Create A Beautiful Future - TODAYMay 18, 2020 02:45PM ● By Bill Eager
Great teachers throughout history have taught us about the relationship between our mind, body, energy, consciousness and the future. If we are not careful our mind controls our energy and consciousness and can have a negative impact on our future. Let’s see how we can change the equation to allow energy and consciousness to set a foundation for positive outcomes.
Mind helps humans organize time. In the West we divide time into sections to create projects and goals with timetables. We envision the future. We have trained our incredibly flexible mind to accomplish great things using time as a yardstick to measure success. COVID-19 dramatically hit the PAUSE button on time.
But time-oriented goals create problems. The problem is not the goal itself, but rather getting attached to a specific outcome. It is easy to waste a lot of energy getting or trying to get external things in the future. But we live now - in the present moment. There is no guarantee of happiness when we get what we so badly desire, or handle disappointment when it doesn’t materialize. We forget that the journey is as important as the outcome.
With many aspects of time off the table - not knowing when to schedule a plane ride, family reunion, concert - the mind shifts focus. Mind loves to do something. As Western thinkers, we use the same mind that enjoys creating goals to worry. We worry about not having goals. We worry the calendar is not filled. We worry about terrible things that could happen - but haven’t yet. This is where energy, prana, comes in.
You lose prana when your mind dwells on things that are outside your circle of influence.
An ongoing, global pandemic creates a wide variety of things that are outside our control. The mind now requires even more energy, and the result is fatigue. Worse, our subconscious mind accentuates the process. In both dream time and daytime, our subconscious carries the storyline of the waking mind, adding another layer of fear and anxiety.
Biological prana is connected to our breath. When prana is unconscious it manifests as a tightness in the physical body. Usually this tightness occurs in the solar plexus, the Manipura chakra, which corresponds to our nervous and immune systems. The plexus is the concentration of the nerves in this region of the body. This is our personal power, our self-confidence, how we judge ourselves and others. It spins out of balance when we feel threatened (Coronavirus is dangerous), or when rules restrict us (stay at home) and stifle our natural exuberance.
We need harmony. It happens by helping our body get more energy. One way is with breath. Deep, slow breathing or pranayama combined with an intention of well being. Intention is important because as you breathe consciously the breath carries the guided meaning of relaxation and health through your body. Sit in a chair and re-balance yourself with two minutes of breath work. Breathe in for a count of six, hold for a count of three, breathe out for a count of six, hold for three. Practice with alternate nostrils. A second way is with the body. Exercise, practice yoga, bike, dance, sing. When we are active and connect with our body it anchors the mind into the present moment and we heal. The mind takes a break and your body gets more energy.
The next step is consciousness. Consciousness is the ultimate rebellion against adopted reality. What is adopted reality? Our habitual patterns, our samskaras. Consciousness is a tool we can use to become aware of, and then shapeshift reality.
The reality we create is the feeling of joy in the present moment. One key is choiceless awareness. When something happens that pushes your buttons – the grocery store is out of your favorite steak, your hair salon remains closed, a stranger moves too close – practice catching yourself the moment you have a reaction. Train yourself to let it go.
Eliminate the reaction of “for or against” and future remains open. Another way to be here now is to feel the energy, of an experience as it occurs. Allow the felt sense of all vibrations - singing, music, movement – to set into your awareness. Then, sink into the experience. If you want to practice this, simply chant the mantra “OM” out loud - five times, slowly. When you are done sit quietly and see how the sound settles into your entire body.
We don’t need to stop making plans even with an uncertain future. Rather, enjoy making plans and let them go. Don’t focus on the result. Focus on your spirit. We are living through a global experiment in accepting the unknown. In being comfortable with change and contradictory outcomes. This is an opportunity to let the flexible mind find a new way to support us, to help our body optimize energetically, and let consciousness create a pathway for a beautiful future.
Bill Eager is the author of Thrive Inside available on Amazon.