We can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, but we can control how we react to them. The way we respond to what’s going on in our day-to-day can have a considerable impact on how we manage, shift, and move through difficult situations. Meeting your present reality with acceptance is a powerful practice. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you succumb and fall victim to your circumstances. It means that you shift the energy you bring into a situation, which can be influential in helping you to find peace wherever you are and navigate hardship with ease.
If you want to change the world, become an activist. If your goal is inner peace, become a monk. If you wish to know yourself, become a parent. Raising children uncovers aspects of a parent’s nature that otherwise might remain latent. A cooing baby is likely to reveal unfathomable depths of love while a defiant teenager has the potential to expose equal measures of anger. From proud to humbling moments, parenting is a sure way to acquire knowledge about oneself. When such knowledge is approached with the intention of personal growth, it has the potential to purify, awaken, and perfect a parent’s character as reliably as any self-development program.
For most people in the West, chanting "Om" is a practice that's typically reserved for the beginning or the end of a yoga class. As this chant fills the classroom with beautiful resonance, you may notice a subtle shift in your state of mind. For many people, chanting Om brings about a sense of peace and relaxation, moving you from "worries and to-do's" to a state of inner calm and groundedness – but what's happening inside your body that creates this shift?
For the Ask Roger column, Roger Gabriel, Chopra’s Chief Meditation Officer, answers questions from our community. If you have a general question for Roger around meditation and spiritual practices, please send an email to email@example.com, and your question may be one he answers next.
When you recognize that something or someone is valuable to you so much that you cannot put a monetary value on it, you are filled with a sense of gratitude. You feel grateful for being a part of that experience. It is an affirmation of all that is good in your life.
Coming to my mat has always been a space to surrender, a space where I take time to connect with myself. It was on my mat that I first learned what it felt like to embody gratitude as a way of being rather than an external expression. So frequently gratitude is expressed outward, where we thank those around us or recall the things we feel blessed to be surrounded by. External practice is a deeply valuable and important mode of the expression of gratitude, and a practice of gratitude can be so much more.
Despite the power of technology to connect us with others, we live in a society of loneliness, polarization, and isolation. The social media platforms originally designed to connect us are instead driving us apart. Not to mention the global pandemic that has kept us physically distanced from our community members.
In the same way that we see leaves fall away from the trees, this season is the time for us to shed some of the clutter we’ve picked up over the course of this past year. We’re well into Vata season by now and this airy energy tends to leave us feeling as if we are a part of the fallen leaves, drifting in the wind. Both fortunately and unfortunately, this feeling is completely normal. If you’re experiencing anything that feels overwhelming or ungrounding, you are not alone.