Living Above and Beyond Life in Order to Move Through
Self care and self love is the greatest love of all
You’ve heard the saying, “hindsight is 20/20” and seeing “the big picture.” That’s what I’m talking about here. But why is it so difficult to do either when we’re in the middle of living, in the throes of life? Why does this concept elude us when we’re knee deep in rage over dirty dishes left in the sink?
I’m a philosopher by nature. I am constantly trying to figure life out. And I’m often dissatisfied while moving through. It’s like a void. Something is missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Joy seems like a much harder emotion to access than fear, or rage, or sadness. Lately I’m noticing that these unsurfaced emotions and feelings are the aspects of me that direct life each day — often in blind fashion.
Many of us live from our feelings, and the voices in our heads, and until we can get a handle on all of that, I postulate we’ll go through life continually dissatisfied.
It’s why I started exploring yoga some twenty years ago. There has to be something bigger going on here, I thought.
Yoga allows me to slow down. It teaches me to be in the moment (except when I’m not), to witness myself (except when I don’t). There are lessons in those places too.
“Yoga is a journey of the self through the self to the Self.”
But the yoga I’m talking about here is a lot bigger than getting on a mat and moving through some poses. It’s where I started. It’s where most people start. But it’s not where I’ve ended up twenty years later.
Yoga is the act of slowing down enough to experience yourself, to experience yourself as oneness, to notice all that is arising.
Yoga led me to ancient philosophies (still applicable today), meditation, pranayama, embryology (it’s pretty cool to see how we started!), anatomy and embodiment studies — all things above and beyond myself. Sort of.
The head knowledge allows us to work with information, to see if it fits for us, to digest what is possible. We then take it all inside and notice what moves through. It’s a simple enough process; the most beautiful things in life are. But it’s about taking the time to practice instead of being caught up in life.
In practice, here’s what it looks like for me:
- Reading texts related to breath, embodiment, yoga, philosophy of mind, nature … to expand my awareness
- Writing to make sense of the jumbled mess that is my brain
- Breathing, stretching and moving my body every day
- Being in nature often and noticing how much I’m not paying attention so I can learn to pay more attention to what is in and around me, instead of only what’s in my head. NOTE: in case you hadn’t yet noticed, the head, mind, ego always wants to run the show. We have to learn to bring moments above and beyond it in order to actually work with it.
- Getting quiet each morning, and many times throughout the day, to notice what I want to move toward, and what I need to move away from
Your thoughts create your reality. Tend to them like delicate petals in a gorgeous flower garden, and take time to slow down enough to be above and beyond life in order to make the moments more magical. Joy is here. You just have to get out of the way.