Excerpt fromBody Thrive, Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with the 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yogaby Cate Stillman. (Release Nov. 2015.)
In the core, you find a seed. At the deep core of every human, you find the seed or orientation towards stress or ease. Each human has the power to choose. Half full or half empty? Poison or panacea? Contract or expand? The choice is ours, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, decade by decade. Alchemize the poison of stress into the elixir of ease.
You were raised, culturally speaking, on existential tension. Tension is contractive, tightening, hardening, and a necessary component of evolution. In the law of polarity it’s opposite or dynamic variable is expansion. However, like increases like: when you unconsciously operate from tension you feel separate, stressed, and a subtle discontent. And if you’re unconscious enough, you won’t even notice our experience of being separate or discontented – it just feels normal – and the contraction continues.
There is another way to orient our experience. You can train our awareness. You can build a habit to expand our perspective, to orient to the ground of being which is non-local to our bodies or minds. You can cultivate a bigger perspective beyond local time and space, which relaxes your nerves and enlarges your sense of self and interconnectivity. As soon as you go into action, there will naturally be a tension. It’s not like being in la-la-land and checked out. It’s operating from a bigger perspective while taking action and living a life that matters beyond your personal experience.
Let me be clear: this is a newer skill on humanity’s timeline you break free of a more primitive, self-centered, reactive, or overwhelmed culture. The habit of orienting our awareness from contraction into expansion is imperative for a brighter future. Establish a new baseline from which to entertain thought and pursue action.
To begin, find out where you are on the spectrum between ease and stress. See how many boxes you check off from the list below. Take a breath. Be honest or you only damage your own integrity.
Do you orient from stress?
You are overwhelmed.
You wake up feeling rushed into your day.
You often wish you were doing something else.
You’re pressed for time, and often show up late.
Your body feels heavy and sluggish in the morning.
You feel trapped in your life or your body.
want to make changes but it seems too difficult.
You’re wired, but tired, and wish you could sleep through the night uninterrupted.
You’re depressed by the people in your life.
Do you orient from ease?
You wake up in joy.
You work hard and give life your all.
Your life is on purpose, with time for reflection and course correction.
You’re inspired by the people in your life.
You spend time daily in silence, inquiry or quiet reflection.
Others experience you as grounded, interesting, and inspiring.
Your relationships are deeply honest, in integrity, intimate, and future-oriented.
You can lead when a situation calls for leadership.
You often find yourself tapped into a timeless, spacious experience, both when alone and when with loved ones.
Easeful living is about showing up every day on purpose, in action, from a connected, open inner space. Easeful living is not about living in a narcissistic blissed-out state. The expanded orientation of easeful living enables us to interconnect beyond the self. Our mind opens and you become more available for enlightened action. Easeful living is the gateway to surrendering yourself to becoming evolution in action. The challenge you face in growth will naturally contract you. The mindset of easeful living balances out the fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of incompetence with a willingness, a miracle-mindedness, an opportunity-orientation.
The 10 daily habits from Body Thrive, Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with the 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga gives you a structure for noticing the signals from your body and direct navigation towards your desired experience. As you move along the trajectory to better health through applying Body Thrive habits, you become increasingly sensitive to the steady stream of physical, mental, and emotional signals your body emits to help you optimize your energy, your sleep, and your life.