“Do all that you can with all that you have in the place where you are”
On the surface level, this mantra may seem like a useful approach to life. And yet do we have the tools to actualise this very useful suggestion?
We are not lacking in society when it comes to ‘motivational’ suggestions, slogans, positive thinking etc ~ but is it working?
Let’s use this mantra by taking it deeper into a longer lasting, more mindful state of ‘being’ rather than just yet another catch phrase for Facebook or Instagram.
The reality is to take this skilful action of “Doing all that you can with all that you have in the place where you are” Means first getting to know:
– What are you?
– Where are you
– Who are you
– And what are you capable of?
Especially during those moments in life when there are feelings of being triggered or hopelessness, feelings of not knowing what to do, feelings of fear, resentment, being taken advantage of, feelings of insecurity, mistrust or feelings of lack or ‘not enough’. And no its not all doom and gloom, and these feelings are a normal part of being human. The great news these feelings can actually help guide us (if we allow them to be as they are)
Being able to follow through on this advice wholeheartedly (of doing all that you can with all that you have) means knowing where you are at in terms of your energy and how to be in the best possible relationship with it and realise what it is that may be affecting it.
What can be a useful Mindful or Yogic Practice is learning how to “Be” in good relationship with the Laws of Nature.
One of these is the Law of Change ~ the law that says ‘Nothing stays the same’.
Learning to ebb and flow with what arises within and around us in a way that is healing, in a way that helps us become a more ‘whole’ or integrated human ‘being’.
In this day in age, with competing demands of future to do lists, being able to ‘be’ where you are without being pulled constantly into future to do’s and what if’s can be challenging.
One of the gifts that Mindfulness Training and Meditation in general can offer is not only insight and perspective but actual methods for practicing using what we have already got as the tools.
These tools available to us are what the Yogis refer to as the Koshas, or the layers of our being. They include (and are not limited to) :
– The Body Sensations
– The Breath Sensations
Cognitions such as:
(Inclusive of various aspects of the Ego)
– Anything that arrises in the Mind (like images)
– Bliss (or whatever word resonates with you that refers to feeling in complete connection with all that is, sensing into that aspect of awareness of self-realisation)
All of these layers (Koshas) that make us up as humans can be used as a doorway into a space of awareness that offers us all that we need to be at ease. A place that feels like home.
Being able to meet whatever is calling your attention the most in a way that is inclusive, and practicing ‘being with’ that is a skill worth cultivating for many reasons.
* It lets the body know you are listening, which helps move the body from fight flight reactions toward a more stable state of being. In this state we can make better decisions, connect more authentically with others without being on the defensive or in protective mode.
* Through this listening we can learn to rely on our inner resources to support us
* We can minimise resistance and in turn reduce self-made suffering from resisting what is there already. This reduces the physical and emotional stress.
* Develop compassion for ourselves and others in all that we can experience in life. This in itself can be the very thing that creates community rather than destroys it.
* Learn that we all have potential to meet and be with whatever arises and be open to what the experience is teaching us
There are many more benefits that not only can be applied on the yoga mat and meditation cushion but in our everyday relationships.
Below is a short practice that can be done on and off the mat to help remind us that everything is “energy” and we do actually have what it takes to be okay with life as it is.
N – Notice: Notice what is calling your attention
R – Respond: Recognise where you notice it in the body as sensation.
Recognise the sensations of the breath
* If thoughts are more predominant then catch where they begin (do they have a place in the body? What are the actual sensations like?)
G – Grace: Follow whatever is there back to the source itself. Allow yourself to be fully absorbed in ‘this’. (This part can be challenging as it takes a degree of courage to trust what we don’t know)
It is normal to hit little speed bumbs in your meditation practice using the above approach, and it does take time, patience and persistency (all of the things in this day and life that we mistakingly feel we don’t have)
I love mentoring in this approach as it draws from a number of lineages and yet addresses the key things that most of us struggle with (like feeling time poor or a sense of urgency)
This N.R.G approach is a practice and a way of being derived from (and representative) of many lineages and teachings that have been around for thousands of years (probably because they add so much value to our lives) .
It is a reminder of not only how we can all benefit from:
But to remember everything is just energy and it is not personal – energy changes. If we can welcome it as it is without being afraid of it, without taking it personally (without judging it as good or bad, but just a little habbit friend there to teach us something) we can be in better relationship with its source.
At times taking things personally is actually what is there and is the hardest energy there can be to work with.
This energy in its infancy is resistance caused by mistaken belief or mistaken identification. That is by fixating on things or mistaking them to be permanent.
This bondage can be caused by and/or kept alive by unconscious habit patterns ‘right/ wrong’ type thinking or judging or being critical of others, certain circumstances or ourselves.
To actually “Do what you can, with all that you have” (which forms the foundations of many of our Mentoring Programs and Teacher Training Programs) and in some moments can mean working with resentment or feelings of being ‘wronged’
(if that is what is arrising for that person ~ whether they be someone struggling with their role at work, with chronic pain, cancer, depression and anxiety or for many just a feeling that they could be operating at a more efficient level in terms of how they navigate life in all of its highs and lows)
Approaching these highly charged feelings, emotions or memories as energy and coming back to be curious as to do they have an actual sensation in the body and breath ‘right here and now’?
Can be one of the first steps to healing (transforming energy that causes dis-ease into ease)
At times this is an edgy place to work and not everyone wants to work with their inner world. Most of us, if not all of us, need the help of a teacher – someone who has done the work themselves to be there as a guide to help us navigate the choppy seas of our minds that contains confronting thoughts and feelings. Especially in situations where there are feelings of being wronged in some way.
Freeing up this sticky form of energy is priceless as it literally can be the very thing that helps you to live the life you have with more joy!
One useful contemplation meditation is to consider:
What if that person was doing the best they could, with all that they had where they were at, at the time?
And what if that person was/is YOU?
There is nothing more powerful than a realisation that brings you to forgiveness.
This is an energy that has endless potential.
After all, the biggest benefactor of forgiveness is the one experiencing it.
The experience can come from having the courage to spend time in silence, to listen tenderly and to love regardless.
PS – For those of you who find time in Silence daunting or sitting still for long periods challenging then a great way to start this process is through movement. Practices like Long Slow Deep Yoga was one of my most practiced ways to bridge the gap between traditional Vipasana and Modern Day Yoga. Practicing this form of Yoga along with the Foundations of Mindfulness opens the door to a state of mind that can help you so much.
For any questions or mentoring / support with practice
CLICK HERE for LONG SLOW DEEP + RESTORE TEACHER TRAINING with Tammy Williams
(This course is for those who would like to explore Mindfulness/Foundations of Vipassana with Yin type of Movement either as personal development or to add to their Teacher Training Hours toward 350 hour / 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training)
CLICK HERE for BRYAN KEST EVENT (Founder of Long Slow Deep Yoga and Power Yoga – Bryan is visiting the Sunshine Coast for the first time, and Brisbane on his world tour) Bryan is a huge advocate for Vipassana Meditation and you definitely experience this in his unique style of teaching.
CLICK HERE for information on Level 1 Mindfulness Coaching / Teacher Training with Tammy Williams
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