As I type this on my computer, I am also listening to the police shout through bullhorns for people to get off the street. Though I prepared for traveling amid a global pandemic, I did not expect major societal upheaval the first week of my stay in these temporary digs.
The day before, I attended an online meeting with a renown Ayurvedic doctor from India with whom I have a special connection. And he addressed the current affairs of humankind.
His reminder was timely:
keep the mind calm for a calm mind
stills the vrittis or the jagged flow of disconnected thought waves that disrupt consciousness.
*When our mind is peaceful, we tend towards care and nourishment of self and others.
*When our mind is disturbed, we tend to make unhealthy decisions.
When the mind is calm
we make better choices. We choose better foods to put into our bodies and healthy activities to make us feel strong. We lean into our good habits. And we do this more easily, more naturally when we have tapped into our true nature which only a still mind can reflect–a place devoid of fear and some of the more dark emotions.
We know this to be true: When we are spiraling in fear or dread or when we are rushing from one moment to another, ignoring that deep part of ourselves, then we’ll reach for the box of cookies instead of making dinner. We’ll have that one drink too many that sends us over the edge. We’ll skip taking our herbs, our vitamins. Or we’ll go for coffee or drugs or more of almost anything to fill a void that only a peaceful mind can truly fill.
Mind and body health are intricately connected.
So this is our chance, our opportunity to know what practices calm our minds, bringing us back to a center –a place from which healthy actions stem.
create one calm spot in an area
of your home where your vrittis can be settled.
Take care of your senses too, for what you consume with your eyes and your ears must be digested fully in order not to gunk up the mind, clogging the channels of consciousness.
You don’t want to sacrifice your health, especially now while we are in the midst of a pandemic.
Keep coming back to that place of sukha, सुख or calm and ease so that you can make the best decisions regarding your health. To prepare for this trip from home, I brought some nice oils and natural scents, good teas, ear phones so that I can hear soothing, familiar sounds, a thin mat that I can stretch and do yoga on, and a few good books. And I retreat to my breathing practices when I need to. It took me years to etch out these practices that now come naturally. But it was totally worth it because sukha is the only true retreat–the calm in the storm. And I need to cultivate that first in order to take the best care of my body. Especially now.
Remember: Take good care of yourself and keep revisiting your center, your peaceful place.
For though much change is needed in this world, our job is to also find a way to get there as peacefully and as healthfully as we can– and perhaps, someday, as fully nourished human beings.