Since i could not physically teach Yoga tonight due to a visiting cold, i felt the calling to offer something in the form of the written word….
I don’t know about your current experience, but i feel that i’ve been in the trenches! With all do respect to those brave warriors of warfare, such as my father, whose lives were or are on the line between life and death, my life feels more like a death to what was, what is yet to become and what is present.
I attended this wonderful Parenting workshop hosted by the creators of Feelez last week on the subject of Empathy. The premise being, or so interpreted, that if we meet our child wherever they may be emotionally, mentally, physically with empathy then we gift them the ability to gain access to their Higher brain faculties. “This includes functions such as logic, reason, creative problem solving, their own empathetic nature, the use of their own memory, the ability to choose and a calming effect to the nervous system of both parties.”
From my personal experience through life, we all really just want to be heard by someone. We need to feel significant and have a sense of belonging. In the tradition of Yoga, dis-ease
begins to form within the human temple when we feel a sense of separation from our Source, a disconnect to our true Nature, our Divinity.
If i’m feeling disconnected from my Divine nature and in the “thick of thin” things, how am i capable of being a present parent who provides empathy for my child? Well, i have to practice empathy towards myself. I need to give myself full permission to express myself to myself. All my fears, my worries, my un-manifested dreams and desires. No rock left unturned. World renowned Zen Monk, Thicht Nhat Hahn, speaks to the “caring of our pain” in his book True Love. When i engage this Practice of caring for my pain, i am not feeling ‘sorry’ for myself. Rather, i want to EMPTY myself of these thoughts and feelings. In doing so i gain, just as our children do when we practice empathy with them, access to MY Higher brain faculties and re-connect to the inner guidance from which Source flows that will shed light within this void or ‘trench’ i may be experiencing.
“Take a deep breath in and fill your heart with light. Hold the breath and feel the light as healing energy expand through your chest and through your whole body. Exhale and open your palms to receive. Stay empty. God loves your empty hands.” – Amy Weintraub
Most often than not however, we need a little help getting to this space of self-empathy with empty hands. So i offer you The Four LifeStyle Principles of Wholistic Fitness™ courtesy Steve Coach Ilg and his beautifully written book, Total Body Transformation (original version, as now there is another book using the same title).
LifeStyle Principle 1: Breath and Posture
Breath connects us with the spiritual plane while posture grounds our connection to the physical plane.
“Self-observation is the beginning of transformation.” – Dennis Lewis
LifeStyle Principle 2: Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present. Or as Thich Nhat Hanh writes” Mindfulness is the practice that consists in bringing the body and mind back to the present moment.” I would add that it is our awareness of breath in relationship to our physical posture that helps harness the mind back to the present moment.
“Much of the spiritual journey is a process of continually falling down, getting back up, dusting ourselves off, looking up sheepishly at God, and taking the next step.” – Sri Aurbindo
LifeStyle Principle 3: Appropriate Action
Appropriate Action is the practice of performing action – mental or physical- from contemplative integrity.
“Before performing any action or speaking any word, ask this question, “Is it kind, true and helpful” – The fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
LifeStyle Principle 4: Practice
Practice means to take each moment as it comes. To treat ourselves kindly with it, and not prejudge it as good or bad, happy or sad, beneficial or adversarial… realize that your next lesson toward becoming a better human being lies in the acceptance of this instant.
“Begin again and again and endlessly again.” Steve Ilg
It is in gratitude as the Sun sets here in the pranic-full SW with budding Cherry trees and baby quaking Aspen leaves, that i share this moment with you. May these precious LifeStyle gems allow our habitual Egoic patterns to melt away, like snow-packed mountain peaks with the arrival of Spring fever, to the Truth of who we really are at the core of our Be-ing. Love! This well of love overflowing with empty hands full of empathy for ourselves, for our children and for one another!