Updated: Sep 30, 2020
Happy New Year! A week later, how have your New Year's Resolutions held up? If the answer is fantastically and you are going to continue this way of life forever, props. If not, and you're frustrated and judging yourself harshly for not being able to keep it up, I encourage you to read this post.
In the last post, we identified the concept of Samskaras, unconscious patterns that keep you stuck repeating habitual behaviors that you'd like to STOP engaging in but about which you feel powerless to actually make changes (or at least lasting changes). The psychologist Carl Jung says, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate". What this means is that in order to break these habits that have you in bondage, you need to identify the underlying causes that are probably not conscious to you. Now if you have a way in which you've identified these causes that is working for you, then great. Stop reading now and enjoy your positive transformation.
If whatever you are trying is not working for you, it is probably likely you are trying to assert willpower to solve a problem, meaning using your conscious mind to create change in your unconscious. These two worlds run parallel to each other but never really intersect. This would account for why, it seems that, while other people viewing your situation say to you, "just stop doing x", you can see how the solution seems simple but you feel paralyzed to actually take any action regarding it.
Two absolutely awesome, powerful, and transformative methods that will actually help you access your unconscious mind and thus pull yourself out of your rut are: 1. Meditation 2. Yoga Nidra. I have identified a really simple and accessible to everyone process by which you can begin a meditation practice in my latest video, entitled "How to Meditate" or "Meditation for Beginners", available right now on IGTV. This will provide a foundation for you to begin to access that deeper part of yourself that you are likely out of touch with.
The thinking mind, with its capacity for miraculous problem-solving capabilities, for some reason does not provide relief from Samskaras, or unconscious habits and patterns of behavior. What we need to do is actually rewire our brains by re-programming the neural pathways in the mind, which operate much like Autopilot. Regular meditation practice will accomplish this for you. Yoga Nidra is also extremely effective in tapping into that part of your consciousness that superficial mental chatter will never access. I will outline the best process for Yoga Nidra in a future post and video. In the meantime, give meditation a shot.
Try it regularly and keep trying even when it feels like you are "not doing it right". Consistency in practice is much more important than whether or not you reaching Samadhi (state of bliss, Nirvana) each time. Until next time, Namaste,