As I've written here before (and apologies for the hiatus, it was a busy, incredible summer), I found some of my initial foundation for inspiration on the yoga mat. But maybe I should pause here for a moment and talk about this notion of "foundation for inspiration".
It's hard to be inspired when you're scared. It's impossible to be inspired when you are not open and looking in some way. That is why finding your foundation for being 'okay' with life is so important, and why the Buddhists say that we need to meditate on death.
We need to deal with this profound reality: that we are mortal, and that the feeling that we are not is an illusion that will cause us to waste the time that we do have this time around. When we do this, we learn to face our fears and act despite them. Once we find this path, we can walk it again, and again, and again. And we can love the journey.
I'm going to be diplomatic here and say that are many different ways to feel strong, to feel that secure foundation. But I actually believe that there are proven methods that people have been using for thousands of years, and that those methods are directly available to us, and that we should just use them. Let's start with Yoga.
Yoga provides a foundation for breath and body that is truly incredible. If you've been thinking of it, just do it! And within that, make time to laugh, cry, and eat. The rest of your life will fall into place around all of that. Without that foundation, the rest of your life will fall apart. Or at least not come together too well.
I feel so strongly about this, that I would say to someone suffering from anxiety to go to yoga regularly before coming to therapy. Try helping yourself first. If you can't, then find someone you trust to help you get there. But that's all I can really do, is try to help you to be able to help yourself.
I spent the summer in the mountains and in the city; in the embraces of friends I love and don't see very often; in the whirling changes of a business finding its way. In all of that, I continued to return, again and again, as I always do, to the breath. Center, center, center. First, breathe. First, breathe. But first... you have to learn how!
Have 10 minutes? Start with:
A piece on my website about belly-breathingClose your eyes and breathe....
My new youtube hero Yogi Tara Stiles
Or some Beethoven with Bernstein