We all have our own unique challenges that impede us from reaching our goals. The sage Patanjali, wrote about the Eight Limbs of Yoga as a pathway to experience nirvana and attaining freedom from samsara (cycle of birth and death and re-birth). One of the limbs discusses ethical restraints known as yamas. The yamas contain ethical principles such as not harming self or others, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-grasping or non-coveting, and finding balance (brahmacharya). Finding balance in my life has been a constant challenge. Anybody who knows me well, knows that I love to throw myself into things. Whatever I become interested in, quickly becomes an unbridled passion. While the passion for new interests has in some ways, allowed me to push through barriers, it comes at a cost. Recently in yoga teacher training at Ekahi we have been sharing our experiences with the yamas. From this sharing, I realized that one of the yamas that I struggle with the most is brahmacharya.
I have finally reached the point in my life where I have created so many projects that it is difficult to give them all the attention they deserve – somethings do suffer the consequence. It is like I have an eight burner stove and I have passionately made eight different meals that all have different cooking requirements. Sometimes one of the pots begins to burn or another one boils over or another one I missed a key ingredient. While realizing that the creation of the eight pots requiring constant attention is somewhat demoralizing, I have started to learn something from this experience. I am beginning to realize that I can slowly turn down the flames on the pots of creation and slowly give each of them attention at a less frenzied pace. By improving my organization and being mindful that I have enough pots going and not trying to get another “pot on the go”, I can appreciate what I have created.
In addition to needing to attend to the creations, the creator needs to attend to self. As challenging as it may be, I need to make sure that I am taking care of myself too. If at the end of the creations, I have sacrificed my own well-being, then it was all for nothing. There is no point to the creation if you are too unwell to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Through brahmacharya, I am starting to turn down the flames of intensity down on the stove and dedicating some time to my own wellness. Perhaps some of what I am saying resonates with you? Perhaps you too have got eight pots going with the flames on high? How will you keep it all going?