As a person, I am a creature of habit. Ritual, organization, and other patterns of ingrained behavior rule my life. Consequently, when something unexpected occurs, I experience a bit of anxiety. Sometimes, this anxiety comes out in the form of sadness, fear, or pain. Other times, this discomfort comes across as anger, resentment, or resistance.
Having noted this behavior, this habit – this samskara, I have been watching myself for the past few days wondering how I might begin to change from a creature of habit into a creature of spontaneity. How I might begin to cultivate my sense of discipline and use it to incite the possibility of openness to go with whatever happens in order to be more fully awake and alive. After all, how can one fully experience life, if one is not as open to risking, to falling, and to failing as one is to soaring and flying? Both are required.
To answer these questions, I have started to do some research to figure out how I can begin to dissolve some of my samskaras – i.e. the mental and emotional habits/patterns of behavior I have acquired over time as a physical and spiritual being. From what I have read, the first step to rewiring a deeply ingrained belief is by first bringing the light of awareness to the issue. This awareness, this agni – fire, allows one to create some distance between one’s ingrained beliefs and the one’s true Self.
From this point, one then needs to set a sankalpa (an intention) by which to co-create the rest of one’s life.
And then through the disciplined practice of one’s awareness, i.e. through tapas, one begins to burn away the old beliefs, habits, and patterns, and in their place establish new life-affirming habits.
The result is a life where the individual is now more capable of fully living from a place of choice instead of being ruled by a sense of habit.
The question I have for you, the question I am asking of myself, is where do you wish to have the freedom of choice in your life and in your actions? Where do you hope to have more room to live fully – away from those deeply ingrained thoughts that place conditions and stipulations on who you can be? Wherever it is in your life, whatever it is for you, the question for the moment is where would you like to begin to live more fully? Where would you like to begin to dare to dream a bigger dream? Where do you need to begin to take risks outside your comfort zone?
Before proceeding on your day, take a moment to set an intention for yourself of how you can begin to risk more, dare more, live more, love more, thrive more. Once you have your intention, bring it to your hearts center and begin to take a few deep breathes. Imagine that each inhalation infuses your intention with prana – life force. Imagine that each exhalation uses a little fire, agni, to extinguish your limiting samskaras.
Continue with this breath for as long is necessary for you at this time and enjoy the rest of your day.