Wanting to run away from it all? Me too
We may not be able to change our external environment. We can’t suddenly change a pandemic, a lockdown, how the government works or any other challenge in our life. We may sometimes feel completely helpless and just want to run away. Or hideaway.
Sometimes we do. We may not be able to run off into the sunset, to tropical paradise… because right now we are in a pandemic. We might hide by diving into a deep depression, be absorbed into social media and scrolling, self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs. With food and chocolate. There are many ways to hide away or run away.
But the thing is… It’s only temporary. The problems are still there. They are not going away. Our quick fix of a glass of wine (because we deserve it), or mindless scroll on social media (because it’s mindless), or our hiding under the duvet is all just hiding away for a moment. Our stress and anxiety or anger and depression is still there. The external triggers are still there and we haven’t changed either.
Of course, we can use our anger and frustration to make changes in the World.
We can channel it to make the World a better place. Perhaps go into politics, education, environmental campaigning… whichever way works for you.
However, one thing we can do is to look inside. And notice how we react. How do you react?
When something triggers you… how do you react?
No judgement. Just notice.
Then consider… once you have noticed, taken a deep breath, perhaps felt your reaction in your physical body (tight belly, a lump in the throat, palpitations etc), taken another deep breath… then what?
Now we have a choice. We can react or we can respond. If there is no immediate danger take a moment to breathe and then respond.
The situation we are in now with the pandemic and its effect on daily life is long term. We need sustainable support for our mental and emotional health. For our nervous system. Self-medicating with alcohol, excess junk food or hiding away doesn’t work long term.
The only thing we can truly affect is our inner reality. Our spiritual practice. Our inner environment.
I may be angry with the government, feel deflated with the pandemic and the response to the pandemic, the challenges of Brexit, inequality, climate change (the list goes on). I have often thought of running away from it all but all countries and places will have politics (or weather, or other issues) I disagree with. That external trigger won’t change.
I have to rely on my spiritual practice (or how I think). The one thing I can change is my attitude, my focus, my internal environment, I still have that freedom. (Although it is deeply affected by the external).
What do I mean by this? I sometimes have a repeated conversation with a friend which goes something like this: If we were diagnosed with a disease that might be fatal what would we do? We would practise self-care of meditation, yoga, wholesome foods, a healthy home, connect with those we love and probably limit the time spent with anything and anyone that doesn’t feel supportive or healthy for us. We would live our best life. We would connect with our spiritual practice. Our inner truth, the eternal truth.
Yet, why are we not doing that anyway? Whether ill or not? I can deepen my spiritual practise regardless of how the country is run, regardless of rules and regulations, of pandemics and lockdowns.
I may talk and refer to the Divine, Goddess’ or Gods, maybe Nature, Truth, enlightenment, Inner Wisdom… you may have other names or references.
Connecting with the Divine/Truth (which is YOU).
So that is my intention.
Finding solace in my practice. Applying it to my daily life. And it’s a practice and a choice – every single moment. Often I choose chocolate, Instagram and Netflix too. Sometimes my anxiety and insomnia take over. Yet behind all of that, I drop back, breathe, reflect, acknowledge and know that I have choices and I can practise and can enrich, find peace, create ease and some kind of contentment in my inner environment.
And that’s the Path of yoga: Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha / Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations, or whirlings, of the mind. So that we may see the Truth or find some level of enlightenment or at least light.