Sometimes looking back on my life it seems like a series of Day Ones, and of course, this is actually true for all of us. I have some heartbreaking writing from over the years that bears the title 'Day One' that I may be brave enough to share one day, or maybe not. Maybe we'll just leave that to rest. For this is about something else altogether now.
This is about gracefully moving from this to that, or that to this, as it were, transitioning, with complete ease and flow. To begin, let's just note Day One for what it may mean to those of us that have struggled- for those of us that have been knocked down by ourselves too many times before. From there, we can shift our perception. A must, for how we perceive what Day One means changes everything- as perception always does.
For those of us that Day One marks a day of complete exhaustion and depression and shame- that follows a binge of some sort- shopping or sugar or rage or drinking or gambling- it doesn't matter the 'vice'- it is just that- a vice- one definition of which is 'degrading behavior'- we will begin there.
Degrade. What a word. So strong, so true. My teacher, Yogi Hari, always gave that as the option in all actions.....to ask yourself the question "Does this elevate me? Or degrade me?" It's a key question.
Vice- that sort that weakens your spirit and burdens your soul- for as timeless and indefatigable as those are, they are not. Even your spirit, even your soul- no, not even, but especially your spirit and soul, are hurt by continued self abuse.
So, how to move past the type of Day One that follows a fall into degrading behavior? How to sustain the commitment that is so strong on Day One and with each passing day can so easily fade, as the memory of those feelings of shame and regret are overtaken by the Samskaras of a lifetime habit? By turning it upside down.
Every day in your life is a Day One of sorts. Do not stress yourself with that notion, that all your degrading behaviors are suddenly the past. Do not stress yourself with having to "be better" from this day on. Give yourself credit for all the good you do and are and experience already. Focus not on what you don't want to do, but on what you want to do.
Replace behaviors that degrade with ones that elevate. Completely shift your attention. For where the attention goes, the energy goes. Literally turn your focus upside down, from what you do not want to do, to want you want to do. Live from that place.
Celebrate every day and do not count them from any point forward. You have had a million 'victories' in this life already. Did you start to count from Day One since the day you were fully potty trained? Or could drive? Or could read? Or could kiss? Or could multiply? Or that you started your first job? No, of course not. It would be impossible to keep track of everything like that, however all these things and thousands more you have progressed from, evolved from, and that is all you are doing now.
You can choose to not make it such a big deal. That's only hurt you in the past. Yes, you can celebrate your achievement, if that brings you joy. However, you may find it easier, more enjoyable, to quietly let go of whatever behaviors continue to degrade you, by simply letting them go. By simply replacing them with a focus on something that delights and elevates you. This way it becomes a natural progression like all those others in your life. You are not giving anything up, it is just that there is no longer room for it. Thus, the beauty of the headstand and the yogic concept of pratipaksha-bhavana.
4/1/19 10:51pm Pittsboro, NC