“The Gita’s hypothesis is that it is possible, by mastering the thinking process, to leave behind unwanted habits and negative thoughts. To accomplish this, the Gita outlines a daily course of training in which we acquire conscious control of our attention, strengthening our will at such a deep level of the unconscious that no compulsive desire or addiction can sweep us away. What is the predicted result? When your will is linked to your intellect at the very depths of your personality, you discover yourself as you really are: secure, wise, compassionate, and intimately connected with all of life. This training is available to all. It requires no special equipment, no expensive outlay of cash. All that is needed is desire . . . and daring.” Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By
What sets my hair on fire?
Am I doing it 100%?
What blocks and fears are stopping me?
They say I am already free – how can I know and live that all the time?
Awareness is always the first step in change. Do I know who I am? Am I aware of the thoughts and feelings that continuously flow through my mind? How can I strengthen my mind and develop this awareness? How can I be ‘me’ if I don’t know who that is?
When I don’t live my life in a way that values what is important to me – I condemn myself to live someone else’s idea of my life.
If something feels overwhelming, take a break, relax the forehead, jaw, shoulders and belly. Focus the mind on the smooth rhythm of the breath at the navel area. Stay in your body as you calm down. As you return to the questions, keep the forehead relaxed and the breath smooth and even.
Courage and Truthfulness
What is courage? What kinds of courage are there? When do I feel brave? Fearful? What do I do when I feel fear? Do I know I am afraid at the time or only when I look back on it? What one thing could I do next time I feel fear? Examples could include having trouble standing up to people, not saying my truth when I am scared I will be ridiculed, not letting people really know me, feeling inauthentic or being scared to try new things, like a challenging asana.
Think of a time when you jammed out on a commitment you made to yourself or when something you did led you to feel ‘bad’ about yourself. Describe what happened. Why do you think it happened? After this, ask yourself – how or what could I do differently? Do I want to re-address the issue or simply try change the next time? Looking at the yamas and niyamas, write about 1 or 2 that apply to this jamming out? Am I not being truthful? Am I attached to someone’s opinion of me? What is one thing I could do that would bring a different result? Do I want to address it with the person involved or wait until it comes up again? Write out a plan for how to approach the situation next time. Role play acting in this new way. Visualize having it ‘go well’. How does that feel? What is the worst response you could get? How does that feel? What are other options? Decide what you will do and set a resolve in the mind to do this next time you are in a similar situation. After it happens, review your original plan and write about how it actually went and how you felt.
Write about the kinds of catastrophe fantasies you have. What might be under this fear? Does this fear change what I do? How do I feel if I go ahead? Am I blocked or does the fear itself move and change?
Swami Rama teaches that not telling the truth creates a split in the mind. What is truthfulness? Journal about these questions – am I truthful? With myself? Others? When? Under what circumstances do I avoid the truth or deny reality? What is the impact on my mind? Have I observed this split in the mind? What is that like? What is one thing I can I do about it? We see the world as ‘we are’ not as ‘it is’. When we are not truthful with ourselves and/or don’t know who we are, it is our projection of ourselves that has relationships with what we project onto other people. Journal about these two statements.
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