What are you watching?
#withDavida May 2023
My friend was recently laid off from her job. She is nearing retirement age and feeling anxious and tired of the possibility of starting over. In her words I heard fear and resistance to the unknown. I was excited for her and said, “Wow! What a great opportunity to try something new! The universe is opening up to you!”
I’ve known several people over the years who ended up in this situation where their job ended or they’re offered early retirement. Some are deflated by it. Others rejoice at the opportunity. My mother-in-law took early retirement from her technical job at the phone company, returned to school and became a echocardiographer. Within a few years she was performing ultra sound on the hearts of babies at Boston’s renowned Children’s Hospital. Boy, she never saw that coming.
Are you resisting life or embracing it? How do you handle the unexpected? What is the conversation in your head when life throws a curve ball? Yoga teaches us to pause and watch. Take note of how you feel and react. In yoga it’s called Sakshi… being the witness.
The mind is made up of your observations and experiences. This is what creates your obsessions and aversions. Depending on what you’ve been through you might cling to familiarity and comfort or embrace the excitement and thrill of the unknown.
Change doesn’t have to scare you. Fear is a construct of the mind. It only exist in your head. Most of the things we worry about never happen. Yet we can work ourselves into a frenzy causing sleepless nights and over eating and under eating.
I listen to Sadhguru, a well known yogi who asks “do you like horror movies? Fear is producing horror movies in your mind but you’re not making money from admission.”
The Sakshi is watching the movie with amusement. She is the watcher observing the thoughts without being involved. Like watching the traffic out a window, versus being frustrated sitting in one of the cars.
When we come to our yoga mat the first thing we do is become a Sakshi. Watching breath, feelings, and sensations. Allowing the mind to quiet. The more we practice this, the more it becomes easily accessible especially in tense situations like witnessing a serous accident or losing your job. For these times you learn to put your thoughts in the background and put focus on what is real and important. That could be performing CPR on a crash victim or opening to the idea of a new career path.
Take this practice off the mat. When something difficult or unexpected happens, instead of reacting, step back and watch. Life can be a thriller. Good news! Not only are you the protagonist, you are the writer and producer. Turn plot twists into happy endings.