On our Avita Community Chat last night, a practitioner made a statement that we can all relate to in one form or another. The statement was, “I want to be free of pain.” Don’t we all have bodily desires? Don’t we all have a goal for a body part to be better? Do we not all have a desire for some kind of outer change, whether in body or life? Of course!
It’s normal to have physical desires and goals. It’s also perfectly normal to pursue them.
However (you knew this was coming) I would like to offer a caveat that will put it all in perspective and create the backdrop for the best outcome: Allow your worldly/bodily goals to be second to one prevailing desire/goal for peace in mind—the last place we think to look for it. Close your eyes for a moment and offer yourself this one prayer. Go ahead, if even for an instant, set the goal. Don’t worry, you don’t need to throw your worldly goals away, but put them all in a second group called “fuzzy goals.”
With so many uncertainties in our world, there’s no better time to practice. Whether it’s isolation, masks, election outcomes, bodily aches, and pains, or uncertainty about the future, we each have a litany of worldly ideals—some people with similar goals and preferences but no two alike. It’s a great opportunity to use them all to practice and join with the two things we all have in common, the struggle as sentient beings, and the peace we share in spirit.
Here’s how we practice: When you feel things working against you, you can say to yourself, “Ah, yes, I would like ____________ to happen but peace is my goal.” Or, “I see this thing happening in the news and if only it were_______________, then I’d be happy. Oh yeah, peace is my goal.” Nothing is lost. There’s but a gentle shift to a different inner voice. I don’t have to pick sides. I can have a clear preference, but I don’t have to exclude others. I can do my research, and fill out a ballot form from a place of unity. Our vote need not divide us. That way if it doesn’t go your way, there are no strings attached to the outcome. Peace is still, the goal.
Here’s the most important part of all! Once the goal for peace is set (remember, you did that a moment ago) its outcome is certain because a peaceful Self is your reality.
That’s number one. Number two, don’t demand peace (of self or others), and don’t beat yourself up for not having it! There’s no surer way to delay your inevitable gains than proclaiming your “failure.” Instead, gently observe the notion that something can seemingly take your peace away. It goes like this, “Oh, I know my goal is peace, but this _________ is taking my peace away. Hmmm, isn’t that interesting.” We begin by not critiquing the critic! This tiny gap in time, this moment of reprieve is enough to open the mind and your world up to vast, endless, and helpful possibilities…all of which will align for the most favorable outcome. It’s called getting out of our own way and it will take a little trust, at first.
One of my favorite movies that exemplify this so well is The Legend of Bagger Vance with Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Matt Damon. In the end, we don’t know if Bagger Vance was a real person or a symbol of Ranulph Junuh’s peaceful mind. I vote for the latter. We all have a wise, healed, and whole “Bagger Vance” within, waiting to be known. And if we listen for It (by dimming the chatter of the unhealed, demanding mind) it will guide us closer and closer to Itself and all the things that use to trouble us slip away and life begins to fall into place. You’ll first be OK with the knee pain and then find the way to mend it. If you watch the movie, notice how Bagger Vance has not a judgmental bone in his body, how peaceful he is, how easy the words come, how patient and loving he is. He’s always there…even when he’s not. Watch how Matt Damon’s character tries to outwit him and fights for his own limitations. Eventually, resistance is laid aside, peace fills his heart and happiness comes.
This is our yoga and the essence of the Avita Practice. It’s why it works. It’s mind over matter time and time again as we work on the matter- the body! We don’t stop working on the body, we adjust our priorities for the greatest good. This is what the Yoga Sutras point to. It’s not easy but it is simple. Instead of putting the body first, we learn to put it second and get to know the one thing that is constant, eternal, and available to all: Lasting Peace. That is out of this world, but it can be reflected here in all we do.