Namaste Dear Students and Friends,
I hope you are all enjoying the amazing fruits of summer. There is so much beauty surrounding us right now. It is the time of year when we feel most blessed, when many of us find that peace of mind that we search for all year long.
I’ve been pondering how can we change our focus to more deeply cherish these summertime feelings of ease and peace and store them deep within so we can access them during the less fruitful times of year.
It brought to mind a simple Sanskrit saying that stuck with me from the very first time I read The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Mana Eva Manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayho.
Which translates to: As the mind, so the man, bondage or liberation is in your
“If you feel bound, you are bound, if you feel liberated, you are liberated. The things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.” Swami Satchitananda
As we all know the Yoga Sutras is about mind control and Swami Satchitananda speaks so clearly to this concept. If we can control the rising of the mind into ripples we will experience Yoga. In our modern world the rippling mind translates to stress.
The Sutras tell us how we can learn to control the stress in our mind and return ourselves to our natural state of mind that is a state of peace and beauty.
In addition to the more classical practices of Patanjali, I’ve begun working with affirmations to anchor these amazing summertime feelings into my mind.
Here are a couple of simple practices I’ve been doing that not only magnify the quality of the moment but that I believe, if practiced regularly, will have a huge impact on controlling the mind and returning it back to it’s natural state of beauty and ease.
When I’m with my 6-year-old daughter Jaya, Each time I find us in an experience of grace and beauty, I say to her “We have a beautiful life”. It amazes me how often I’ve been saying it lately. Just yesterday as we sat on the rocks at the Montauk lighthouse watching her daddy surf, discovering secret caves in the rocks. We felt the beauty again when returning to our home and playing in our vegetable garden, and then again as she ran through our garden sprinkler shrieking with delight. And, finally as we sat at dinner with the radiant sunset shining in our window.
After dinner, she was watching the Lego movie; the theme song for the movie is “Everything is Awesome”. I’m not so crazy about the movie, but the theme song is perfect. Everything is awesome. I think Satchitananda would have approved.
The reality is that all of us have ups and downs, life can be ugly and beautiful, stressful and peaceful, it can be horrible and it can be awesome. But by focusing on the positive places in our day, we can transform those challenging experiences into moments of grace and beauty.
And for me, as I move through the busyness of summer, in those random quiet moments when I can force myself to be still and to relax. I say to myself. I have a peaceful life. Most of the time this isn’t true but in those in –between moments, I do. The more I focus my awareness on those precious moments of peace the more powerful they become.
I encourage you all this summer to work wth these affirmations as you move through your day: I have a beautiful life. I have a peaceful life. Or make up your own, and don’t forget “Everything is Awesome”
Sending you all Summer Love,
Peace + Beauty,