“Follow the process, not the Prize” as said by, a lot of people
What a great quote. I heard this recently in a new book by Ryan Holiday entitled The Obstacle Is the Way (get it here, highly recommend). Turns out this is very timely advice.
My emotional balance has been less than lately. I’m sure partly because my daughter is back at college, but also because my son recently decided to go live with his dad. “K” (I’ll call her) leaving for college alone is enough of an emotional disruptor, but “N” (my son) getting mad and leaving is I think what put me over the top.
Anytime I think about Yoga or Meditation I feel at peace, at least for a fleeting moment, then I go back to the chaos in my head. I consistently can’t see the forest for the trees, so Ryan Holiday’s reminder of process over the prize was a good one. I had this same perspective when I was bodybuilding and getting ready for a show. All the training, cardio, and food could be overwhelming; my husband (now ex) suggested thinking of it as “just one more”; that was all, just focus on that next thing. Honestly it worked!
Obviously the difficult part is remembering to put that practice into motion, but when you’re in the middle of an emotional crisis focusing on just the next one thing isn’t the first thought to come to mind.
I didn’t plan to be “empty nested” until N left for college in two more years. Granted when he lived at my house he was in his room, or hanging out with friends, or sleeping lol, but he was there. Technically all his stuff is still there right now, but there is a void in my heart because I know it’s just stuff. I do have 3 wonderful pups to keep me company though, so I’m not really alone.
Being 17 I get that N wants freedom, but he also has to learn responsibility and lately he only wants option A. He thinks that right now he connects better with his dad…and I get that. N and I have always had a close relationship, but teenagerdome (if you will forgive my word freedom there) has taken him over. To add insult to injury, when his dad and I were still married he was the main disciplinarian. Since we’ve divorced that is now my job, which has changed our dynamic.
This is just taking a serious mental and emotional toll on me. I vacillate between being angry (at our argument over chores) to feeling sad and desperate. I don’t like this me!
I’m just starting to learn about Chakras, so I thought I’d take a quiz to see what was causing me to be out of balance and what, if anything, I can do about it. According to a quiz on Yogajournal.com (take the quiz here) my 3rd Chakra, known as the navel or Manipura Chakra, is out of balance. Mmmkk…I don’t doubt that. But what the heck does that mean?!?
The third chakra, called manipura, is located at the navel. “Manipura” means lustrous gem of the city and it’s natural element is fire and is linked directly to your sense of self (hmm, ok things are becoming more clear).
The Navel Chakra, or Manipura, is associated with your self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, individual will, digestion, and metabolism. Wow, this does sound like a lot of the issues I’m having. With the kids leaving, my sense of purpose and personal identity are shifting, which is causing anxiety, leading to digestive issues.
Yogajournal.com also indicates that imbalances in the navel chakra can be associates with eating disorders, among other things. AGAIN! This is what I am experiencing. I’ve done a good job of getting back in the gym and managing my nutrition since my knee surgery, etc but this last week may have wrecked it all! Let’s see, there have been cookies, pasta, pizza, brownies, more pizza, beer…you get the idea. When my emotions are out of whack it’s bad food choices and shopping. So. much. shopping.
As I researched the Manipura more, some of the mental manifestations of this imbalance present as aggressive or controlling behavior, or lack of direction or self-esteem to motivate yourself to take action. That’s where I live; not motivated to take action. I even take antidepressants in my everyday life, but they are not strong enough for this situation with N.
To try and mitigate the effects of this energy center being off course, Yoga Journal suggests trying to examine your understanding of power, individuality, and identification. Basically, where in your life do you feel powerless? How does your behavior change as a result?
What I got from all this is that I need a plan of action. I know why I feel down, don’t want to go to the gym, clean, cook, etc. I need to create other opportunities for me to feel empowered and honestly that’s the easy part because there are already a 100 things I want to do, but “didn’t think I had time”. Well now, I sure enough do.
Some of those ideas are:
- Spending time with God
- Bible Journaling
- Meditation & Yoga
- Renovations- my bedroom, the basement
- Purging “stuff”
- Focusing on school (currently in a Master’s program).
I have to find purpose in doing those things I know bring me joy. The hurdle though, again, is knowing the needed action but not doing it.
I am hoping that understanding how focusing on action will help bring me out of this funk. With that, some benefits of aligning the Navel Chakra are:
- You will be comfortable with your own inherent power and become empowered
- You will have a sense of who you are and why you are here.
- You will let go of the things that you depend on to define who you are. Over-valuing anything that can change (like external sources of happiness) is a quick road to suffering.
I am praying that I can get my emotional balance back. I just realized today is Monday, which means I have class tonight, and guess what? I didn’t write my paper. Ugh.