Navigating Rough Emotions

Original Date: May 19, 2016

Over the past few weeks, many people have shared with me that life seems very tough right now. I have been told these difficult feelings are not pinpointed to any specific events; rather, the feelings seem to be a general overall sense of “malaise” and even sadness. While I feel I can not offer a tangible “solution,” for navigating rough emotions, I try to  listen and empathize. If you are sharing in these feelings right now, know that you are not alone. Tumultuous politics, serious environmental issues, and concern for the future can all feed a sense of dread. I too have had recent questions: Why does there seem to be so much suffering, both in the world and personally? Isn’t all this yoga practice suppose to help with that?

This morning while pondering such thoughts I opened this little green booklet written by Swami Gurusharanananda, one of my spiritual teachers. The words I read told me that in order to advance towards Self Realization (the goal of yoga), the seeker must continually remember the divine. Never lose sight of the sublime, no matter the hardship. While performing all duties, keep your mind aware of that greater purpose. Choose your associations carefully, as all that we experience leaves an imprint on the mind. And most importantly, practice your yoga and meditation, over and over again.The power of discrimination (viveka) and correct thinking comes with greater ease the more you dedicate to your personal practice. When such thoughts of despair find their way into your mind, notice them not as a sign of a failing practice, not that you are failing, but that you should practice with more dedication. In this way, you will see that there is a oneness that pervades each and every form and person you meet, there is a oneness behind every sect, every creed, and every religion.

We are one.