An Epiphany from a Kundalini Yoga Session: Let's Create the Moments in Which We Want to Live

Kathryn Dillon

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“Just remember life is all an illusion…it’s your creation and you can dismantle it and recreate it at will.” — Nanette Mathews

We talk a lot about staying in the moment, being mindful, and yet most of us have a very hard time actually doing it.

In this world of gadgetry and tech, the glorification of “busy” and constantly being on the go, our brains have grown accustomed to rarely, if ever, slowing down.

We can sit still, and probably spend too much time doing just that, but we’re never actually idle. We’re scrolling, swiping, texting, talking, thinking but it’s most often shallow — the stones skip across the surface of the pond rather than sinking deeply into something cool, immersive, substantial.

Our minds race constantly as we try to make sure none of the umpteen balls we're juggling at any given moment ever crash to the ground.

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, trying to force my brain to slow the heck down, to give me respite, even for a few moments.

Even then, it doesn’t really work. My husband and I have drinks at the mahogany bar in our dining room and the second he gets up to change the record (I know, how quaint!) I’m glancing at my phone, scrolling and scanning in a totally mindless way, barely absorbing what I’m seeing on the screen.

It’s just something to do, really. It's a way to pass the time, to avoid the moment, to make sure I don’t have to sit with myself and my feelings and the quiet for too long.

Apparently, sadly, even five minutes is too long.

Those of us who attempt to be self-aware might spend a lot of time examining our feelings and our reactions to our feelings. We’re pretty good at it. It’s all so very logical.

What we might not be so good at, however, is actually FEELING the feelings we so glibly analyze. We may tend to see them from a distance as if they aren’t really part of us at all, but something to assess scientifically. Eventually, they erupt like hot lava and we have no choice but to recognize and own them.

I’ve been telling myself that I have to swallow hard and face my feelings, as if they must be something terrifying and depraved, rather than just allowing myself to live with them and acknowledge them.

As a child, I was “overly sensitive”. I cried at the drop of a hat, and I had a temper, too. I spent most of my life trying not to get so angry, trying not to cry so easily. Eventually, I was successful, but it didn’t make me happier. It just made me feel like my outward persona was more normal, more acceptable.

Inside, I was often screaming.

To take our self-discovery to the next level, we need to reconnect with those feelings without making assumptions about them. Will it be easy? I don’t know. Will it be painful? I don’t know. Will it be liberating? I honestly don’t know, but I think so.

We won’t know any of these things until we take the leap of faith.

One day, on a whim, I pulled up a Kundalini Yoga video on YouTube and decided to check it out.

People have been telling me for years that I needed to try yoga. They said it would help mitigate the fibromyalgia that regularly causes me pain, that it would soothe my anxiety and stress, help with my breathing, allow me to feel more grounded.

I knew all of these things were true, but somehow I was resistant. Perhaps I also knew it would help me get in touch with myself, and that thought made me want to flee.

It’s funny how we can put up walls to keep other people out, and also end up disconnecting from ourselves.

After my session, during a lovely hot shower, the thought — seemingly out of nowhere — echoed through my mind like a whisper on the wind:

Create the moments in which you want to live.

I suddenly realized I’ve been forcing myself to embrace too many moments that I don’t actually want in my life rather than channeling my energy to create the moments (or the attitude) that I actually WANT to have.

I’ve been telling myself that I have to swallow hard and face my feelings, as if they must be something terrifying and depraved, rather than just allowing myself to live with them and acknowledge them, to be curious about them.

The result has been exactly as you might imagine — a fight or flight instinct kicks in every time.

But the concept of creating our moments feels far more peaceful than that. It’s empowering, yet involves relinquishing control. It points responsibility inward rather than outward while recognizing the inevitable external influences on our lives and our moods.

It’s allowing ourselves to BE, so we can see what that actually feels like.

I know I’ve come far afield from my core in so many ways. I'm probably not alone in that.

It’s also like the notion of “create your own life”, but at the micro-level. It doesn’t involve career strategies and five-year plans, or lofty personal goals. It’s all about breaking it down to the moment.

It might not seem like much, in the beginning, but I have a theory that – if we practice - those moments will link together and form ever-increasing stretches of time where we’re more in tune with ourselves, and better able to affect our surroundings.

That doing so will open new pathways to our creative sides.

It’s basically common sense, but the best things often are, aren’t they? It’s just that our minds figure out a different way to comprehend them, and suddenly the world is crystal clear.

“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each is to succeed.” — Corita Kent

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I live and write in Northeast Ohio, about everything from food to mental health, pets to relationships, music, art, and sports. My articles usually have a personal slant because I believe we as a society and as individuals grow stronger through truth-telling and connection.

Cleveland Heights, OH
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