So cliche, but, WOW, does time pass quickly! Here we are beginning a brand new year 2018. Now is the time that many of us reflect back on the past year: What were we thankful for? What were our disappointments, frustrations, missed opportunities and worries? And, what do we hope for the new year?
This past December, we contemplated these very questions in my yoga classes. We celebrated the Winter Solstice giving thanks for the wonderful things that happened during 2017 then began thinking about what was not quite right in our lives this past year and why. My personal reasons why 2017 was not quite what I hoped? Same as everyone else: Not enough time or money, too many distractions.
When I was preparing for my yoga certifications, I was required to read The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar. I use this book as a reference so much that it is dog eared and falling apart. I really love this book! One chapter refers to Perception and Action. The book states "An important concept from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras has to do with the way we perceive things, and it explains that our perception or "misperception" is the reason we have difficulties in life. If we create such problems, that we can also learn to free ourselves from these problems." Avidya is incorrect comprehension while Vidya is correct understanding. This philosophy teaches that, over time, we accumulate so much Avidya (through habit mostly) that our vision is clouded, foggy. We do not see life and life's situations as they really are. Our perception has lost clarity.
This hit home for me as I thought about 2017 and my disappointments. I confess that I have allowed, through habit, influences to cloud my vision, my perception. Social media has played a big roll in fogging up my world. As a result, I wasted time & emotional energy on things that frustrated and angered me. In not being clear in my perception, I squandered away valuable time, energy and opportunities.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?...
If so, join me in taking decisive steps to clear away the fog of misperception!
1. No need to delete your social media accounts. They can be a source of fun and enjoyment. However, take some time to scroll through your feeds. If a post is negative (whether it is confirmational bias or not), un-follow it. If it does not bring you joy, peace and make your heart smile, un-follow it. If it tears down another human, un-follow it. Limit your time on social media. Copy & paste these links on ideas on how help limit unproductive screen time: https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykarcz/2017/06/14/how-to-break-your-social-media-addiction-with-the-binky-app/#2325380321c7, https://blogs.systweak.com/2017/11/5-best-apps-that-track-social-media-usage-app-to-limit-social-media-use/, https://blogs.systweak.com/2017/11/5-best-apps-to-fight-social-media-addiction/
2. This makes me sound old, but, back in my day...the news came on maybe two times a day and was never called "fake". Now we are inundated with "information & misinformation" 24/7. Let's be responsible for what, how often and when we decide to bring in outside info. Make wise decisions and do our homework. Make sure what we are absorbing is Vidya, correct understanding. Limit your time watching the news.
3. Soul search. Ask yourself: Is what I watch & listen to, or do the people with whom I decide to surround myself make me happy? Does it or do they agree to build a strong, diverse community for the greater good of us all, not just those with our skin color, political affiliations or religious beliefs? Does it or do they inspire me to be better, happy, productive and compassionate? Does the media I watch or the people I am around support clear perception or wallow in Avidya?
4. Read more books!!
I am down for a clear 2018!! Anyone joining me?
Shannon is Co-Owner of Aura Aerial & Yoga, mother of 3 and (almost) 53 year old movement teacher. She enjoys the happiness, sorrows and lessons of living a full and messy life. Join her at Aura Aerial & Yoga for yoga, aerial yoga, pole fitness and conditioning classes.