I had a really interesting encounter last week, and I've been dying to tell you about it! I was a vendor at the fall fashion launch for B.D.F.O. Lifestyle brand. (I highly recommend looking them up and following on social media.) I met lots of interesting people and got to talk chakras with new friends.
One of these new friends is Mia. After doing some chakras Q&A with her, she revealed to me that she is a stoic. She said that when she read about the philosophy of stoicism that it felt like home to her, and that in fact she believed her grandmother, who raised her, was a stoic. She began to enlighten me with some of the ways of thinking that helps her stay grounded and unaffected by the conditions of the world around her. Here's my favorite:
You can only control two things: what comes out of your mouth, and what you do with your hands.
Everything else, everything, is out of your control.
As I've been pondering this encounter for the last few days, I've also been meeting with and seeing clients and students and listening to what's going on for them. And many of you are frustrated, hot, dismayed, and incredulous with our current environment. And I get this. I truly do. But it seems to me that at a certain point, there ceases to be a benefit in dwelling. Frustration, anxiety, and anger arise when one feels helpless to create the change they desire. So rather than dwell in helpless inaction, what do we do?
You know I love it when wisdom traditions line up with each other, and this is no exception. The three steps of yoga of action are where we get our instructions. Whatever the cause or catastrophe,
1) Svadyaya/Self study: Why does it pull your heart strings or stick in your craw? Borrowing from our stoic friend, What can you SAY or DO that is a positive action, no matter how small it seems, that moves you in the right direction? What is YOURS to say or do?
2) Tapas/Take Right Action: Say it skillfully. Do it with integrity and compassion.
3) Ishvara Pranhidana/Surrender the Fruits: Once you've taken the action that is yours to take, let go. The rest is up to the Universe to determine the outcome. Deep breath. Get back to your life. Have some fun. Be happy.
And start the process over again...
The world needs you to bring it your all right now. So let's all dig down, recognize our gifts and use our voice to create the environment, whether at home or across the globe, that is the change we want to see. No need to dwell on what you can't do--focus on what you CAN! Whether that's with your mouth or your hands or both.
I'll see you out there!