Dealing with our whiteboard

Category : General advice, Philosophy 15th May 2022

Inside Yoga 322 (15/5/2022)

Many of us feel we have too much on our plate, and it feels continuous, like a whiteboard of never-ending chores, and we often or continuously feel uneasy about our day or week ahead. Sometimes we know what it is, and others we’re not really sure from the list of possible causes; so how do we deal with this?</P
Part of the solution is not to look for the cause or source, but deal with the symptoms we feel of worry, anxiety, stress and possibly a mild sense of uneasiness.

We might feel we need to get somewhere to solve it, but the solution is to understand that there is not a place where it is always bliss, because this is not realistic. Perhaps momentary bliss, but soon followed by a landing back on the ground of reality.

This need to pull ahead of the obstacles in our life, can often feel like we need to get somewhere, and understandably, we just want this feeling of struggle to stop, and just away forever. But in reality, something else keeps cropping up.

But where is this place? Is there such a place?

I believe our practice of yoga teaches us that there is no other place, but instead it is a case of removing the negative feelings and thoughts, so that we are better placed to deal with the situations we might be facing. There are numerous examples of how this manifests in life, a good example is the person who seeks wealth as a way of finding happiness and to be care-free, only to discover, the bank account might be healthy but they still feel the worry and anxiety they did before, might be different situations but the worry is the same.

There might be many a time when we feel that we keep striving and searching, and we feel unable to progress, as if we are stuck in a jungle’s branches, cutting and slashing yet making little progress.

And, our goal feels no nearer; in fact, we might not even know what our goal is, because we just want to feel better, and whilst we have put a label on a goal, we might also have a suspicion that it might be something else. Or, perhaps, it is more about what we don’t want to feel, or, have in our life, that is driving us forward.

Which begs the question, where are we trying to get to when we are actually fine where we are, and all we need to do is remove something, whether it is physical or a way of thinking.

Both yoga and Buddhist philosophy adopt another view, where we are asked to realise that this search and pursuit is not about moving and reaching, whether it is mentally or physically, but instead it is about removing obstacles which obscure our own natural clarity, where at the core of our being it is possible to discover there is clarity and stillness. It was always there, or here, I should say!

And the journey might change to one of acceptance, adaptation, and adjustment instead of a longing for something far away which we fool ourselves into thinking has to be the answer (even if we don’t know the question we can be convinced that there is an answer!).

And, I am not really trying to go cosmic and mystical here, though this sort of conundrum is often the preserve of the esoteric.

Searching can feel so difficult that it can come as a relief to think that the answer is so esoteric and mystical that no wonder it cannot be found. Though it is quite possible to put it another way, that the truth is more mundane. For example, there is a simple reason why we are told that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. We feed our negative thoughts convincing ourselves that we need to go elsewhere or have something else, when it might well be ok where we are, and maybe, it is question of removing our obstacles.

Or, our sense of missing something is just our minds playing tricks on us, making us be on our guard, like a form of survival mode, to be alert for danger, but instead our mind convinces us that we are on alert for an answer and solution to our uncomfortable and unwanted worries, thoughts, and feelings. This uncomfortable feeling we keep having could well be our survival instincts putting us on guard, which is natural and part of being human; and there might not be anything really wrong, and if we address each issue and situation which we face, calmly and methodically, we might well feel a bit better, and have sense that are making progress… not going anywhere, but getting rid of what we don’t need. And as we know, stuff keeps arising.

Our mental whiteboard of chores to do will not remain empty for long, this whiteboard keeps filling up, and we keep taking items off it, hence our continued alertness and worry that we have; so, if we can accept these awkward feelings as just being normal, maybe we can feel better.

For many of us, what is needed is to let go of the need to reach out, and instead to look at ourselves and get rid of what we don’t need, and in the case of meditation, these are thoughts and emotions we do not need. In terms of yoga asanas, the exercises can shake of restlessness and lethargy, getting our energy levels back up.

Whatever journey, or non-journey we might be on, it never really ends, life is filled with changes, which means we are continually adapting and adjusting to what life presents us with, be unpleasant or pleasant. Even if all we want is a steady, predictable and safe life, in which we understand and know what is going on! But we don’t, do we? And this worries us. If we can accept that worrying is OK, that it is normal, then perhaps we will worry less about being worried!

A thought for the week: Any questions or comments contact me via the blog reply panel below or email

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