Open to Grace. The complexity of this phrase is such that it could, in my opinion, take an entire symphony to express, and a life time of consistently opening to its teachings to understand. It’s the most difficult of the Universal Principles of Alignment to teach within the Anusara® yoga method. At the same time, it holds the key to successfully taking your yoga off the mat and into the world.
What if you need to roll up your yoga mat and whack the life out of the couch before you can stand at the head of the mat and remember you’re connected to a loving and powerful presence that will always hold you in It’s GRACE?
I woke up this morning and made the mistake of checking in with the world at large before I even got out of bed. In a matter of 5 minutes, my filter of the day’s news was that public education and healthy food for students are under attack by an administration that certain Senators see so dangerous that they are creating a bill to limit a president’s ability to unilaterally start a nuclear war.
There are days when Opening to Grace isn’t about attuning to the Highest and immediately finding peace. It’s about being human and recognizing that your feelings, reactions and calls to action are yours to deal with; yours to use as a source of empowerment.
Especially when you find yourself fuming with anger, disgust, intense sadness and fear about anything that happens in our world as it relates to the pictures of what you prefer to be true.
The feelings associated with every emotion from joy to agony, are the rainbow of flavors –Rasas- that make up the human experience. The rasas are the very reason the ONE chose to experience life in YOUR limited form. Opening to the power, the Shakti that flows through all the flavors is how to skillfully begin to deal with and utilize the intensity to open the doorway that leads toward freedom. In other words, you can harness powerful emotions like anger, disgust, hopelessness etc. by diving into them. OPEN TO THE GRACE that an “unsavory emotion” can present by giving yourself permission to feel what you feel. Validate your emotions by giving them an appropriate forum to move you toward solution. I’m not talking about venting on your social media channel. I’m talking about creating safe and appropriate space to let the emotions have unencumbered free reign for a short time.
Intense emotions are powerful catalysts when we dive into them and allow the Power/Energy/Shakti to move you toward a call to action!
Stuffing an emotion is never really healthy. Shelving an emotion due to inappropriate conditions is a good idea until you are able to let them have the floor. Diving into an emotion is certainly not the same as wallowing in it. Additionally, diving in half-way due to shame, fear, or inappropriate conditions for full release will not produce the same results as full throttle “moving the emotional energy.”
How do you effectively move emotional energy?
· Safe & appropriate space: Choose a private location where you will not offend, scare or disrupt others. This can be home alone, in the woods, or anywhere that allows you to unleash yourself.
· Let the emotion, situation, driving forces of circumstance well up and be felt.
· If you’re Angry; let your voice be heard LOUDLY! Scream, yell, and let your angry words come out! A focused “RAGE SESSION” can clear out the fumes and allow you to discover what is truly below the surface. Yes, you can also roll up the yoga mat and skillfully direct anger and resentment into the couch! You can scream at the top of your lungs to a tree, it won’t mind!
· If you’re HURT; let your sorrow have a voice. Cry, sob, moan and feel your tender heart.
· Moving emotional energy is like draining a swamp. Let the Shakti flow until you feel a sense of clarity begin to emerge. This could take several waves to move the toxic energy and create space for healing and heart to emerge.
The clarity that emerges after moving your energy is the space that you can begin to RE-member your heart space!
Entering the heart’s space is where you will truly begin to Open to Grace. This is where you can stand within your SELF and recognize that you are connected to a deeply organized, deeply powerful presence that is Conscious, Aware, and Peaceful. Sometimes…this Grace is found through the doorway of the emotions such as anger, sadness, disgust, and fear that need permission to have just as much value as joy and peace.