It’s in times like this that our thought system gets tested as outer stressors seem to trigger inner fear and anxiety. As anxiety builds, whatever the reason, we are drawn to various ways of distracting or pacifying ourselves. To the ego, it’s an outer problem that needs an outer solution. And so we turn to all kinds of unhelpful behavior: binge eating, drug or alcohol consumption, excessive exercise, endless and repetitious forms of entertainment, even a yoga practice can become a way to pacify the mind. But what does any of it really get you? They’re all temporary solutions because none let us get to the problem which is a state of mind opposed to peace, which is why for thousands of years, yoga and the root essence of most spiritual thought systems have taught to stop the seeking, go inside and find what it is we are really looking for: peace, happiness, truth. This is why we practice.
Recently a yoga student mentioned to me how anxiety is causing him to eat excessively and then consequently go on long walks to make up for it. He noticed how the eating and the walks were stimulated by the anxiety brought on by coronavirus. Knowing the behavior is not the problem, I suggested: watch your mind, not your behaviors. Go about the compromising behavior and watch your mind with the notion of accessing the underlying fearful belief, number one. Number two, observe it without judgement and let it come to the surface where we can hold it to the light of Love which is a gentle process of forgiveness. It’s not necessarily easy, but it is simple.
Believing there are only outer solutions, we’ve been taught to avoid the mind, and thus the problem. The ego will stop at nothing to spin us out of our minds and into the world where we’re lost, afraid and alone. Like Alice, the ego takes us all down a rabbit hole where we are bedazzled by outer things. We’re either attracted to them or we want to get rid of them. Like Alice, we can repurpose the dream and awaken from it.
If you found these words helpful, perhaps the video below will be helpful as well.