If you go through the pain, move through the struggle, breakthrough a mental barrier, you find the space within where patience, resilience, sympathy, and compassion exist. If you don’t, on the other hand, you get stuck in anger, resentment, and suffering. Your vision is limited and tainted by fear, greed, anger, ignorance...these are some of the kleshas Patanjali describes in the sutras. We use the practice of asana and meditation to learn to break through the mental patterns that keep us stuck in these low vibrational emotions, to be brave enough to sit through the end no matter how strong the grip and come through the other side. These strong negative emotions are temporary, and not be identified with. If we allow ourselves to identify with them we become spiritually stunted by them. We can, however, choose to use the inner strength cultivated through spiritual practice to rise above them and elevate the vibration of our mind. To see compassion and acceptance where there is anger or fear.
I couldn’t sleep last night because my baby was moving inside the womb, after two hours of just observing the movement, observing my mind spiral in all directions, and experiencing a variety of emotions from distress, to anxiety, to frustration, to anger, I finally gave in and realized that at the bottom of all that there was a deep sense of compassion towards myself and the baby, I laid there awake understanding that my baby has to be himself too because that’s the way he will continue to grow in health within in and then without me. I remember that if I could concentrate my mind on the feeling of love and wanting the best for him all the other formations lost their power, their grip, and therefore their influence on my state of being. I stayed up for the remainder of the night still wishing I could sleep but feeling a deep sense of compassion for myself and love for him. I'm sure all of you have a story that exemplifies what I propose in the first paragraph. I invite you to take time to reflect on those moments so that you can be reminded of how strong you are and how capable you are of turning a negative emotion into a positive feeling, which will empower you to be a more loving, compassionate, accepting human being. That's what the world needs from us!