Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What's really stopping you from fulfilling your intentions + potential?

As humans with human minds, the ego as it's referred to in yoga, we constantly look externally for satisfaction, for excuses, for the cause of our circumstances. Because of the weather, because of work, because of time, because of money... That's why I don't do what I otherwise intend to do. That's why I don't quit smoking, or practice daily meditation or exercise, or eat healthier or whatever else I "know I should be doing".
All of these excuses are never the main reason we don't fulfill our intentions of transforming our health and awareness. It's the part of us that makes the excuses, the ego (not all the same as the English concept of "egotistical" but just the individual identity that we wrap ourselves in like a prison), that is afraid to transform. The ego feels threatened by change. It is the part of us that sabotages our plans of positive growth. It's the part of us that would rather stay the same, even if it means suffering, because it is familiar. Beyond the familiar is unknown, and to the ego, the unknown is too frightening to be risked.

Set intentions carefully, making changes one at a time and adjusting for a time befre making new changes. One month after reinforcing your positive change daily you will feel more acustomed and comfortable. After two months you will have built momentum, but still, strong intention and guarding against the habit-energy of the ego is crucial. This is especially the case for new habits like meditation that are highly transformative. This threatens the ego's view of itself, because who you are will change, but only for the better, so there is no need to fear. Do not give in to the ego when it goes against your spiritual-heart. Control your mind, don't let it control you. This is what is referred to in the Bible by "deny thy self". It could be written as maintain self-control.

Life doesn't have to be miserably austere, but if we apply the self-control to transform ugly habits that make us suffer, and introduce new habits that allow us to soar we will become activated, inspired, fulfilled on the deeper level. It will give us greater health, inner peace and bliss. What is there to be afraid of?

By using our will power to transform and create new habits that are in line with our deepest well-being and intentions, we develop integrity. This integrity is a form of honesty with ourselves. It is in place when we live up to the urges of the spiritual-heart, which always knows what is best for us. If we can get past the ego, the small or false self, we are free to live in harmony with the Self, the deepest essence of our being. If we are in harmony with the Self, we have boundless joy, fulfillment and luminous peace.

So, what is there to fear?

"And then the day came when the pain of staying the same became greater then the fear of opening up"
~Anais Nin (paraphrased)

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