Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
- Viktor Frankl
Welcome to September. Seems to come around before we know it. I have been sharing Viktor Frankl's quote in my classes the past two weeks. One student came up to me last week after class and she asked me to share the quote with her. She had told me she thought her grown up son could benefit from hearing this. It made me just smile inside myself when she said this. These words are so universal. Everyone of us could benefit from hearing this and quite often!
I can tell you from my own experience that the 'space' Vicktor Frankl refers to becomes more and more available through a dedicated yoga and meditation practice.
Really this quote is referring to equanimity. Equanimity is about understanding the difference between reactivity of mind and responsiveness of mind. This distinction is essential. These two words create two very different states of mind. Reactivity creates agitation. Responsiveness creates the basis for a balanced and compassionate mind.
The kicker is that equanimity refers to a state of mind that is both calm and balanced, especially in the midst of difficulty. That is a tall order. This makes me think of my Aunt Sally. Really it is my husband's aunt but I have gratefully adopted her as my aunt as well. Aunt Sally is what I refer to as a salt of the earth woman. She is 88 years old and lives independently in her own home in our town of Summit. Her whole life has been about meaningful relationships, service to others, and finding joy in the day to day. And she has had plenty of hardship in her life since I have known her. She has lived through many years of care taking a disabled husband before his passing and an unexpected loss of her son. Aunt Sally is a perfect example of someone who has found the space that Viktor Frankl describes. That space allows her to live her life with presence, grace and acceptance in her daily life. She has the ability to find that space and pause and respond from her highest self. She is often my muse when I am struggling through something.
It's really up to you. There is a lot of freedom of choice here. Some of us are more hard wired to pause and some of us are more hard wired to react. Would you prefer more agitation or a little more balance in your day to day state of mind? You can choose. Calm is a choice. Calm is a practice. And one of the tools to finding this calm is the breath. If this peeks your interest more I stumbled upon a great podcast conversation between Gwyneth Paltrow and Brene' Brown on just this topic.....building the ability to pause and respond. The Goop Podcast: Gwyneth x Brene' Brown: On the Roots of Shame, Courage, and Vulnerability. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-goop-podcast/id1352546554?i=1000435211628
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Been awhile since you unrolled your mat? Email me if you are interested in starting back quietly for privates or small group privates at your home including guided meditation sessions
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If it's been awhile....
"To practice yoga in the deepest sense is to commit to developing awareness
by observing our lives: our thoughts our words and out actions.
It is our dedication to living with open hearts and our commitment to the day-to-day details of our lives that will transform us. When we are open to the present moment,we shine forth. At these times, we are not on a spiritual path, we are the spiritual path"