All too often these days, I find myself having to reface old, misguided, and unwarranted anger. Because my spiritual beliefs and practices factor so significantly in my earthly life, I am stunned and dismayed when I flounder wildly amidst decidedly ungenerous emotions. In the exact moments when Compassion, Understanding, and Patience are needed, my “C-U-P” has been notably absent.
What to do when you recognize your own errant ways? Although I do still have some tendency to demean myself for these flailings, I have at least learned that they are not failings: Rather, they highlight where I need to direct my practice. And for anyone, on any day, at any given moment, that need may be different.
What does seem to help in any situation, however, is a straightforward self-inventory. For this practice, I suggest noting where you ache or hold tension: The associated muscle group or nearby organ can guide you toward effectively releasing not only the physical discomfort, but its psychological counterpart. Further, when the earthly symptoms have been addressed, the appropriate spiritual route almost always presents itself.
Because most of us, at one time or another, experience an emotional or spiritual regression, certain practices can act as cover-all remedies in a pinch. For example, unresolved anger may lie dormant for years; in an instant, however, it can flare up in even the most devoted souls. The Liver/Gall Bladder system of Traditional Chinese Medicine controls this common human vulnerability. If you find yourself with a stiff neck or clenched jaw, or if your groin or outer hips are especially tight, anger may be lurking within.
Alternatively, you may feel depleted and unable to address whatever situation has your C-U-P running on empty. When your first thought is to hide under the covers… do it: However, set a limit for yourself; turn off your phone for an hour or a day, but have a deadline. During your “retreat,” try a meditation for self-forgiveness, or to free yourself from the minutiae of your concerns. Also, restorative or yin-style yoga postures can meet you in your stuck mode, and then ease you into action.
Typically, any technique you choose would awaken and soothe the Heart energy. To this end, your hands, arms, and chest area take center stage: The Heart Chakra and Heart meridian comprise these areas. As you work with the Heart, compassion for self and others resurrects itself, and you become more inclined to connect, even within the most challenging of circumstances.
Finally, in order to withstand any difficult situation or emotion, all of us need to feel a sense of our own strengths. If your feeling of personal power has diminished, your ability to take on a trial also lessens. When you physically stoke the Third Chakra, you stimulate the source of self-esteem and will power: Your intention becomes clear, and your ability to follow through to a resolution is heightened.
In tomorrow’s Silent Sunday post, I will offer a practice designed to address these areas that may quiver when faced with challenge. To firmly squelch this tendency, you may commit yourself to a 40-day practice of these exercises and meditation. If, however, you need an immediate jolt of courage and positivity, inject the routine into your day whenever you can. Regardless, you will feel better physically; most importantly, the grace and kindness that others need from you (and that you need for yourself) will once again light your way.