(artwork by Yehrin Tong)
These last couple of days I have been noticing allot more resistance in myself than usual to getting ANYTHING done.
I have been asking myself all sorts of questions to try and understand why.
Was it a planetary shift? Maybe.
Am I secretly mad at someone? I don’t think so. God, I hope not!
Should I have not been eating so much raw food? Maybe I’ll take a probiotic.
Today in my morning “chai tea meditation”, I managed to wrangle my mind more into the moment, taking deep breaths between swallows, and truly becoming present to enjoy the taste and feeling of the tea.
In doing so, all of my thoughts came to a steady halt. I was able to take a birds eye view and acknowledge that, at this moment in my life, I have about 5 irons cooking in the fire. A few months ago there was a tremendous high and a feeling of gaining momentum and now, resistance is beginning to set in.
This happens for all of us in hundreds of different scenarios. It could be a new project you are envisioning, a work of art you are creating, a new relationship, a diet regimen, and yes, even your very own yoga practice. The point is, we start out high and then plummet into imminent slumpage of non-productivity towards our goals.
Then the answer came through like a phone call from a baba in the Himalayas.
Tapas can be described as the purification that comes through fire. A fire gets sparked within us when we begin something new, but tending to that fire and seeing that it continues to burn bright is a whole other story- and PRACTICE!
Tapas is your discipline. The fire is kept through maintenance of your discipline or practices. In order to cross the finish line be it a painting, landing a new client or loosing 5 pounds, we have to have some semblance of discipline that puts us in the process of cultivation every single day until that goal is achieved. In other words, if we want the fire to burn we have to show up.
I had a teacher once who said,
“Discipline is continuing to show up even when the thrill has worn off.”
How many times have you left a situation and/or project because you just got bored or tired of it?
My teacher says that so many of us give up too soon. We can’t see beyond the resistance into what is there waiting for us on the other side and so we cave and let it fold. Then we spend all of our energy trying to begin again only to find ourselves back in that same spinning wheel leading us to nowhere.
Being able to see that this is what I am going through is a huge gift. To see our resistances, fears, jealousies- all the dark stuff means we are getting closer to moving through it, dancing with our shadows instead of hiding them, and achieving victory.
Let me be very clear, I haven’t NOT been showing up to my duties. I’m just noticing that there is more resistance coming as I do show up. I want to sleep a little later. I want to distract myself with social media. I want to eat more. So, I am watching the impulse and doing my best to work with it.
I also know that at some point this resistance is going to break open like a dam to release a very powerful force and take me into the next level of my being. This is that special place where you go from holding 5 irons in the fire to holding 10. Because this process has happened before. At one point I only had one iron and now I have 5.
If we can learn to expand we can hold more, do more, love more, grow more, in a way that is giving and not taking. This is the beauty of practice, it allows us to expand and to give.
Be gentle and reasonable as you tend to your own fire. Tapas should never be harmful to oneself or another. While it might feel as if you are hitting a wall at times, energetically, emotionally and physically your body should be well taken care of and nourished. Even a weekend of rest can be part of your tapas.
If you aren’t sure how to create a personal practice for yourself and you would like guidance, I offer 30 minute phone/ skype consultations with a sliding scale starting at just 25$ for those on my mailing list. Contact me TODAY to set this up.
I also offer my monthly Mantra Sadhana Meditation, which is a by donation class , here in Brooklyn, that introduces attendees to various mantras, breath and ritual practices. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter to receive bi-monthly updates!
Finally, I am testing the waters with a virtual meditation offering. I envision us being able to connect easily and frequently from anywhere, dropping into a meditative state as needed.
Please help me in filling out this brief survey to better determine the best time and days for Virtual Meditation.
I am honored to share the practices I have cultivated over the past 15 years. I hope to awaken you towards a lifestyle that invites in your own unique way of approaching the fires of Tapas.
Let me know how your journey of Tapas is going. What do you do when you fee like you are getting stuck? Where have you witnessed your own next level breakthrough?
With love, grit and gratitude,