. Additionally it cultivates mindfulness, compassion, and equanimity.
A helpful way to practice asteya when you’re feeling “not enough” is to ask, “How is this mindset blocking me from enjoying what I have?” Another way to foster a sense of abundance is to reflect on what is going well in life. Don’t over complicate it. Give thanks for having a partner or loving pet, the grace of good health, or the joy of having a garden
Likely the hardest form of this practice is being true to our own heart and integrity. The constant flow of information pouring in from all sides can make it difficult to know the nature of our heart’s desire. But even when we become clear enough to recognize what is true for us, we may lack the courage and conviction to live it.