A YOGI CHA BLOG
A symptom of our time
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
Many struggle to find “peace of mind”. Even those who take action and decide to change it all, let’s say by selling all their possessions and move into a monastery where they will restrict themselves to a rather rigid but very effective routine:
-practicing yoga daily,
-sitting down for meditation every morning,
-eating a “Sattvic” diet in a mindful manner.
Yes, it will most definitely do the trick. It will help.
However, if at some point, they decide to climb down from the mountain and go back to their lives, interact with family, friends and work, it might still be some non-peace inside of them.
This is perfectly natural since we are not made to live in the kind society we have today. But there is also the fact that we need to experience in order to learn. All the beautiful things we have learnt and the insights we have had when we work on ourselves or when we, just basically, give ourselves value enough to deal with, need to be then taken into situations for practice.
If you have read all the “learn German easy” books there is in the book store, you still need to practice German for some time in order for the brain to wire in this language so that you don’t have to translate every sentence in your head before speaking.
The person that you are has practiced its “identity” for a very long time. So to change that, you need to be patient. And committed.
We experience our day through emotions and thoughts, they are the tools we use in order to make decisions, move forward in general and interact. However, we were never really taught anything about them. We learned plenty of things from our family and we were “trained” in school to meet the world outside. But what to do when there’s an obsessive thought or a strong feeling, has always been rather obscure. So if you think about it, what we let decide how we live is something we have no control over. Naturally, many of us feel different kind of fear-like emotions on a regular basis: anxiety, anger, frustration, sadness… and since we don’t know what to do about it, because we don’t know how to change that or even why we feel it, we are controlled by the feeling.
In order to get out of the state, we do what we have always been taught to do. Distract ourselves away from it.
But whatever we resist, persists. If we distract ourselves every time there is discomfort, or if we avoid all together anything that makes us scared, it will only grow bigger and bigger. We will take on strategies to make our way around it until we eventually have strategised so far from everything that we simply feel numb.
This numbness makes us feel really small.
And it is true: we have reduced ourselves to a very limited experience of what life could be and are slaves to some kind of authority that tells us what to do, what to like, when to do things and what is right or wrong.
The idea that we are one with the universe, that our potential is infinite and that the only constant is change will obviously seem like fluffy rainbows-and-unicorn hippie talk.
This is really what the yogic philosophy talks about when it promotes the removal of IGNORANCE to see clearly and that ignorance is your source of suffering. That KNOWLEDGE is the way to happiness. And by knowledge, this beautiful philosophy simply means: to understand that we are ONE, unified, not separate. From the source of it all.
Now, zooming in to our small modern lives; how do we make this approachable and more so, useful in our daily doings?
Understand that this veil of ignorance that keeps us suffering is the same thing as the strategies we develop into the Image we have of ourselves. Because this image, how beautiful and useful it might be, is reducing us to that smallness we feel so limited by.
The day I decided to seek the bigger picture, to clean the window of ignorance, to allow for what is behind the image to reveal itself, was the day I said two things:
life is too short to not try to access this now &
life is actually quite long too, so not doing it means to live unhappy for quite some time
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