Category Archives: Transforming Negativity Into Love
I started a post last week to complete day 39, but it sat as a draft up until now, so I decided to scrap it and write a new post summing up my overall experience with this practice. I’ve been writing posts in my head all week, but haven’t sat down to actually write any of them and I feel like the ship has sailed with my opportunity to write about many of the feelings I’ve had over the past 40 days. Hopefully this will help me to write more about my next practice….though I’m not holding my breath 😉
About two-thirds of the way through the practice I felt a shift. A thought pattern I’ve had for as long as I can remember was suddenly gone. This way of thinking is something i have discussed with numerous therapist over the years with noo significant change, and had come to the conclusion that it is just part of who I am. This shift was so subtle it went almost unnoticed by me, in fact it was a couple of days before I really realised the significance of what had happened. I have noticed my former pattern creeping back in over the last week or so, but one of the daily messages during the sadhana pointed out that this is not something to fret about. Even the briefest moment of clarity is to be cherished. This meditation has helped me to understand that there is no part of me that is negative, in need of cleaning, or changing, but rather it is the attachments that have formed during this life that are being removed to reveal my true self: pure unadulterated love. As Lao Tse said: “The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white; neither need you do anything but be yourself.”
Over the past week I’ve been feeling at odds with things, raw, detached, weeping at the slightest provocation (though that’s nothing new!) I don’t believe I’m actually any more irritable than usual, but i am definitely more aware of my irritability, which makes me even more irritable! This is something that I’ve been working on for years. I know that my knee-jerk, stress reactions to absolutely everything only serve to make me more stressed and anxious, but man, is this a hard pattern to break. I know that the only thing I can control is my reaction to things that come up in daily life, but it’s so hard to remember that in the moment. However, being aware of a pattern is the first step to breaking it, and the best way is to take everything as it comes, moment by moment, and not get stressed about being stressed.
These patterns have been formed over a lifetime, even over many lifetimes, and they aren’t going to change overnight, or over 40 nights. I will continue to cherish each precious moment in life, even the annoying ones. I will continue to open my heart and my mind, and to strengthen my body and spirit. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey, I really look forward to sharing my next practice with you ❤
It has been way too long since I posted about this sadhana! In my defense we had some major mechanical problems over the past week or so. The laptop has been out of commission for a while (coffee on the keyboard :S), and last Saturday the desktop conked out too. Right in the middle of my meditation! I know it’s been more than one week since I posted, but I had intended to finally set to last Saturday, really I did ;). The week before the computer died we were fighting T’s first ear infection, which meant both sleep and free time were in short supply. Thankfully he’s now back to his usual crazy self, so while we still don’t get as much sleep as this mama would like, at least things are getting back to “normal”. The computer is working again, and the laptop is even kind of working, though it’s a bit of a Frankenstein at the moment, it’s nice to have it back. So, that’s the story about why I’ve been slacking on my posts, but the important thing is that I have, in fact still been keeping up with my practice. The title of this post is a little misleading, ass I haven’t actually completed my practice for today, but stay tuned for “Day 39 Part Deux” a little later on 😉
Wow! It’s hard to believe almost three weeks have passed since this sadhana began. I have to admit that the only thing that’s kept me going this past week is the fact that there are people aware that I’m in the middle of a 40 day meditation, it’s been a rough few days and I’ve really been phoning it in. For some reason this week has just felt busier than usual. On top of a seemingly endless stream of tasks I’ve been feeling tired and achy all week. Not really sick, just run down. Even in an ergonomic carrier, my 20+ lb bebe is starting to take a toll on my back to boot! By the time I get the bean down for the night it’s been a huge struggle to sit down and meditate, even if it is only about 15 minutes. On Wednesday I ended up just laying quietly for the last half of the practice rather than doing the mudras, and on Thursday I wasn’t able to hold any of the mudras for the full length of time, and spent about a quarter of the meditation sobbing in frustration. I definitely did not repeat the words of the guided meditation out loud (or even really think about them if truth be told). On Friday I’d had enough. I decided that despite my earlier statements about preferring to meditate in the evening I’d give daytime meditation another go. I sat down to practice once I got the bean settled for his morning nap. What a difference! That little monkey was still chattering away and swinging from the branches, but the sense of peace I felt at the beginning of this sadhana has returned. I took the opportunity to practice this afternoon as well, and I’m so glad I did. The only downside so far is that the daily e-mails sent out to participants in this sadhana haven’t been coming until later in the evening, so I don’t get to read them until afterwards.
For the past week or so these e-mails have been hinting at some special news, and today they finally shared what all the excitement has been about. The meditation is changing slightly based on a copy of the original lecture taught by Yogi Bhajan in 1973. Apparently there was an additional meditation taught with this one that hasn’t been previously published outside of the archives. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to try out the new meditation today, but I’m really excited to add it in tomorrow! I watched the new instructions and the first and third mudras have changed slightly as well. I can already feel how this will make a difference energetically and I can’t wait to put it into practice.
