Changing the World; One Om At A Time.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ~ Siddhārtha Gautama
Yoga doesn’t change the world around you it changes the world within you. After all, yoga can’t promise that your boss will suddenly listen to you or that your partner will start being romantic. What yoga can promise is that if you are persistent in your practice, you will change.
How can we change the way we relate to others so that we maintain the same feeling of peace and serenity we felt in the yoga studio?
Let’s use what I call yoga secret #1 as an example; the use of mantra to achieve a state of present moment or mindfulness. While some people can instantly achieve this state of pure awareness, it takes most of us a while to get there (raising my hand on this one). Using a mantra can clear the mind of clutter as you focus on one thing over and over. As you use a mantra consistently and unwaveringly, a state of stillness within surfaces and you listen to your true self.
And since we can’t change others, this understanding of ourselves will help us realize where we need to change to gain peace and serenity in the midst of a tumultuous world. Mantra is a step to get rid of your old way of thinking: “Out with the old, in with the new,” a simple statement with such power. It allows you to eliminate that old noise of distraction and negativity in three ways:
1. Clear the Energy
When you are in the middle of a disagreement with your partner or boss, it is unrealistic to plop on the ground and start chanting your mantra over and over until they agree with you. But, you can put it into your thoughts and start to clear the negative energy that is in the air. By doing this, you shift the energy (not the direct person) to one of understanding and cooperation.
And by the way, you don’t have to chant Om over and over again. You can use any word or simple phrase to achieve your true intention.
Your mantra will be like a lighthouse sending out a beacon of light in the middle of a storm, continuously and persistently sending a message of hope that you will find your way through the storm if only you stay focused and on course. And if you follow the light, you will make it to safety. As you say your mantra over and over again, you begin to see despite the fog in the air (or your mind) and you achieve an awareness of your subconscious self.
2. Speak Your Truth
In the same way, you must have a focus when dealing with a life hurdle. You must stay true to your light, or right course for you in each of your difficult situations. When you are clear and speak your truth, the person before you will feel your pure intentions and movement towards cooperation is possible.
Am I saying that the way to peace and harmony is to terminate all negative things in your life? No, that is often an unrealistic expectation. What I am saying is to base your guiding light on convictions that are right for you, going back to your core values, and letting others be aware of your position when interacting with them. Most people will appreciate your authentic voice and openness. The people you want in your life will respect you. You may not be able to change other people but you can change how they relate to you by refusing to accept anything less than what you define as acceptable.
Your definition of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in a difficult situation is your mantra for that moment. But remember, the change is always with you. For example, Old mantra: “I am so angry. Why I am not being understood? ” to New mantra: “I am calm and express my needs using a voice of compassion.” By staying focused on your new mantra and not letting go of it, you will maintain your balance no matter the turbulent waters you face.
3. Be Mantra Specific
Develop a unique mantra for each of your difficult situations. Sometimes the mantra is something you will say only to yourself to help you remember the outcome you are seeking, and sometimes the mantra is something you will say to the other person to let them know what you will accept. You must decide the proper mantra for you in each unique situation, but when the right mantra appears you will feel it. Once you have that mantra, don’t let go of it, stay the course and it will get you through!
Reed is Co-Founder and Editor at yogaguardian.com, a digital yoga lifestyle magazine for yoga lovers who are seeking personal transformation; truly living their yoga off the mat. Send Reed your comments on this article or on Yoga Guardian at: email@example.com