Last week I had one of those moments when the veils lifted and I was able to see, with crystal clarity, into my future. It played like a good soap opera, with heartbreak and loss, success, redemption and great love. I'm so grateful for my abilities, but sometimes I need some time to adjust to what they allow me to see.
By mid-week I was feeling a bit like Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List. He notes that 97% of the people in the world would not want to know the moment of their death. He was in the other 3% until he found out he had lung cancer. I understand what he meant, because it can be challenging to live in each now moment when you want to hurry up and get to the end of the story. Jumping ahead into the future is a type of poison for the mind. As I wrote in The Yoga of Relationships, Lord Shiva, as Lord Blue Throat, drank all the poison from the ocean of consciousness to save humanity. I've been contemplating this for the past couple of weeks, and as always, I'm amazed at how the Universe offers up opportunities for me to delve deeper into my practice.
As a result of my contemplation of this myth and my real life experiences, I've come up with some tools we can use to help transform the poison in our lives into the sweetest nectar. They are:
1. Open to Grace. This is the first principle of Anusara yoga. Opening to Grace invites something greater into our lives, whether you call it the Universe, God, or anything else. It allows us to remember that we can trust in something greater than our own personality and will, and it can offer great comfort.
2. Ground yourself. Ground yourself into the earth; connecting with nature is a great way to return to the present moment. When we don't feel grounded, we don't feel safe. And when we don't feel safe, we are unable to rise up and fly, either physically or spiritually.
3. Be compassionate and gentle with yourself. This is a tall order for most of us. Our society is so other-oriented, we're taught from the time we're young children to strive to be our best and to compete against others. But if we don't rest, we burn out. I have to constantly remind myself to be gentler with myself. A contemplation to help with this is to ask yourself, "What am I not giving myself credit for?"
4. Remember: life is about the journey, not the destination. I remember, and then I forget, over and over. I just want it to be done some days, but then I remember my belief that when we're done, we're dead. I'm not ready to be dead, so I might as well enjoy the journey.
5. BREATHE. Forget this, and the rest of it's a moot point. J Shallow, rapid breathing is a sure sign you're getting wound up about something. It's a sign that you're drinking the poison rather than transforming it to nectar. Breath is a powerful aid in this alchemical process.
6. LOVE. I've been doing a lot of Soul Readings because of the special I'm running this month, and I've been reminded repeatedly that no matter why we think we're here and what we think we're here to do, we are all here to remember love. We are here to love, to be loved, and to help others return to love. Above all, we are here to remember how to love ourselves for being a unique spark of Divine consciousness. And that is the sweetest nectar of all.