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How Do You Want to Feel Today, Everyday?
Finding Compassion at Your Core Can Help You Decide
Do you ever ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” and then intend that emotion or sensation into being...you allow yourself to cultivate that emotion or sensation throughout the day?
Or…is feeling, in the form of emotion or physical sensation, something that happens to you…something you believe you have no control over?
How do you want to feel?
This could have a couple of different interpretations, right?
We could consider how we want to feel with our emotions, such as happy, joyous, excited, content.
We could also consider how we want to feel in our body, such as comfortable, soft, rested, expansive.
We could consider the sense of touch, too. You experience the feeling of a specific thing, like a hug from a loved one or the gift of a flower.
It’s possible that you rarely consider these subtleties of feeling, emotion, sensation, and the pursuit of intending how you’d like to feel each and every day.
It’s a pretty easy thing to forget about, even though it’s such an important daily practice to cultivate for yourself, and your loved ones!
What we want to feel and what we actually feel throughout the day can be aligned or out of alignment, and this could be emotionally, physically, or even spiritually.
Maybe we wake up in the morning and we see the sun is shining, we feel fully rested in body and mind, and we make the conscious decision – aka set an intention! – to be happy, we say upon waking, “I am going to be happy today!”
Then, as the day unfolds, we have spilled our coffee or smoothie on ourselves, we face a traffic jam, we miss or forget something important, and so on. It could be as simple as one minor irritation that throws us off our intended feeling of “happy” and into any number of negative feelings – irritated, angry, sad, overwhelmed.
This is a wonderful point to begin the practice of developing an awareness of where in our body we feel the wide range of emotions, as well as setting the goal of intending how we want to feel upon waking each morning.
To know how we want to feel and cause that feeling to be so each day, we need to thread our intention into everything…and upon the foundation of compassion.
Did you know yoga has 8 limbs?!
Curveball! How do we go from deciding how we want to feel each morning to limbs of yoga?
Bear with me for a moment as I introduce you to parts a wondrous system that can help you change your feelings of frustration, anxiety, and overwhelm into happiness, peace, and contentment!
I love asking the question, “Did you know there are 8 limbs of yoga? That yoga isn’t only the postures or poses?! Yoga is a system!”
When the response is, “No, I had no idea!” I become very excited and can’t wait to share more! Especially when I learn someone experiences anxiety, worry, stress, overwhelm, fear, frustration…either from time-to-time or regularly!
The system of yoga has helped me transform my anxiety to peace,
and it can do the same for you!
What helped me most in this transformation includes:
understanding yoga as an 8-part system;
gaining an understanding of the foundations that form the structure of all the other limbs, including the asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing);
and that meditation, the crowing jewel of yoga as a system, can take many forms (such as a brief body-scan before bed)!
Let’s dive a little deeper…
What’s compassion go to do with it?!
The first two limbs of yoga are called the 1) yamas and 2) niyamas. I view these two critical structures as the foundation of yoga as a system, and the foundation for building a life of peace. Keys for transforming anxiety to peace.
There are five yamas and five niyamas (10 in all – Can you think of another crucial set of “Ten” guidelines, rules…starts with a “C”?! Love thy neighbor…).
If you do an internet search on the yamas and niyamas, you will find some different words used to define each one. I choose to define each one in the most positive language possible, which works best for my practice!
The five yamas include:
compassion, truthfulness, non-grasping, balance or moderation, and letting go.
The five niyamas include:
contentment, cleanliness (physical and mental), discipline, self-study, and surrender.
Here are the Sanskrit terms for each one with a few more defining options…
Ahimsa - non-harming, compassion
Satya - truthfulness, honesty
Asteya - non-stealing
Brahmacharya - moderation, balance, energetic control
Aparigraha - letting go, releasing attachment
Saucha - purity, cleanliness, in thought, action, environment
Santosha - contentment
Tapas - discipline, transformation through heat or fire
Svadhyaya - self-study
Ishvara Pranidhana - surrender
Sanskrit is an ancient, magical language. Which yama or niyama calls to you in this moment?
Maybe the ancient term that calls to you most can become your guide for determining how you want to feel. Just a thought!
My favorite out of the ten, and the one I find is most helpful to bring about anything I want to have happen in my life, or in order to care for my daughter and family, is…
Ahimsa, compassion…for everyone and everything, for all sentient beings. Do unto others…
Ahimsa is translated from Sanskrit as non-harming. But for my daily practice I find acting in compassion and being compassionate with myself and others, versus acting in terms of non-harming, helps me find my way, helps me intend how I want to feel into being...
When compassion is at the center of your decisions, actions, dreams, your being…you find your days are filled with more peace, your interactions with others are more peaceful, you are in tune with your environment, intuition, and the energy that surrounds you.
When you think and act with compassion as your guide, in matters big and small, you connect with something that is greater than yourself, but that is also located at the core of your being.
When you act with compassion you are in flow with the universe, with Mother Nature.
When you feel compassionate you are connected to love, the love that brought you into being.
When you feel compassionate you smile, you see the good in people, and you see, even in negative circumstances, the universe is compassionately conspiring with you, for you (even if it doesn’t feel like it).
Compassion is Love…We are compassionate beings formed through and filled with love.
Connect with your inner compassion to help you determine how you want to feel in any given moment and find you become a magnet for love, happiness, joy, blessings…a life filled with peace.
When you become the energetic equivalent of compassion, when you vibrate with the energy of compassion from your heart center, you alter the direction of your life and the lives of others.
How do you define compassion?
What does being compassionate mean to you?
Where does compassion live inside your body?
What was the last compassionate act you wittnessed?
When was the last time you acted in a compassionate way?
Who is in need of your compassion?
How can you be more compassionate with yourself?
As you begin to invite compassion to be your guide each morning…How will you direct or intend your states of emotion, sensation, into your desired feeling each day?
When I remember compassion, to have compassion for myself, for my family, for individuals I meet out in the world, for a little lizard drowning in the pool, for a baby black snake who is stuck on burning, hot pavement and can’t get to the cool, wet grass for shelter…
I help, offer, sit quietly and listen, pray…I share my compassion and, in turn, guide how I feel in any given moment throughout the day.
Love, Compassion, Peace…they are free, they come from inside each one of us. They are the answer, they are the Way.
Adopt an attitude of compassion, set your intended feeling each morning, and let’s check back in later this week to share how life has unfolded differently!
Lot’s of love to you, today…always!
P.S. Have questions? Want more info on what you’ve read here? Want to share your thoughts on compassion and the feelings you are intending into being? Get in touch! I’d love to hear from you!
Opportunities to work 1:1 to develop a yoga/meditation practice
“I am” Intention Series with poetry, guided practices, and more
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