I am writing from my brand new, sweet condo in Sarasota, Florida, where I’ll be living during the winter months. As many people do this time of year, I have been asking myself: How to most consciously create a brand new year?
Recently I have been delving deeply into the subject of choices. How can I choose most consciously to create 365 mindful, blessed, delightful days? Tal Ben-Shahar teaches eloquently on choices. In his wonderful book, Choosing the Life You Want, he reminds us that every small choice we make adds up to a whole life.
My primary model for consciousness for over twenty five years has been my dear friend, the chakra system. These seven energy centers not have only been anchors for my choices, they also are the foundation for my calling, life’s work: Let Your Yoga Dance.
Recently I was asked, “Do you use chakras to help you make choices?”
My reply: “Absolutely Yes.”
Right now, I am immersed in Chakra 1, the Muladhara Chakra. This chakra helps to ground me into Mother Earth: I purposefully feel my feet connecting to this planet. BKS Iyengar, by the way, was known to say that yoga is not about learning to stand on your head, it’s learning, rather, to stand on your own two feet.
I have learned that making choices and plans without my first chakra at the helm consistently leads to ungrounded, unwanted consequences. Over the decades, I have created an earth-based model for making choices. It works every time for me. I call it:
The Four Noble Truths of Choosing
starring Chakra 1
- I plant my feet on the ground, in my own Mountain Pose of good posture.
- I take one, then two, then three conscious, deep in-breaths and out-breaths.
I ask myself, “Megha, what’s true in this moment right now?”
If the moment is blissful, I acknowledge it with gratitude. If the moment is unpleasant, I report to myself the truth of what is happening now. For example, if I’m frustrated dealing with too many emails, I might say:
“What’s true right now is that I am feeling impatient and frustrated with these 100 emails I must read and reply to.”
I stay with my breath and keep my feet planted on the ground.
Now I imagine Mother Earth herself asking me, “Megha, is there a way you can support yourself in this moment?”
I might reply: “If I can just play a piece of music (a slow but rhythmically moving song, resonating with chakra 1), I know I will feel better in just a few minutes.” (example: Deva Premal’s CD, The Essence. Song: "Gayatri Mantra").
Sure enough, it follows as the night the day, that this four step intervention shifts my energy; my mood lightens; it becomes much easier to choose mindfully. When I let Chakra 1 open me to possibility, I see a whole range of possibilities.
Feel free to dance with Chakra 1 by trying these Four Noble Truths of Choosing. And of course, I am certain you know that I have flagrantly used the Buddha’s ancient Four Noble Truths for my own title. I feel confident he would not mind.
Meanwhile – I hope we can let our yoga dance together this year!
By the way: I am thrilled to ask you to:
Hope you can come! Happy 2015!