I’ve mentioned a little about the difficulty I’ve experienced with the many emotions that have come up during this last week of deep mind, body, and soul searching. It’s not just the 40 Days of Yoga; it’s the way the 40 Days of Yoga is interplaying with the rest of my life.
During Week Three, the Week of Equanimity, I was feeling largely unaffected by negative emotions. I thought I had found a way to conquer those pesky human afflictions (haha). But in this very challenging week, I’ve been experiencing the complete range of human emotions, including the unpleasant ones like stress, anger, frustration, disappointment, unworthiness, etc.
I felt like I had let my everyday life interfere with my practice, and as a result, I felt like I had lost the very precious equanimity I had spent so much time cultivating.
I realize now, though, that the two parts of my life are not separate. I live both, and both are a part of me at all times. And to not experience stress, anger, frustration, etc. as it arises would be unnatural. I don’t believe that yogis “rise above” these sticky human emotions. They simply have a different set of tools that allow them to deal with these emotions in a healthy way.
We have to allow ourselves to experience the things comes up for us. To ignore those feelings would be unnatural and counterproductive. And when you repress emotions because you think you should be above them or because you don’t want to face them, you’re only creating more to deal with later when those emotions inevitably surface.
To be the master of your emotions is to meet them as they meet you. Use the tools of meditation, pranayama, and equanimity to experience your full range of emotions safely, appropriately, and productively.
And always cultivate compassion for yourself. Try to remember that your difficult days don’t define you. And remember that every day is another opportunity to live a life full of grace and gratitude.