“The transformative process is our job, so that we are not ruled by fear but by love.”
~ Ram Dass
The next time you are feeling stuck, I invite you to ask yourself this question:
Is my thought / emotion coming from a place of love, or from fear?
I’ve found this such a useful lens through which to look at the flavour of my own thoughts and feelings from time to time. And as life continues to show me, the most unhelpful thoughts I have tend to be rooted in fear ~ fear of missing out/ not being enough/ not having enough time/ etc). When I am caught in a big emotion, it’s not always easy to see ahead. And so I find that questioning the origin of my thoughts ~ and calling out the fear-rooted ones ~ gives me a chance to shift into a more loving space instead. This often makes the path ahead much more clear to me.
The yoga teachings observe a practice called Saucha ~ which translates into ‘purity’. Not only does Saucha invite us to keep our personal environment clean and tidy (and practice good hygiene!) but it can also be an act of purifying our thoughts and actions. I find that inspecting the origin of my thoughts and behaviours helps me to ‘purify’ my mind a little more easily ~ because while fear can be helpful sometimes, I know that making everyday decisions based on fear (e.g. saying yes when I mean no… or ignoring signs from my body or heart to do something differently… or trying to control everything… or looking for external validation… or looking to compensate for a sense of lacking… or continuing an argument out of fear of admitting I’m wrong! etc. ) is ultimately not helpful for anyone’s growth.
We refine our ability to evolve on our path every time we create space around thoughts and feelings ~ so that we can respond mindfully instead of react mindlessly.
Filtering through this lens of ‘fear or love?’ gives me the space to move forward with two clear options: to either drop the fearful / negative / unhelpful thought all together because I understand that it will not serve anyone, or, to shift my approach so that the thought can come from an intention of love instead. Sometimes all it takes to continue along peacefully is look for how I can shift into a move loving approach.
Practicing Saucha of the mind in this way isn’t about being ‘fake’ or suppressing big emotions ~ (we don’t need to force ourselves to be nice to someone we don’t like, or to do something when we don’t want to). Rather it’s about looking at WHY we don’t like someone or don’t want to do something ~ and seeing if at the root our aversion comes from fear… and if there is some space to soften there. 💛 We can remember that fear only keeps us stuck in our ego ~ and small shifts in perspective can help release our load a little.
Consciously living from love is not an easy endeavour ~ it illuminates the ugly places where our ego is stuck, and it requires a continuous choice to keep doing it. But shining light on the dark bits so that we may keep softening and opening to life is how we grow, evolve and can better serve the people we love.
I am continually grateful for opportunities to keep practicing + growing in baby steps, both on and off my mat. (…and parenthood ensures there are a few extra opportunities that’s for sure!) 😉 ✨🙏🏽🌿
I’ll close with a passage from Ram Dass:
“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and BEING love is a supreme creative act.”
~ Ram Dass