A few posts ago, I wrote about breath and that by observing changes in my breath, I am able to discover the triggers that disturb my peace. I am working from the perspective that I wish to experience balance and harmony, but that eliminating everything that causes me stress is not practical, possible, or even necessary.
However, what is possible is that I can change myself so that I am not stressed, worried, or disturbed – by anything. I don’t think this implies apathy. Rather, I think it means mastering my ability to focus to the point that I am affected only by events of my choice; as well as that I am affected as I choose – that is, without anger, worry or stress.
So back to breath. It may be difficult to observe what triggers us because we immediately respond with emotion. On a side note, I don’t view emotion as a downfall at all. We are capable of a wide spectrum and depth of emotion – ranging from constructive to destructive. I understand there are those who prefer to express themselves in destructive ways and that is their free will choice. I wish to focus on constructive emotion and response.
Observing changes in our breathing pattern may open a window as to which events trigger destructive responses in us – such as worry, tension, jealousy, anger, aggression, depression, and many others. Once you make the triggers known to your conscious mind, then you can work on replacing your ‘go to’ undesired or destructive reaction with constructive reaction.
Since I’ve started practicing yoga, I observe that I automatically take deeper breaths now whenever I am experiencing a stressful trigger. I find ujjayi breath very soothing. Eventually, I would like to condition myself so that I am not triggered in any destructive way whatsoever. For now, the breath helps me alleviate the pain of stress so that I catch myself before I proceed with destructive behaviors of anger, aggresion, revenge, or depression.
I also note that focus is vital to transmutation from a destructive to a constructive way of being. Focus directs our will and attention. I will expand on my observations concerning focus in one of my next posts. In the meantime, observe yourself but try not to judge your thoughts, reactions, and behaviors.
Progress may be slow. Occasionally, I lose patience with myself and of course I proceed to scold and punish myself. But that defeats the purpose of putting an end to years of destructive thoughts and behaviors, doesn’t it. Try to be patient and compassionate with yourself as difficult as it may be at first. Wishing you inner harmony and peace. Until next time, friend.