Three Steps and Three Touchstones for Making Empowered Decisions

Parvati | Three Steps and Three Touchstones for Making Empowered Decisions

1. YES, YOU CAN

When you find your life not working as optimally as you would have hoped, take pause and look more deeply at what is going on. Eventually, you come to realize that the arc of your life is not always created by the big choices you face, but built upon the smaller choices you make every day.

You likely come across opportunities every day in which you are required to make choices, whether you are asked to choose what food to eat, what people to engage, what clothes to wear, even what thoughts to think. Sometimes you may run on autopilot and not make conscious choices about even these seemingly simple things.

Knowing that in each moment you can make empowering decisions is your first step to creating a life you love.

2. IN EACH MOMENT YOU HAVE CHOICE

Your next step in making empowering decisions is realizing that in every situation you do have choice. It may not seem like it. You may feel trapped, helpless, frustrated or out of control. But the idea that you have no choice is an illusion. Even when faced with things you don’t like or situations in which you feel powerless, you can still choose to either let go of your attachment to them, or move beyond the feeling of being without choice and learn profound acceptance. Choice always exists.

3. THE ESSENTIAL QUESTION

Once you accept that you have choice and feel inspired to embrace that power in each moment, you can take the next step in making great decisions. Here are three words that you can use as touchstones to change your life. Use them whenever you face decisions of any kind. Ask yourself: “Does this choice make me feel rooted, vital and expansive?”

Before you act on any decision, you must feel that it meets all three conditions. Not just rooted, or not just rooted and vital. The choice must ring true as rooted, vital and expansive for it to move you in a healthy direction. How come?

YOU ARE WITHIN THE FABRIC OF LIFE

In yogic Hindu philosophy (Samkhya philosophy), the natural universe is described as having three major gunas – three characteristic tendencies. Their interplay creates the fabric of life, of our physical reality and the process of evolution. These three gunas are sattva, rajas and tamas. These three gunas also relate to the Ayurvedic medical system (traditional herbal medicine of India) and its doshas – kapha, pitta and vata – the three bodily humours that make up your constitution.

Tamas, or stasis, is related to kapha and the Earth element. This guna or dosha is the quality of being rooted and grounded. But in excess, it becomes stuck, overly attached and its energy tends to involution or entropy (rather than to evolution).

Rajas, or dynamism, is related to Pitta and the fire element. This guna or dosha possesses the quality of transformation and movement, which is an expression of vitality. But in excess, it is unbridled desire and consumption, and you will be left burnt out by wanting.

Sattva, which means balance, order and purity, is more loosely associated with vata, the element of air. The quality of air is expansive, but with too much of it, you can become ungrounded, spaced out, listless and lacking in vitality.

ROOTED, VITAL AND EXPANSIVE

Rootedness is a reflection of your connection to your body, in this moment, to the planet, here and now. When rooted, you feel a downward flow of energy through your legs and into the ground. You feel present without feeling heavy or stuck. It is an energetic expression of how anchored your soul is in your body and to the physical reality in which you find your self. Any decision that is not rooted will lead to feeling unsupported, undernourished, and broken in some way. You will eventually suffer. You see rootedness in nature when you look at a flower or a tree. In order to survive, they have healthy roots in the ground.

Vitality is an expression of aliveness. When you feel vitality in your body regarding a decision, you will sense warmth in your belly that rises gently up into your heart. You will feel animated, awake, dynamic, and cognizant when you think about the possible choice to make. This shows you that the decision is viable, functional and sustainable. You see a healthy sense of vitality in nature when you look at a flower or a tree. The tree’s trunk, roots and branches or the flower’s roots, stem and petals carry the vital energy throughout the living organism so it can maintain health. Vitality without rootedness and expansion is like an uncontained flame. You will get burnt.

Expansion is like the upward and open movement of the flower and branches. The petals are open to the sky. The leaves open to the wind and light. But without the roots and vitality, the flower and the leaves cannot exist. They are unsustainable. You feel expansive when you feel an electricity zing through your body, mostly in your upper body. It is as though there is wind in your proverbial sails and energizing breath in your lungs, when you think of the decision to be made. But too much zing without rootedness and vitality can lead you astray with ungrounded and non-viable ideas.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Whole and sound decisions need to support nature and be an expression of your natural self. As such, they will resonate with all three gunas and doshas, and be rooted, vital and expansive.

You may have made a decision at some point in your past that you regretted or didn’t feel great about. Such decisions are not necessarily mistakes, but can become compost for the budding flowers of your life, if you are willing to be self-compassionate and embrace change.

Learning new habits takes time. So when you are learning to ask yourself if a decision makes you feel rooted, vital and expansive, be patient. Give yourself the time to find a quiet place and tune in. Feeling in a rush or impatient only creates more disconnection and stress – which do not support you feeling rooted, vital and expansive.

Over time, asking yourself if you feel rooted, vital and expansive will become second nature. Remember, no matter how good an offer seems, if it does not meet these three touchstones, then it is best to let it go.

I hope that this knowledge helps to empower you to make choices that come from your soul’s wisdom so that you can move forward in your life with clarity, courage and confidence. I would love to hear from you about your practice of incorporating these touchstones into your life. Enjoy honouring your inner voice. Remember, you are worth it!

 

JGP_9231__naturalI post my blog every Sunday with love. If you have enjoyed this, you may wish to listen to my musical works, check out my upcoming book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker, and find out more about me at www.parvati.tv.

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Love,
Parvati

 

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Thank you Parvati for this wonderful piece! So full of truth and practical–I would do well to read it over and again, and to keep practising checking in, and witnessing.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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