A Shift that Heals the World
A friend recently asked me if I was feeling overwhelmed with all that was going on in my life: I have a five month-old son, and I'm taking on the management of a Yoga studio. All the while our Teacher Training programs grow and theloon_baby teachings of Classical Yoga reach out to a national audience through Dr. Butera's latest book.
Sure, I feel overwhelmed sometimes. And then there are days when everything seems very manageable and flowing with ease. My Yoga practice helps me witness both of these states.
We all seem to need to be reminded that Yoga doesn't take away the stressors in our lives—it helps us perceive them in a new or different way. Ultimately we realize that it is our way of perceiving—our choice of how to perceive something—that makes it either stressful or beneficial to us in some way.
One student reminded me that she can have a particular worry in her mind, do her yoga practice and find that when she is done the worry disappeared. I asked how she thought that might happen and she wasn't really sure. "I just don't feel worried anymore, I don't know why". We talked about how the energy in the body-mind changes and that "worry thoughts" no longer can take hold. The Yoga Sutras talk about how when we master ahimsa, non-violence in our own being and actions, violence can no longer exist in our energy field. Even a tiger will divert its path from ours.
Another student realized that a negative event that is happening in his life could actually be perceived as a gift. When he took a moment to perceive this event differently he realized that this has changed his relationship with his mother and brought them much closer together, and maybe that is the reason.
Two other students were dealing with difficult co-workers and realized that it was their perception of the other person that was causing the stress. When they decided to "try on" the idea that the most difficult people in our lives are our greatest teachers, they both rather quickly were aware of the lesson. Now their irritation could turn to gratitude towards that person. Imagine that! It is this kind of shift that helps heal the world.
Countless students have come to me, peaceful and smiling, reporting their stories of changing perceptions toward something or someone. They seem almost in awe of the "miracle" that can happen, and often say it feels like a huge weight is lifted. Try it . . . it can be enlightening!