Trust Your Instincts to Find Ease and Efficiency
When you find yourself working in a situation that isn’t actually working, what do you do?
I recently found myself sitting in a very full University classroom. Throughout the class I was constantly tuning out and struggling to tune back in- and most of the class was following suit. The comments of my classmates affirmed the experience I was having – “I know the concept that the professor is speaking to but the way he’s translating it makes no sense” or “this is bullshit.” Some of the students simply left the room.
This confirmed my own experience- something simply was not working. I was putting in too much energy trying to stay attentive. In other words, the energetic input was much larger than the energetic output or benefit. And isn’t the whole point of “work,” aka “putting energy into something,” to be able to make the system run a little (or a lot!) more efficiently?
Noticing Signals, Imbalances and Inefficiencies
We live in outdated educational and labour systems and in a suffering ecosystem- and as a result I think we frequently experience these types of challenging situations. Our bodies are extremely wise- they pick up on these inefficiencies. But do we listen to them? Do we understand what our bodies are trying to tell us? Do we understand the kind of stress we experience if we ignore them? And what do we choose to do in response to these important messages?
The first question that needs to be explored is this: how do I recognize when I am in a situation that is running inefficiently or ineffectively?
I can tell something is energetically inefficient when it does not have a spark, zeal, or highly energetic feel to it. This is my first personal sign that something might not be in alignment. Another sign for me is that the situation feels super hard or uncomfortable, or it is very boring or numbing. I experience these inefficiencies as a variety of flavors ranging from frustration to anxiety to sadness or even numbness. Ultimately, my mind comes out of the present moment, either because the situation is too painful (discomfort) or boring (lack of stimulation).
Everybody has different ways that their bodies communicate this to them depending on the situation and your unique way of responding. Your responses might be very different from mine. What is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t energetically efficient?
How do You React? Our Actions and the Ayurvedic Doshas
Once we learn to recognize when we are in an inefficient situation, our next step is to observe our personal trained response to such situations. Looking at this through the lens of the Ayurvedic doshas can be really helpful.
Some people run – either physically or mentally. When a workout gets painful, they put their mind on something else. When a relationship starts to hit trigger points, they leave. This is a very “vata” response– flight out of fear.
Some, on the other hand, get angry. In the University classroom example, those who said “this is bullshit” or who were getting frustrated because they couldn’t understand what was trying to be taught were touching on the anger response – the fighting response – or a fiery, pitta response. This was how I was responding.
And finally others numb out, give up, and can either check out from boredom or get super down on themselves. “I couldn’t do that workout to the level so I’m a failure”. “This class is just too hard so I’m going to drop it”. “I can’t do this yoga pose so I’m just going to lay down.” These are all potential responses that are kapha in nature and based in the “freeze” response to a stressor.
What is your most typical habitual response to a situation that is not working?
Keep in mind, none of these responses are wrong or bad. All that matters is that you recognize the language of your insanely intelligent body-mind-soul complex.
Taking the Next Steps
Now that we know what an ineffective/inefficient situation feels like in our body/mind/emotions, and we’ve recognized that our response is a part of an intelligent system, this is the big question: What do you do about it? What can we shift to help us move towards greater ease and thrive?
The key to our next step is understanding that the experience feels intense and difficult because it is a pivotal moment. Something important is happening, something is being burned away or transformed. I like to think of these moments as times when I am living on the edge of my evolution. This is the point at which you are on the edge of a breakthrough. You are on the brink of genius. You are about to make the “great leap.” And you have the choice whether this leap gets made now or if you are going to come back to it later.
Understanding this, we can now explore the next idea: that our system is recognizing that this process is inefficient and outdated, and that it wants to create a more efficient and intelligent pattern. Our system has a deep desire to update worn-out patterns so we can evolve, our community can evolve, and, ultimately, the entire world can evolve.
If this is so, how can we respond in such a way that our actions create a new pattern? How do we design a pattern that is more efficient and more effective at moving us towards the goal we are looking to achieve? How do we move away from a pattern of stress and dis-ease to one that moves us forward in positive evolution?
Your Unique Creation
Here is where we arrive at the most magical part of this process- the part where YOU create something completely and utterly new and unique. As you thread together all the experiences that you’ve gathered throughout your lifetime with your desires, visions, talents and skills, you create a beautiful being born of an evolutionary process and a forward-thinking perspective.
This can be a scary place. It can be an exciting place. You are staring into the great void with this power to create and transform. And I so hope that you use it.
All you need to do to get there is to ask these questions:
How could this work better?
How could this be more effective? More efficient?
How could this be more easeful? More impactful?
What alignment would feel better, stronger, more intelligent, more true?
What is the highest form or most evolved version of this action?
Stay present. Stay patient. Listen. And when the answer comes, TAKE ACTION!
About the Yoga Health Coaching Blogger
Maggie Torness is working to create more spaces to deepen health, power, and peace in self, community and world. Being a young woman with a strong connection with nature and a history of eating disorders, she has particular interest in food and the correlation between a healthy individual, a healthy food system, and a healthy ecosystem. An Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Sivananda Yoga Instructor and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Coach, her passion is to bring health and wellbeing to young women so that they may better embody their natural beauty, intelligence, and power. On her off days, you might find Maggie in the woods with a backpack full of books and a yoga mat, ever exploring and expanding into the incredible complexity of the world. Connect with Maggie on her facebook page.
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