How to Choose Your Own Reality
We make decisions every day, all day long: in our jobs, with family, with our relationships, about our food, about what we want to wear. Our entire reality is based upon the decisions we make on a daily basis. What we forget to realize, though, is that we always have a choice. We choose our own reality and what we choose is just a reflection of our own core values.
Alan Finger on Karma Yoga
Alan likes to say that our lives are 49% free will and 51% karma. (He used to say 50/50 until the economy crisis happened in 2008!) Karma, or action, is the force that causes us to exist on this plane of existence. It is a force that is much larger than us and therefore beyond our control. Natural disaster, climate change, death, disease: these are all products of karma that effect us tremendously. How they effect us, though, and how we respond to these forces is our choice. To take a situation that is seemingly negative and destructive and change it into something that creates growth and evolution: this is how we gain strength, insight and wisdom.
Think of something in your life that was beyond your control and notice what you harbor in your mind and physical body about it. Is it something that has closed you off from experiencing joy and inspiration? Has it kept you from feeling connected and loved? That is a choice that you are making.
Yoga gives us the tools to empower ourselves to make the decisions that are right for our body and our consciousness: to choose an option that leaves us feeling more open and connected rather than closed off and separated. The next time you come onto your mat, notice the decisions you make and how they effect your experience in the practice. It is the experience that is all we are left with, which will ultimately inform every decision we make.
Try this Ishta Yoga Breathing Exercise at home
1. Lay onto your back, bend your knees with your feet wide and your knees to touch.
2. Place one hand on your belly another hand on your chest, and start to feel the sensations of your breath in the body.
3. Notice what comes up as you rest your awareness on the sensations of the breath.
4. Notice where your mind is. Are you focusing on the distractions around you, or on a situation in your life that is creating conflict. Now come back to the breath, consciously relax your facial muscles and soften the tops of your shoulders. And allow the breath to expand even more into your body.
5. Notice how you feel.
Image by Alan Finger