Earlier today I was thinking about posting a question on the discussion group regarding the use of the mantra “Sat Nam” during the mudras. There isn’t a particular mantra associated with this meditation and Ramdesh Kaur has chosen some music that compliments the practice, but the instructions are to simply practice long deep breathing during the meditation. Often though, when that little monkey just won’t be quiet “Sat Nam” can be used as a focal point for the mind. A little banana to pacify the monkey, if you will. Lo and Behold, the new part of the meditation is to chant Sat Nam and Wahe Guru (my personal mantra of late). It couldn’t be more perfect. It would appear that the Universe agrees that a change is as good as a rest 😉
Actually, the mini fail was yesterday, but part of the fail was that I didn’t post about it. I’m calling it a “mini” fail as I did actually sit down to meditate, but didn’t make it through the entire practice. I procrastinated a bit too long and my dear bebe woke up and needed resettling before the meditation ended. I could have sat the meditation again once he was settled, or even just done the second part as I was only about a minute away from completing the fourth, and final, mudra, but we had an emotional evening to say the least. By the time my little one was asleep again I was in tears and in no mood to meditate. Which, of course, is precisely the time I should be meditating!
Yesterday was the first day I left my bebe with someone he doesn’t know too well while I went to work for the afternoon. I work two short shifts during the week and until recently have been bringing my little one along with me. Now that he’s not so little it’s not working out so well having him along and I’ve been trying to sort out an alternative situation . The idea was that he would stay with a lovely friend of mine who has a daughter around his age, as her older child will be in school this fall. In the spirit of easing him into things he was going to go just one day a week for the next couple of weeks to see how things go. Things didn’t go super well on day one which led to tears and poor sleep. We were up every hour for the first half of the night and each time he would cling to me like it had been years since I held him. His super tight hugs and little cries broke my heart and I made the decision (after discussion with hubby of course) to give up my mid-week shifts, at least until my bebe is a little older. I know that given time and patience we would adjust to the situation. I really think he would even have lots of fun once he got used to things, but for the amount of money that I’d actually be bringing home after paying for childcare and bus fare, it’s just not worth it for me to put us through the adjustment period. We have lots of time to be separated and only a few fleeting moments to enjoy his babyhood. even so, it was a tough decision, and even tougher to bring up the conversation. Between the little one and a new house things have been tight lately, so the decision to give up most of my shifts at work was not made lightly.
After all of this I was feeling a bit like a failure. I’m feeling guilty about putting more of the financial burden on an already stressed hubby. I feel guilty about not being able to leave my little for a few hours a week. I feel guilty when I do leave him for a few hours a week. I felt guilty about not completing my practice. I feel like I’m failing in so many ways all the time, and for every step I take forward, I slide back about five……and then I got today’s Global Sadhana e-mail. The quote from Yogi Bhajan today reads “A failure is only a step on your way to success”. As always, exactly what I needed to hear, right when I need to hear it, it’s amazing what the universe will tell you when you open your heart to hear it. The full message today was so uplifting that I’d like to share it here:
Once again, uplifting words, bringing me to tears, strengthening my heart, and transforming negativity into love.
Wow, today’s meditation was a challenge! I’m definitely seeing some emotional obstacles coming up already. I’ve always loved the term “monkey mind” as it refers to our tendency to jump from one thought to another as we try to focus on a practice. One of the benefits of a physical practice is that it gives the mind something to focus on, kind of like holding out a banana to an active little monkey as he jumps from branch to branch. This particular meditation uses mudras, or gestures, rather than asana to help focus the mind, but they don’t always (or often) do the trick. I had a few pieces of troubling news from home today and my mind just did not want to let them go, nor did it want to focus on one thought at a time, or even stick to the issues at hand. One of the issues is that a family member that I haven’t spoken to in close to a year is having some health issues. It’s no surprise that this would be a distraction, but my little monkey was not content to focus on the present moment, but instead was wandering back to the conflict that caused our falling out, even re-writing things that were said, things that were left unsaid, and things that I wish I would have said. Each time I caught that little monkey wandering I’d rope him back in, only to start writing this post in my head! Furthermore, each time my mind would wander I’d realize that my body was wandering too and I’d have to readjust my position and refocus on the current mudra. Needless to say, today’s meditation time passed by quickly and before I knew it the video was over and I was left feeling even more conflicted than when I began. On a positive note, certain portions of the meditation for self love felt less lofty to me and more applicable to my real life. Particularly the bit about releasing emotional attachment to unkind words that others have said to me. There have been a number of times recently where I’ve been tempted to extend the olive branch, and recent events have made me consider it all the harder. I’m still hiding behind the technical excuse that I’ve been blocked from electronic contact, though we all know there are simple ways around that. I’m still not ready to open myself to the possibility of rejection or further emotional turmoil with this family member, but I do feel that the door is open a tiny crack further than it was before. In the meantime I’ll keep trying to train that monkey!
