By Elena Brower
If I wish my inner space to be one of depth, simplicity, and love, I need to master my volatile emotional states.
Knowing that we live in two worlds at once, the physical and the spiritual, learning how to master the physical world in order to more efficiently shift towards the finer spiritual realm at will requires practice.
Mastery of the physical world requires an able mind and an adaptable emotional space. In order to shift from a negative state to a positive one, we need both.
How do we shift from negative to positive at will?
This quick post is about creating more sacred, refined space within ourselves is the simplest and most important practice we can explore.
Yes, yoga is a way. Yes, meditation as well. But mid-interaction, when it feels like I’ve been wronged by someone close to me—that’s the time. Peter Rhodes says that first, “you must understand that no work is possible unless you get into a bad inner state…”
So I’ve begun to gently welcome the fleeting feelings of acidic anger that take over my heart, my hands, my bones–for moments, minutes. I’ve even been able to list a handful of best practices for this exact timeframe.
May this short chronological recipe be of use if you find yourself in similar straits.
1. Smile/breathe. In the face of that sad, angered personality wanting more attention for being sad and angered, I smile and breathe until I feel my chemistry shift. It always does. Takes about 10 seconds.
2. Remember that you needed this moment—in order to strengthen your compassion and your understanding of how to be a better parent, partner, daughter/son, sibling, friend.
3. Place a hand on yourself in a loving way; explore the fields of Reiki, Energy Medicine and Qi Medicine to learn more loving ways to literally care about your own body and being.
4. Wait. Rather than rushing to “fix” it right away, take some notes, have a night’s sleep, sit for meditation, wash the dishes, do something else. Then return to the matter at hand with a bit more clarity. A bit of time always helps to dull the sharpest sensations.
5. Remind yourself that this “bad” state isn’t an indicator of the fact that you’re failing. The fact that you can see it and work on evolving it means you care. You’re doing your work.
And if you forget all of this, apologize; AS soon as you can. Acerbic emotional states accrue within us, just like meditative healing states–and those moments become the core of who we are. It’s better for all of us when we apologize. A good apology moves us all in the right direction.
Featured image, Elena Brower via The Art of Attention.
For further exploration and self-study—Elena is the author of Art of Attention: A Yoga Practice Workbook for Movement as Meditation.