Expand Your Awareness

Updated: Jun 10

What do you do when your actions betray your deeper desires?

Do you ever find yourself doing something that brings you pleasure now, but causes you pain later? Simple things like going for the second cup of coffee, because the first one was so good, but then feeling overly amped up, with tight shoulders and a clenched jaw later (been there). Do you ever minimize the effects of your bad choices or go hazy around them, like you're not really seeing what's going on?

These small self-betrayals, called prajna paradha in Ayurveda, a crime against your bodily intelligence, underlie many of our chronic body-mind complaints and lead us down the dis-ease track.

It's totally understandable that we go for the momentary pleasure. Please take that in. Life is challenging. We don't need to feel bad or guilty about wanting to take the edge off. But it's important to see what we're doing. Understanding our real limits is one of the secrets to a long and healthy life. Betraying those limitations repeatedly leads us down the dis-ease path as surely as spring leads to summer.

I struggle with this most mornings.I awaken at dawn, drink some hot water, eliminate and sit with a cup of tea for a while. I look forward to this quiet beginning to my day, but when the time comes to put the tea cup down and move into my breath-body practice, resistance arises as a thought to have a second cup, or sit just a bit longer, or scroll through my phone....

I've learned that just being present to that moment of resistance is important. Seeing how my mind is working, quietly luring me from steady sitting to sedentariness, to one more cup, is a siren's song. And because I've followed that song many times, I know it's seduction won't deliver. I know that second cup and more time on the couch won't bring me what I'm really after (usually). Seeing what's happening allows me to rise, light the candle, give thanks and begin my practice.

Getting out of the chair is the hard thing. After that, in less than a minute, my body is a full YES to the practice. The rest of the benefits, more ease in my body, a clearer mind, and a stronger sense of purpose and presence come soon enough.

What's the easy thing in your life that promises satisfaction, but inevitably disappoints?

What's the hard thing you do that actually delivers the good feeling space--sukha--you seek?

The practice of Ayurveda begins with awareness. Yoga practice begins similarly. We can take an action without even knowing we are doing so--or we can take an action with intention in full awareness. This isn't about good or bad, right or wrong. It's about staying awake to what we are actually doing and the consequences those actions bring; i.e. karma. It's living in alignment with our deepest desires.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with this. Please leave them in the comments below, or contact me directly.

This summer, I'm going to gather a small group together to teach how to decode the signs and symptoms your body's presenting using an Ayurvedic lens. I'll show you how to live in better alignment with natural rhythms to relieve stress and bring more ease, energy and happiness. If you'd like to hear more about a short course like this, and possibly join, contact me here.



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