The Cultural Importance of the Season of Thanks;
Project Peace, Harmony and Coexistence
Where the mind goes is where energy goes and where energy goes there is growth, expansion and proliferation. The more we center our thinking around what we appreciate and ardently seek to completely love our lives and the whole of the human experience, we will find that the we receive more of what we want and less of we don’t want.
We live in an age where entitlement serves as the the attitude for goal setting and growth. Entitlement leads to greed and greed leads to overconsumption and naturally what follows is an accumulation of things in our environment and the physical body. Accumulation builds and halts digestion physically, environmentally and emotionally. The science of Yoga and Ayurveda teaches that all disease begins with indigestion, a result of lack of flow or movement.
Gratitude, coupled with humility empowers momentum and the flow of abundance resulting in a fluid and coherent movement of sustainability, vitality, health and well being. The attitude of appreciation brings about connection with relationships, community and the world. I expect that as I write this Padma Peace many people have been or are planning to spend time with family and friends and with that comes the discovery of areas where there may be resistance, judgement or fear. With the change in schedule, the cultural frenzy of movement, and of course the history and accumulation that comes with family, gratitude often takes a back burner to the worry or anxiety that comes with resistance, judgement and fear.
We are so fortunate to have this time to create a space, to turn up the heat and just like when you boil soup, everything comes to the surface. Be courageous and allow this season to jettison resistance and fire up the boil. In Yoga this is referred to as Tapas, no not the snacks but Tapas is “heat” and results in clarity and the light of focus. This week, or anytime pay attention to your body’s indicators like slight tension in the neck, a tight feeling in the chest, subtle changes in breathing or even holding your breath. When you notice this, you will probably find that something has been triggered and that trigger is most probably, history. Some form of accumulation that is a mental hurt or wound. In that moment humility shows up with a “we are all in this together” attitude and no matter what, everyone is doing the best they know.
From this place of gratitude Santosha/contentment is born, stillness and ease in the present moment. Santosha will deliver you to the shore of clarity with an ability to really look at the gifts that surround you, your body, mind and the people you love. This unification is exactly the healing balm and progressive movement our society is desperately starving for. Empowerment naturally follows when we see ourselves as part of the human race with breath, life, pain and joy as our commonality.
Santosha is the antidote to the “I DO NOT like or we Hate this together” alliance and building of organizations that result in the slippery slope of “we are here because we are in agreement of what we don’t like.” By nature the relationships are built on divisiveness which backs the member into a corner, pinned in by their own opinion, ideology or theology. People evolve, they grow and transform however even in the dawning light of wisdom and knowledge the belief changes, they still feel stuck within the polarity of division. Understanding and growth runs counter to groups based on opposition instead of where we meet up and our sameness goals of peace, love and joy. Tapas + Santosha instead, give the space needed for gratitude and in gratitude, there is Love.
Gratitude is the outward expression of Love, mercy and abundance. When we express gratitude we set in motion the cultivation of Love and in turn, with the magnification of what is working along with our gifts, talents and skills, we feel more peace, becoming more functional as we reflect the depolarization of Love.
Here, in the fertile soil of Love, a reconciliation of opposites, it becomes possible to consider mastery in human relationship intelligence and even better, noted as the maestro of harmony in human kind. Harmony and Love are the basis for creativity therefore the quintessential art form of living. Harmony is derived from very similar meaning as the word “yoga.” Quite literally, harmony is the joining of a combination of variables, resulting in something beautiful, art, science, philosophy. To live in harmony begins with some very key elements 1) empathy 2) emotional responsibility 3) respect 4) surrender 5) faith. To demonstrate these 5 elements is what takes Love and expresses it as gratitude and manifests in harmony for all of the players.
Finally, we humans have the opportunity to live the sadhana, Ishvara Pranidhana. When all of these best intentions get too hard and we feel immobilized, Ishvara Pranidhana, the last of the Niyamas is the concept that completely frees the human from human limitations and allows us all to let go of the debilitating effects of control and struggle. Instead we fall in line with the voice of God that runs in and through all of creation and with confidence, drop fully into the present moment and follow inner stillness. The inner stillness is like a compass of empowerment to think, speak and deliver the art of harmony. This profound space is where the weaving together of all opposites creates one big beautiful outcome and truly is the “Peace that passes all understanding.”
Love, Padma Shakti