Living Layers

There are layers of life happening in any given moment. There are times when our work is enjoyable, relationships are in order but there is something that weighs heavily on our hearts and we have to sit with what is, and let it be, knowing that a shift will come, and energy will rise again. I’m sitting in front of my computer this first day of February, asking myself and God what to share for the month of March as I walk through a season during which my mind and heart are quite distracted. At the same time, I am grateful to be about my callings… teaching yoga, offering massage therapy and making art… When disconcerting times arise, there are choices to be made that involve learning self- awareness and self-care. In yogic thought, human beings are composed of five layers or koshas. These layers are the physical body, the energetic body (also known as animating life force), the mind, the personality and the innermost or heart center. Interestingly, the Christian tradition also recognizes these layers, referring to them as heart, soul, mind and strength (or body). When we are feeling out of sorts for whatever reason, we can assess the layers of our being and see where we can offer ourselves compassion. I am going to suggest four “R’s” to consider when you find yourself in a “funk”. They are Remember, Refresh, Reset and Rest. Let’s look at them, layer by layer…

Heart: Remember that you are held in Loving Presence. During seasons of grief, remember to be gentle with yourself. Remember what feeds your spirit and nourish yourself with what brings you joy. Remember that you are surrounded by miracles.

Soul: Refresh your soul by pursuing interests and relationships that are life-giving or allow your spirit the blessing of silence and solitude.

Mind: Notice your thought patterns and Reset when you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of negativity. Think about what you are thinking about!

Strength: Rest when you need to, replenish nutrients and get outside…nature is a major restorer of energy! Breathe!

The last thing…and this is important…Realize that all the layers of being talk to one another. What feeds your soul will also feed your heart and make your body stronger. The thoughts and images with which you feed your mind affect your body, soul and heart. What you feed your body will show up in your ability to process your thoughts and regulate your energy.

In this season of renewal, as Spring approaches, perhaps ask yourself how your layers are conversing. What are they saying to each other? I’m going to get up from my desk now, take a stretch and remember God’s love and faithfulness. I feel better already!