Each morning when we awake, a new day starts. The beauty is that we have in every moment the ability to choose. Choose what? Whether or not we get hired? Fired? Stuck in traffic? Can we actually choose to get sick or not?
Choice involves a mindset that is based on either love or fear. While we will never escape moments when things don’t go our way, we can choose how we perceive, embrace and respond to them. They are, in fact, the little treasures along the path that invite us to step up our practices of gratitude and kindness, compassion and acceptance, humility and forgiveness. So often it is our inability to accept things as they are that weighs our hearts down. We have the feeling of being stuck in what is an inevitable flow of movement and change.
When we embrace life in a much more phenomenological way, disappointments become less disappointing, relationships become more about relating, stress becomes less stressful, kids become our greatest teachers, and connection can be found everywhere. Forget about separating ourselves, pointing fingers and playing the blame game. It’s incumbent on each of us to see our part in the essential flow of things whether on a personal, regional, national or global level. We are all co-contributors to the current conditions of our relationships, communities, parks, oceans, laws, planet and more.
The fact that we have a choice is empowering, and therefore, the choices we make can either empower us or leave us feeling helpless and jaded (yes, victim consciousness is a choice).
The recognition of the interconnectedness of all things is fertile ground for deep intimacy and love. Kinda like our unitary, three-dimensional web of fascia, eh? When one part suffers, the whole organism suffers. When one human suffers, all of humanity suffers.
It isn’t enough to sweat on our mat or breathe at different ratios or blog about mindfulness. It isn’t enough to vote. It isn’t enough to live our comfortable lives feeling good in our bodies, eating healthy food, and talking about peace and interconnectedness, or opening our hearts in a backbend class and experiencing a satisfying savasana. All for-what? What are we opening our hearts to?
We are at a tipping point, and we are all being called to wake up, get off the mat, and walk our yoga talk, putting words into skillful action. That is what lies at the heart of these teachings. It does virtually nothing to be a yogi extraordinaire on the mat if we don’t hold ourselves personally responsible for extending the essence of yoga into community for the sake and greater good of all. Otherwise, it’s what Chogyam Trungpa calls “spiritual materialism” and narcissism.
So my question goes back to the title of this blog. What do you choose, love or fear? And if it’s love, how do you express that both inward and outward? Are your words and actions steeped in kindness? Do you truly take care of yourself (in body, mind and spirit), are you of humanitarian service to others, and can you cultivate the balance between the two? If you are upset that Trump is now President-elect, can you hold up your own mirror and find where you’ve held ignorant, narcissistic, unkind and biased viewpoints?
How often do we stop and look a homeless person in the eyes and say hello? Is it possible to deeply connect to another individual with a completely different belief system than our own?
The human condition is rife with anger, jealousy, greed and fear. And yet it is also filled with love, kindness, generosity and compassion. We are being invited to wake up, rise up and choose love- to love ourselves, our families, our neighbors, sidewalks, parks, trees, oceans, soil, food, and anything else that sustains the quality of our lives.
We are all in this together. Truly loving means truly caring.
What is your choice today?