It took hours, days, months, before I could realize that this person was not my friend, had never been. She was stealing my energy for her own reasons which are non of my business.
I am no longer in touch with this person. I feel happier since. Once a leach is taken away from the body we might feel like something is missing but nothing is. There is just the void that comes with healing, with making us whole again, ready for life in its full expression, ready to say yes to everything again.
There are many ways in which our energy is thrown off and so I thought about the areas that need attention if we are to gather and use our it to the fullest, to come back to center, to this moment, and to maintain that peace level, so we can act from our highest self, from a position of personal power.
Those People...You know the ones
Ever since I met James almost 4 years ago I get invited to events with self-published authors, entrepreneurs, people who think new ideas, dream of new worlds, movies, conferences, speeches, blogs, comic-books. People who try to help, who invent, who create. I am loving it.
For example, someone at one of these events asked me once about my book, 21 Things To Know Before Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice. "Name me one thing!" he said after I mentioned the title and almost defiantly. "It is a breathing practice" I replied immediately, and it felt so good to actually have thought it through, to have something to offer, to learn (from him) and also teach, to exchange, to share.
Surround yourself with positive people and you get excited about possibilities, encouraged to practice more, to find out more, to try again, to explore. It is like being back in kinder garden where there are no limits to the imagination and your passions are alive, full of light, interesting, fascinating!
Ride with the pack that supports you and you feel inspired, sustained, centered.
In the same way, allow people who steal your energy in, and you will feel drained, depleted even.
Very Limited In-Taking of News
A few newspapers were lined up in our dinner table five weeks ago as James was about to be interviewed for PBS on the topic of the benefits of a news diet. All of the main pages had headlines that scared me. This will cost billions, this will humiliate and break you, this will... you get the picture.
It is important to understand that newspapers are in the business of selling, and fear sells, just like sex, and gossip.
I don't read news at all. Never buy a newspaper. Feel much better since doing so.
I do sometimes read and do research but what goes into my mind is subjected to intense scrutiny. I take care of what I can control which is my environment and my peace of mind.
Cleaning up what I eat has been an enormous part of my life in the past couple of years. It takes time to find out what exactly works for me, for this body, for this life time.
I stopped eating anything frozen and cook everything I eat. I think of my grandmother and what she would have eaten. Whenever I think of her in the kitchen I see stews, salads, farmers food, warm, just-cooked nutritious meals.
If the body is not working well, then efficiency, in any level is out the window.
Elimination doesn't come in right after the in-taking of foods by coincidence. What goes in needs to go out.
Constipation is, from the yogic point of view, related to two things, improper exhalation (rough, too fast etc) and eating foods that constipate, like for example, glue-filled wheat products. And don't go thinking gluten free is better, those products use tapioca starch or worst, sometimes potato starch which may not contain gluten but are just as sticky, even worst. See more about that here.
Elimination also comes with surroundings. With letting go of the old, be it books, clothes, story-lines. Elimination reflects how "self-actualized" we are, how present we are, how we are ready for this moment and are not hanging in to the past.
Elimination of drama, be it through over-dramatic people or conversations that go nowhere is a life saver for energy gathering. It helps us keep centered, at peace, calm, clear.
I realize now that I cannot control my thoughts. They come from whatever the source is. However I can notice them. And when I notice them, if lucky, perhaps I can help them ease into something else, train the mind to return to this moment.
Thoughts are intimately linked to how I am breathing. So the pranayama practice in the morning helps, or, if that is not an option, when a thought-attack occurs I do some alternate nostril breathing, which is a simple technique to get the mind back to center.
The body/mind needs constant attention to bring the energy back in.
By practice I don't just mean the part where we get on the mat and do the asana. No.
Even if done with proper alignment, devotion, and a sense of presence it is never enough if when we come out of it we are rude to someone, leave a bad comment somewhere, or steal paper-clips from the office.
By practice I mean attempting a rounded yoga practice that respects and observes the yamas and niyamas, that does the asana part AND also the pranayama part.
Sometimes I joke that I wish we would get to the part where all yogis compare themselves by amount of time in retention and breathing ratios rather than how many legs we can put behind the neck... Meaning, I feel it is time we move on to the full practice of all limbs.
Beautiful environments are conducive to peace, but you knew that. Now-a-days I am making it a habit of having a flower or two by my clean desk.
The advent of Pinterest has given me lots of ideas for inviting desks decorations so that when I sit to write I feel the energy all around me supporting me on the task.
Making the bed as soon as I wake up gives me a sense of clarity. Have you tried it? It is amazing how little details like keeping the kitchen sink empty and clean or the bathroom in order adds up to life.
In what other ways do you return to center? Harness your energy? Get focused?
How To Deal With Crappy People
32 Unusual Ways to Love Ourselves
My Big Fat Wheat Belly
Keeping It Real: What You Need To Know About the Eight Limbs of Yoga
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