By cultivating an attitude of friendship toward those who are happy, compassion toward those in distress; joy toward those who are virtuous, and equanimity toward those who are non-virtuous, lucidity arises in the mind. ~Yoga Sutras of Patanjali #1.33*
Every single moment is an opportunity to become more fully alive. Every moment is an opportunity to expand. Every moment is an opportunity to express your sovereignty as a soul in this great theatre of humanity. Including this moment.
This week I am co-leading the Yoga Tune Up teacher training. We are at the half-way point where trainees tend to get quite overwhelmed. It’s an intense training that demands that they delve deeply into their “body blind spots” – areas that have gone ignored, abused, overused and mis-used. The training asks them to uncover their teaching blind spots too – places where they could gain more expertise, better articulation and more creative strategies.
On the first day I lead a portion of the training where we each design a sankalpa. Sankalpa is a chosen internal resolve that becomes the trainee’s anchor throughout the training. It represents a strong value they want to more fully explore and embody in their life. When I lead the exercise that helps them find their sankalpa, I always join in and create my own new sankalpa for the week.
The sankalpa I designed Saturday was: Leave no stone unturned.
This has become so much more relevant in the wake of the presidential election. Through regular practice and inquiry, everything is an opportunity to expand our capacity for presence and consciousness. Especially moments like this, if you choose to fully examine and process all the parts and pieces.
Everything I project onto Trump and his supporters is within me: The arrogance, the blind faith, the carelessness, the bigotry, the sexism, the hunger for power, the urge to exclude “others”, the desire to smash the establishment and stomp on the pieces. Also the urge for positive change, the distrust in the US government, the wanting to be a part of a movement and to feel seen and relevant.
I am the source of my world. As such, this is not an opportunity to bitch, whine and rage against all things red. But to explore each of those uncomfortable pieces of myself, to decide what I stand for and to take decisive action to live my values.
There is no leader that can take your responsibility for yourself out of your hands. There is no leader that will single-handedly handle the humanitarian and economic issues that bring so many to their knees.
We all build the society we live in every single day with our words and actions. We have the freedom of speech, right to organize and extraordinary resources to do so. No matter who is in the oval office, we must keep building the world we want to live in.
If we are all willing to look directly in the mirror… If we each genuinely evaluate the effects of our daily choices… If we orient our lives (or even just a couple hours a week) towards serving and uplifting those less fortunate… The country we hope to live in will rise up all around us.
Now it’s time to get back to work.
*Edwin Bryant translation