What Matters Most
"Though one may conquer a thousands times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." -Buddha
In the span of time you are here on earth, what do YOU consider to be most important?
Life was made for you. Every waking moment of your life, YOU are there. We are all an eye in our own storm of life, but why is it so difficult to maintain center, at ease and peaceful? Life brings a lot of external factors we have no control over and it gets tricky, as you know. Nothing else matters if you don't have a good handle on yourself. But, what does that mean? Philosophers of the past, yogis as well as modern psychologists agree that Self-mastery is the most important factor for living a happier, healthier and even more prosperous life. Nowadays we're constantly forcing more into our schedules, searching for acceptance from others and over-consuming toxic things like fast-food and Netflix. In yoga, regulating ourselves require an ability to control our mental tendencies, which pull us into negative habits and uneasy emotional states. No matter what you want to achieve in life, it's not enough to learn how to do it. You have to get yourself to actually do it and that requires Self-mastery.
Science and research has given us access to oodles of information and resources to better our lives for the good. And these scientific teachings allow us to discover so much more about ourselves and life in general. This is great, but sometimes it can come with a ton of false claims, propaganda and unintended assumptions. We can get overwhelmed by the influx of information roaming around that we forget what is most important: Self.
"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is the victory of Self." -Aristotle
Through my yogic practice I've taken new practices into my own life to help better serve the people I interact with, but most importantly regain my Self confidence, especially when things go south. In the book, The Chakras of Tantra, my Guru, Ganga Devi describes ways we can practice Self-discipline to better organize our time. Which, in return will make us more productive and happy. While she goes into much more detail in her book, I have shared my top strategies with you:
Clear your mind. Meditation is the best tool available to do this cleansing and you should make this top priority at the start of everyday. Which also means you should try to wake before the rest of the world rises. Giving you a jump start to your day and life!
Get everything you have to do, tasks and chores out of your head with a clean piece of paper. Write down "WORRIES" as a header and start to list everything that comes to mind. Write down all your "JOY" items on a different sheet. This can include names of people, and events that cause you to feel joyful and happy. Toss away the worries and keep the joys close to your heart to remind you what life is all about. DO THIS DAILY!
Generate Prana (energy). We all know that sitting in a chair is just as bad as smoking a cigarette. Right!? Sitting for long periods of time reduces and robs us of energy -- making us more lethargic and unmotivated. This is counterproductive when we want to create a life that would allow us to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. A study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reported that inactive people who complained about fatigue could increase energy by 20 percent and decrease fatigue by as much as 65 percent by engaging in simple exercise like yoga or tai chi.
Getting started can be uncomfortable, however the discomfort is only experienced when it's done occasionally. When our intentions become a good habit, all discomfort disappears. So, in order to create a habit you need to stick to a plan. With NO interruption I challenge you to set up the next 90 days to accomplish just one goal or habit you feel is right for your life! After the 90 days you'll have a new way of living and then you can start fresh with a new habit or goal to crush just like the last one!