Tuesday, April 5, 2011

surrender is a beautiful thing & koshas

The past week or so I have been in the space of "extreme self-care." Really being conscious of the activities I participate in. Really listening with my body about what feels good on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. I have taken a break from writing simply because I wanted to be in tune with my natural rhythms of what is right. I am about 9 days into my meditation challenge and am gaining tons of insights, experiencing big shifts in my mental state, my ability to go with the flow, and to have a softer heart in all areas of my life. I always knew that meditation was key in bringing my spiritual practice to the next level but yet I never seemed to make the time and/or the space to engage in the practice.

The theme I am living right now is surrender. Surrender is one of those words I have struggled with over the years. For a long time, I always thought surrender meant weak. For me, it meant giving up, quitting, throwing your hands up in the air and walking away huffing and puffing. After years of pushing myself in all areas of my life, I have come to a "sweet point" in which I get to choose how I live my life. The external activities, relationships, work, obligations, etc. don't run my life anymore-I get to be in the drivers seat. I get to listen to my body and trust my intuition.Sometimes I get caught in cycles of speed, stress, and exhaustion and then I pull back and say, "Whoa...wait a minute. This isn't where I want to be right now." Surrender is trusting the holistic composition of my true being.

In conjunction with my meditation practice, I am practicing more yoga. My yoga practice is super important to me for many reasons. One, it is time with myself when I have the most insights on why I show up the world the way I do. Two, it helps me disconnect from my external world and connect with my internal world. Three, I experience things that push me on the mat and these are similar to what is pushing me in life, whether it be relationships, a project, my writing, or self-care.

KOSHAS
In yoga, there is a concept about "koshas" or sheaths of being. Like peeling an onion, we have multiple layers that build on one another and create us. You start at the physical level, (yoga poses) then move towards the energy level (breath), then the mental level, (meditation), wisdom (concentration in meditation and disengaging from the external stimulations), then bliss.

Check out http://www.swamij.com/koshas.htm for a more detailed explanation on the koshas of yoga.

This helps me determine where I am at in my spiritual development. Some days I simply am on the yoga mat for physical reasons. Some days I am working through writers block. Some days I am experiencing anxiety and know that I need to be in touch with my breath. Some days it just feels good to be in a forward bend. For the past couple weeks, I have been playing with the koshas and simply surrendering to what is and where I am at WITHOUT JUDGMENT. This has been tough but very cool in the sense that I am simply a witness to my experiences. My feelings are not my beliefs nor are they the truth.

I am not an enlightened being simply because I have meditated for 9 days in a row but what I do know is that when I created the structure, the space, the time to sit on my butt once a day for at least 15 minutes in stillness, something happened. Something opened up deep within. I am surrendering to that.

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