|Welcome to April!letter. Close your eyes and visualize something that brings you joy. What is something that is easy to love?… A child, puppy, friend, the warmth of the sun, a cool breeze, a vacation day.. Really imagine yourself in that place or with that person or animal. Experience contentment or joy filling your body with every inhale. Now try to make a fist. What happens? In a world of clenched fists, how can we live our lives with open hands? I’m looking forward to practicing with you all this month.
Our theme this month is Aparigraha. Aparigraha means “non-grasping.” Take a few moments and either imagine or practice opening your hands. What does that feel like in your body? Now.. imagine or practice clenching your fists. What does that sensation feel like in your body? When we think of aparigraha we also need to think about santosha (contentment or joy). This is because non-grasping occurs when we are content, and contentment is a result of non-attachment. Of the 5 yamas(self-restraint), aparigraha happens at a deeper level of our subconsciousness. We can certainly practice non-attachment outwardly as we open the windows and remove clutter this spring, but there are more subtle layers of subconsciousness that keep us clinging. Perhaps this is why famous tidying expert Marie Kondo first asks her clients to focus on what sparks their joy and keep that, rather than just asking them to ditch their junk. Letting go is one of the hardest things we do… When we focus on the things that bring us joy we release our grip on what doesn’t. When we acknowledge our emotions, we let go of the stories that keep them stuck in our bodies. When we practice gratitude we fill our cup and experience more contentment. When we experience more contentment, or joy, we grasp less. Let’s return to the practice at the beginning of this |