My sympathetic nervous system is activated
Today is Election Day, and I’m feeling a bit anxious. My intention for today was originally to witness my ego, but I think I’ll change it to staying grounded. My plan to accomplish this is simple: when I find that I’m feeling anxious, I’ll remind myself to return to my breath.
I love the three-part yogic breath, which involves filling the belly with air, then the lungs, and then the upper chest. Then, I’ll reverse this order when I exhale slowly and completely. I may also extend the exhalations, as it amplifies the calming effect.
Another thing I can do to stay grounded is to take a walk in the park and be present to the autumn smells and other sensory experiences and to really witness my breath in the process.
I can also stay off of the fear-mongering social media and news.
It’s challenging to stay present, grounded, and unfearful when so much is at stake. But, being filled with anxiety and dread about the potential worst-case-scenario does nothing to prevent it.
Living from a place of love is what the collective needs to do to inspire change. Both the political Left and Right have failed to do this with their shaming, insults, and fear-based rhetoric. Can’t there be another way to not tolerate the intolerable? How to counter injustices from the heart is something that needs to be explored more deeply. I sometimes wonder if it’s a sign of privilege to have this attitude, but then I consider that Gandhi did it…Was he wrong? I think the issue people take with it is that there is no instant gratification or result – it’s a long-haul deal. This makes us squirm in our skin, especially when lives are involved and time is running out.
Is there an answer? If there is, what is it?
I did about 40 minutes of asanas, but the practice wasn’t very fulfilling. I’m attributing this to the combination of a teaching style that I didn’t care for and a noisy house. I turned off the class and did my own thing for the second half. I felt pretty meh when I was done, but by the time I sat down to meditate I was feeling very, VERY calm. I did a few rounds of anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breath) and was struck that my Ida and Pingala nadis (energy channels most readily noticed when the sinuses are either open or constricted) were equally open. This was the case yesterday, too, so I think the secret is that even a subpar yoga practice is better than none.
I feel ready to stay calm and grounded, regardless of the election and what unfolds.