Today is day four of the 40 day global sadhana I am participating in and I decided to change things up a little and meditate in the morning instead of the evening. Certainly not at 4 am as is the ideal (I’m not willing to give up what little sleep I get at this point), but at around 7 am while hubby hung out with the bebe. The main reason I decided to practice in the morning is so that I could enjoy a beer on my lunch date this afternoon. Yes, we finally got to go on a little date, the first one since February, and even though it was a short lunch at a new pizza joint followed by ice cream on our walk home rather than a fancy night on the town, it was lovely! It’s not recommended to practice Kundalini yoga if you have any alcohol in your system, so it gave me a good excuse to start my day off with a little meditation. I’ve gotta tell you though, I think I actually prefer my evening practice. When it comes to asanas (the physical part of a yoga practice) I’m definitely a morning person, but I’ve always meditated in the evening. It’s a nice relaxing way to prepare your mind and body for sleep in most cases, and in my current situation, it’s much easier to focus in the evening when bebe is asleep and hubby hasn’t returned home from work yet. I’m also left with the feeling that I’m forgetting something, or neglecting my practice since this is the time when I’d usually be sitting down to meditate, and it’s already done…..I think I’ll go back to my usual time tomorrow 🙂
As for the practice itself I am definitely feeling some of the emotional challenges Ramdesh Kaur speaks of in the instructions for the sadhana. As usual (for me) this release is in the form of tears. I tend to get teary at the drop of a hat at the best of times, but I had a full out cry after reading a lovely article that was posted on a parenting board I frequent. The article was about how parenting can be challenging, and it’s Ok to feel challenged by it. As the lovely mama who shared the article said “it’s not all rainbows and unicorns”. I’ve been feeling especially reluctant to voice any thoughts that may be construed as “negative” recently as hubby hinted that a second little may be too much of a challenge. I’m also always berating myself for not enjoying every little moment, including the hard ones, since I know it will all fly by too fast. This article came at the perfect time and was so wonderfully written, so I thought I’d share it here for you to enjoy as well. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html
Till next time, carpe de kairos ❤
It looks like my master plan is working so far. I’m not sure I would have kept my word to begin this practice today had I not posted my intentions online. Even if I completely bomb and don’t complete the 40 days, I’m glad I did this lovely meditation at least once. I will say though, that in the instructional video Ramdesh should say that this practice “may” not be physically challenging rather than saying it “won’t” be. Some of us have very tight shoulders! As for the second part of the meditation, I think it will take a few repetitions for my ego to get over the idea that it’s a little “new-agey” for my tastes….it’s Kundalini yoga, of course it’s new-agey!
I suppose I should take a moment here to briefly explain Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan for those who may not be familiar with this branch of yoga. A favourite teacher of mine once referred to Kundalini as “yoga’s weird cousin” and this tongue-in-cheek description has stuck with me. To the unitiated (heck, even to those of us who practice Kundalini on a semi-regular basis), this tradition can seem a little odd, and is definitely not to everyone’s taste. If you can look past the initial strangeness though, you’ll find a beautiful practice that will leave you with a deep sense of peace. I generally find, especially if I’ve been away from the practice for a while, or have been reluctant to make it into class,the set is always just what I need at that particular moment. This site has some great info on the practice as well as a wealth of resources to deepen your practice: http://www.yogibhajan.com/AboutKY.htm.
I likely won’t post every day of this sadhana, but I look forward to sharing this journey with you!
It’s hard to believe that this is my first actual blog post, considering I set up this site back in April. I have half written posts galore inside this very crowded mind of mine, I just can’t ever seem to find the time to sit down and post them…..though I do waste an inordinate amount of time each and every day. This post will, in fact, be much shorter than intended as it’s now 10:30 pm and past my bedtime! I decided that it was better to finally sit down and write a short post than none at all, as who knows when I’ll get another chance. I’m hoping this post will be the first in a series outlining my experiences as I (finally) take part in a 40 day global sadhana hosted by www.spiritvoyage.com. They host these global meditations periodically and I have always wanted to take part in one, but I keep finding reasons not to. The biggest reason, of course, is time. This particular meditation, which starts tomorrow, is slightly shorter than some of the others which has prompted me to give it a go. The idea is that by posting this I will be slightly more accountable to keep up 😉
Another thing that has kept me from a steady practice recently is lack of space. I don’t have a great place in my house to meditate. This is a fantastic example of the ego setting up “obstacles” to avoid change. It’s wonderful to have a dedicated space for your practice, but definitely not necessary. Sure it would be nice to meditate in an idyllic setting such as the one chosen for the video to guide this sadhana, but you can meditate anywhere. You can also meditate any time. The ideal time for this type of practice is between 4 and 7 am. Yes, I said 4 am, but any time is the perfect time. It’s my intention to set up shop in my husband’s office, after I’ve put the babe to sleep in the evening. I even managed to get hubby to tidy the office a bit! It’s not ideal, but it’s better than no place at all, and I have a feeling it won’t be long before I’ll have much bigger distractions to worry about as I go through this 40 day practice.
For those interested, here’s a link to the practice I’ll be undertaking. Feel free to join me! http://www.spiritvoyage.com/globalsadhana
And, just for fun, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5Z_EoyO_F8 🙂