I get some of my best material for these blog posts walking through our local grocery store - seriously. It is often where my patience is tested the most (reminder: I live on an island of 10,000 people who sees upwards of 3.5 MILLION visitors each year. . . the narrow aisles of our grocery store don’t always cut it during the height of the summer season).
Our grocery store also happens to be the social mecca of our town, especially during the Fall, when the tourist season starts to slow down. I suddenly start to see all of my fellow locals, who have been hiding away all summer, trying to avoid the crowds.
Two days ago, while I was strolling the aisles, I ran into at least 10 different women I have some sort of personal relationship with. They spanned various ages and careers. . .some have kids, some don’t. . . some practice yoga and other wellness activities, some don’t. What was so striking about our interactions was that each time I said, “How are you?,” every single one of them responded with some variation of, “Oh my goodness. . .I’m so stressed. I’m so busy. Life is crazy right now.” Every. Single. One. And I know this isn’t a new phenomenon. I find myself responding like that on most days.
I know that some of this response is truth. But some of it can simply be the habit of small talk with acquaintances. . . Inner Voice: “We’ve talked about the weather. . .now what’s next? Oh yes. . .be sure to say how busy you are, because everyone is busy, so you need to look busy too. (Read more about the disease of being busy here). It’s more than just a personal habit - it’s a societal one. One that is a run-away crazy-train leading straight to deficiency and burn-out.
It is so important to be able to recognize that within all of this busy, we often forget about ourselves. And the truth of the matter is: We will NEVER get EVERYTHING done. We just won’t. Once you have waded into the discomfort of that statement and let its simple (and liberating!) truth wash over you, ask yourself: How can I make choices that continue to serve others, but also serve myself?"
Yogi Bhajan gave us a powerful meditation for self-blessing, allowing us to drop into a space of first healing ourselves. Then, and only then, we will have the power and the capacity to go out into the world and serve others.
MEDITATION TO BLESS YOURSELF
POSTURE: Sit in easy pose with a straight spine, and a light Neck Lock.
MUDRA: Raise both arms out to the sides, bend the elbows so that the forearms come to a 90 degree angle, fingers pointing to the sky. Hands face forward.
EYE FOCUS: Eyes are focused at the tip of the nose.
MANTRA & MOVEMENT: Chant along with the mantra Humee Hum Brahm Hum, and move with the rhythm of the mantra. (Yogi Bhajan originally used this recording by Nirinjan Kaur)
Touch the top of your head with the left hand, blessing yourself.
Return to the starting position
TIME: Continue for 11 minutes.
TO END: Inhale, hold the breath, tighten the spine, and stiffen the left hand. Pull the energy of the spine into the left hand. Exhale. Repeat 2 more times. Relax.
ABOUT THIS MEDITATION: When you get up in the morning, stretch yourself with cat stretch. Then lie down straight with your right arm alongside you, and bless yourself as you did in the meditation. One blessing is enough to start your day. Start living consciously. Become a human being. Be humble, serviceful, kind, compassionate. Your power to heal is in how much anger you have forgiven yourself for.