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Our duty as humans ... the question of power and peace?



I have been thinking alot about PEACE this month, and also alot about POWER.  Two qualities that on the surface seem much in contradiction to each other. 

 

Understanding PEACE in this ever frantic, seemingly more distracted and certainly more violent world feels sometimes impossible, sometimes indulgent and always downright privileged. 

 

I see over and over again how we have this deeply masculine need to move and push through life in order to try and persuade ourselves of our own power, even on our yoga mats.  


The rhetoric of 'if i am not doing - who am I?' seems to be an unconscious norm for so many. 

 

But developing and maintaining true power, power that comes from deep within, which is born out of peace, is also challenging within a culture where the educational system teaches powerlessness as a way of fostering social allegiances. We are taught to cooperate, to be obedient, to behave with manners, to conform - as if this complaince is in someway our duty as humans.


If you are reading this then you have already committed to or have embarked on your own psycho-spiritual journey.  Even if you haven't recognized that yet.  You are in one way or another searching for truth and the freedom and power of peace that truth brings. 


In order to heal our understanding of power and work towards peace we need to work to integrate and develop the power within.  Sometimes I feel so helpless when it comes to playing my part, instigating or working towards a peaceful world.  But then I remind myself that peace, like power, has to start with the self. Just like one single person could press a button and destroy an entire city so too can one single person initiate peace within their wider community. 


The dominant world view of power over peace - with a few individuals benefiting at the expense of the greater whole - comes from the viewpoint of separation.  But when we look through the lens of yoga and many of the related ancient traditions POWER is about integration.  It is a combination of what has come before, creating strength through unity.   As we progress as humanity, power will come from within, will fuse together...skills, ability, diversity... to make us more powerful as a unit.  


I like to think of POWER in the body like electricity.  In order to recharge yourself you need to plug in and you do that through the psychophysical practice that yoga is.  When you practice you are able to direct with purpose the power you have running through you for the greater good. In the name of PEACE. 


To BE ABLE to direct your personal power ... we have to be conscious...


We have to understand relationships, we have to understand the tribe, we have to see ourselves as individuals yet simlutaneously reflecting each other.


Power is like a muscle in the body that needs to be developed and nurtured and that comes from WAKING UP.


Side Note: the word POWER in both English and Sanskrit comes from the same root… ’to be able’.  


WAKING UP HAS TO HAPPEN.  


How do we do that?  

Simple awareness practices always work... you could work with RAIN.  RAIN is a mindfulness technique - I wrote about it in another article that you can read here.


Four other top tips for nurturing your internal power….


1. Shake Yourself - keep your feet firmly connected to the earth, knees soft and just start to shake.  Shaking is a Kundalini Meditation that helps to move the electricity around the body. Be loose and let your WHOLE BODY SHAKE, feeling the energies moving up from your feet. Let go everywhere and become the shaking. Your eyes may be open or closed. 


2. Ground - like all electrical circuits we need to EARTH ourselves and grounding is a great way to do this to help draw us into the present moment.

  • Take the time to stand or sit and FEEL your FEET on the floor

  • ROLL the legs and the feet - myofasical release techniques are a great way to draw energy down from the mind and help you to ground.

  • Strengthen the Legs & Feet - work with yoga poses that switch on your leg muscles. Uktasana (aka Chair Pose) is a favourite of mine.

3. Make some sound - one I love is... ‘Ha’ Kryia - you can exhale a loud ‘ha’ as you take a karate kick OR imagine you are chopping some wood and as you lower your axe to the wood make the sound ‘ha'!


4. Break Your Patterns - if something in your life is not working let it go. Notice how you feel when you have let it go and use that exciting energy to move you forward in a different direction.


POWER is linked to the fire element and to help you cultivate a little more internal powe you can listen to a bonus Fire Meditation …. Listen here.


It is the power inside us that ignites our ability to direct our skills for our evolution. 

It is the power inside us that helps us emerge from a point of unity, rather than fighting.

It is the power inside that enables us live from a place of peace rather than domination.


It is our duty to use our power with purpose to follow this path to peace.


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