One of the aims of yoga is freedom from the desires every human has. To find peace and equanimity within our daily actions, knowing that peace inwardly, even when others may perceive it as otherwise. As someone who has had many desires, and probably still has many, it is a freeing practice, though not without the resistance from within. I hear many who say they are free from all earthly desires, but then act in ways other than that. My thought is that when it happens, it is something I will know inwardly, there will be no need to share it with others. In the mean time, for each of us who struggles with less than enlightened thoughts, I wanted to share from my toolbox.
"Those who say it, know it not. Those who know it, say it not."
- Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath
I most certainly still have desires, I am not yet a saint and maybe spinning that wheel for many incarnations to come, who knows. For a long time though, wanting to achieve freedom from many of my thoughts, I would see the desires within me, and stuff them down, believing inwardly they were wrong, or that they would prevent me from achieving the liberation I sought. Even worse, at times, believing that I had transcended those very desires. Some of this may have stemmed from my religious upbringing, where I was informed I would be punished if I broke the rules. Yoga simply provides a method by which it is known one can achieve liberation. It does not make the sins ( which simply means mistakes ) a BAD thing, simply a choice that takes us away from the ultimate liberation we seek. It was a breath of fresh air when I first read that in Yogananda's work.
Stuffing those desires down though, making them bad, or at the very least fearing they would prevent me from achieving liberation, only forces them in to the shadow. A shadow which has played out for me in ways which were quite humiliating at times. The more we meditate, the more our shadow emerges in to our consciousness, and the better our opportunity to acknowledge the desire or habit beneath it, and attend to it in a gentle and compassionate way. A refusal to acknowledge, understand or love it now, will ultimately lead to it playing out in our life as some kind of drama or embarrassment.
"Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special. Unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax.”
Certainly I have discovered desires which are of the heart, which can provide transitory joy on the planet, and I love seeing them manifest for me. Then there are definitely those desires I have which have been harmful to my evolution, and the lives of others. It can shocking when we stumble upon those in our own being, but I am ever grateful to yoga and the support from my yoga master in ridding myself of them. The hatred, the self loathing, the need to punish myself, the desire for revenge, the need for approval, the greed, the jealousy. These have all emerged within my awareness over the years, and it would be so easy to project it on to others. But through studying yoga, I know that I will only progress in life by conquering them in me. Before yoga, I did not believe I had the strength to face them within myself.
“The peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul.”
― The Bhagavad Gita
Whenever I sit with my own anger, I know a desire or a need is not being met. It is tempting to want to throw the anger at another person. "They made me angry because they did such and such" But that takes the focus off of me, and the need and desire I have. Not to mention it creates karmic patterns that will only make my journey more challenging. So instead, I need to be honest with myself and ask what desire or need I have. Sometimes that need can surface in moments, other times, it can take deeper questioning and more life experience to discover it. But it is never voiced and acknowledged, when I refuse to believe it is there, hoping I have already release it. Many times I find myself working through something I have already worked through, but I cannot judge it if I hope to master it.
Once I am aware of the desire, I am able to let it go and ask for support in releasing it. Once I am aware of the need, I can make it happen for myself, or ask for support with that. As long as I deny it, it can have power over me. Letting go of the desire does not mean that it does not happen for me, it means that I will not allow myself to suffer because of it. My life has become much more enjoyable, and much more peaceful as my meditation practice has deepened and I have set myself free from the prison of guilt and shame. They still make themselves known from time to time, but that is the beauty of my practice, it gives me the strength to conquer even the most painful ones.
Sometimes the meditations are an uphill paddle, with my monkey mind chattering away relentlessly, holding on to the belief it is in control of the bigger picture. Some days my mind is like a pond at dawn, undisturbed by even the sleeping swans. I truly look forward to that day when I have conquered the desires that leave me feeling imprisoned. Until that time, I will continue to listen inwardly to my intuition, and outwardly to the words of ones wiser than me, and commit to making the changes that will allow me to find greater peace, joy and love within.
I was filming the following blog for you, but my video camera failed to record. Ironic, since I am taking you through tapping on the fear of failure. If you haven't experienced this fear, then I respect the level of enlightenment you have reached. If you do experience this fear, and it is paralysing your efforts to work on that project that you have always wanted to do, then it's time to tap! It will reduce the paralysing effects of the fear, but you will still have to take the action at some point.
First: On a scale of 1-10, how big is your fear of failure? 1 being, no fear, 10 being paralysed by it, and you cannot take the next step.
Now lets change that a bit with some EFT.
Here is a reminder of the points that you are tapping on. If you don't remember anything about EFT or I have not taken you through it, jump on to www.TheTappingSolution.com where you can download a booklet and hear various experts talk about it.
It may be that not all the statements resonate with you, so you can focus on the ones that have the most charge for you.
"Even though I have this fear of failure and I am afraid of letting others down, I completely and deeply love and accept myself"
"Even though failure is normal to me, I feel shame about my failures, I don't know what success feels like, I completely and deeply love and accept myself"
"Even though I am working so hard, and not getting anywhere, there is no point in trying again, I completely and deeply love and accept myself"
INSIDE EYEBROW: I have this fear of failure
OUTSIDE EYEBROW: I am afraid of letting them down
UNDER EYE: Failure is normal to me
UNDER NOSE: I feel so much shame about failure
CHIN: I work so hard
COLLAR BONE: I am so tired of working all the time without results
UNDER ARM: I don't know what success feels like
TOP OF HEAD: I never seem to get anywhere
INSIDE EYE: What is the point?
OUTSIDE EYE: I will just fail again.
UNDER EYE: And failure has cost me so much in the past.
UNDER NOSE: I don't want to feel that shame again.
CHIN: I have this fear of failure.
COLLAR BONE: It is stopping me from doing what I know I need to do
UNDER ARM: I am so hard on myself when I fail.
TOP OF HEAD: I keep failing, and don't want to do it again.
So you can spin around those points a few times, until the energy behind them drops until they feel like a 1 at the most. And once that is in, you can follow up by tapping in some of the following positive statements.
INSIDE EYEBROW: I am kind to myself when failure happens.
OUTSIDE EYEBROW: I am willing to find the spiritual lesson in my failures.
UNDER EYE: I allow myself to make failures, knowing they are stepping stones to success.
CHIN: Just because it didn't work before, doesn't mean it won't work this time.
COLLAR BONE: I allow success in my life, and will take note of the little and the large successes.
UNDER ARM: I will get what I want in divine timing.
TOP OF HEAD: I deserve success, and I will succeed.
The above points can be tapped in a few times more, and you can add in ones of your own, affirmations if you like. This exercise may have brought up other thought patterns, and we can work one-on-one if you want to tackle any of them. You may benefit from doing this daily as you work on your big project, step into a new relationship, or begin a new fitness program. Hopefully you will feel lighter, and inspiration for action will come flooding in to your awareness!
I have an aunt who has been spending years working on a book and felling like she was going around in circles. She spent some time doing some EFT like the one above and I have been amazed at the progress she has been making in recent months, she is on fire with the book, and it is awesome to see.
Contact me for further sessions if you want to go deeper with this.
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