Most of us spend a lot of time worrying. Worry is perhaps the most futile mental activity imaginable. Worrying, sometimes called excessive rumination, is when we sit there turning the same thoughts over in our heads, envisioning all possible outcomes, all possible reasons, abstracting and having imaginary conversations and doing absolutely nothing – NOTHING – about the problem at hand.
No, worrying achieves nothing. Action achieves results. Planning your action is healthy. Worrying is not planning, though. It is worrying. My mother was a champion worrier. I learned from the best and spent many years perfecting my craft. The only thing I can say all this worrying gave me was the concrete and iron-clad desire to change the way my mind worked. To stop worrying. Don’t worry, be happy, y’know?
I had the good fortune to find yoga at the age of 27 and the good sense to keep practising. I was good at the postures from the start. Most ex-gymnasts can do most yoga postures, it’s true. But, despite appearing to practise yoga, I wasn’t really. I was doing “yogâsana” – yoga postures – but my mind was everywhere but on the mat. Shopping lists…things to do…arguments unresolved…oh wait…time to breathe.
Only once I got in touch with my diaphragm and my breath did I develop the ability to be present in my practice. With presence comes concentration and with concentration, meditation. And with meditation, peace. Yes, dear readers. I no longer worry. Would you believe it possible? I would not have, if someone had told me just like that. But, yoga is an experiential science. The sutras say “here is the road, go walk it, see what you find.” No spoon feeding here.
Here’s the magic part. When we stop worrying, we become brave. You see, with inner stillness one finds one’s purpose. And with purpose, one finds one’s personal power. From frailty we grow resilient and we will take on all adversaries. This is not combat mode like in capitalist echelons and hierarchies. This is about your mission. I have this unshakable faith in humanity and my experience is that when people find their purpose, it is very often much more altruistic than anything they had done before. We become a kind of spiritual warrior.
So, worrier (->yoga)->warrior. Wanna join in?