Have you ever felt like you're wearing a heavy, wet, wool blanket over your shoulders? You know that feeling of just over-all heaviness. Yeah, me too. Everywhere you turn everyone has a sad story to tell. People are all experiencing major shifts and changes in their lives. Yesterday I got an email newsletter from an Astrologer who writes articles about the "forecast" for the world in general. Perhaps it was the mood I was in at the time I read the newsletter but I honestly had a strong desire to slap that guy! Luckily for him I'm practicing ahimsa (non-harming) Do we really need a reminder about how terrible the state of our world is right now? I don't think so. Besides, isn't he projecting into the future and not living in the present? Isn't the idea to learn to live in the present moment?
When I began noticing the heaviness in myself I decided to take the emotions out of it and apply what I've learned about Ayurveda. I've learned to recognize the kapha (constitution made up of water and earth) signs in my body and my state of mind and I know what I need to do to help reduce this "heaviness" I'm experiencing. First thing to remember is that it's only temporary. The circumstances of our lives are only temporary.
Ayurveda says "Like increases like and opposites cure" - What do you think happens if you dwell on all the problems you have? What do you think happens if you sit around with others and talk about the terrible state of our economy? What do you think happens when you read and obsess over the "predictions" of some astrologer? -- You are increasing the depression, increasing the sense of alarm and dread. It increases the feeling of hopelessness.
So let's think about the opposite. What's the opposite of heavy?...... Light! So let's lighten up a bit folks. It's not the end of the world. Let's lighten up about our own circumstances. Don't obsess - trust me I know how difficult that is - but just try to deal with what's right in front of you. Chances are what's right in front of you in this moment is manageable. A great way to lighten up is to have some fun. Good old fashion fun. Here's a few things I like to do to have some fun:
* Take your kids to a park and swing on the swings. If you don't have kids - borrow some - the parents will appreciate it. Watch what the kids do and you do the same. Kids know how to have fun.
* Go roller skating - Adult skate every Tues. morning at the Roller Palace on the Roosevelt Blvd. Trust me - you have to stay in the moment while your on wheels or you'll end up on your ass.
* Take a yoga class ( that's obvious )
* Clean out your closets or junk drawers - Okay that may not sound like much fun but it helps to clear the clutter in your mind when you clear the clutter out of your space.
* Sing - kirtan (devotional chanting) is recommended to reduce kapha - If you have some aversion to chanting the names of God - just turn the radio up and sing your heart out.
What's not going to help is looking for someone else to remove that heavy wool blanket for you. It's not going to happen. The only way to get rid of the blanket of heaviness is to take it off yourself. How? -- Come on now, don't tell me you don't know what I'm going to say --- Sadhana --- that's the key that we're all looking for. There's no magic potion, no magic tricks. There's no "healer" that's going to magically solve all your problems. You create your own magic through your daily spiritual practice. The magic word? Your mantra.
I'll leave you with a challenge. For one whole day, every time you hear or think a negative thought immediately think of what the opposite of that would be. Just for fun. You don't have to do anything else. Just think of what the opposite would be. I'd love to hear from you if you decide to take the challenge.
Om Namah Shivaya!