The outbreak of Covid 19 has affected us all to some degree. For some it is one of the most difficult times ever experienced and for others they have found some space. For some they have lost their jobs, income, freedom. For others they have lost opportunities, connection, hope.
The most heartbreaking losses being the loss of loved ones. So in a time of restriction, loss, and general lack of positivity what can we do to deal with our losses, heartbreaks and emptiness?
The loss of loved ones is a separate matter. Here we need to allow ourselves to grieve. Fully. Let the heart ache and hold it. Heart practise is one thing we can do here. Missing that being is so hard. For those who have lost I send you love & light & strength.
In this blog post I am contemplating on loss of non-life matters.
By definition the word loss implies lack. It also implies permanence. Loss does not include transcendence or transformation. So when we say we “lost” an opportunity we are implying it is definite and irreversible. Looking at synonyms for loss they include: disaster, failure, depletion and deprivation. However they also include: want, need and undoing. The idea that a loss includes want is interesting. This means that when we lose we become aware of our want or need that is now unmet. The feeling of losing something leaves us with an energy of lack, being incomplete without that thing. The idea of undoing brings something hopeful with it. If losing something actually means undoing a situation so that the better situation can replace it, it creates a feeling of destiny.
What if we could find a way to take all of the things we feel we have lost recently and transform them into something positive?
The reason I am contemplating the other side of the loss coin is that I feel I have lost the things that keep my mental health in optimum condition. I have also lost the opportunities to make one of my biggest dreams come true. I hate to say this but my depression has come back. I honestly never thought I’d feel this way again. It’s been a long time. But this time it’s a new experience and thanks to my Heart practise I have the capacity to hold my feelings whilst remaining connected to my true being. It is an interesting experience feeling this huge down, sadness and at the same time knowing I am ok. I am mentioning this to show you how powerful true yoga and meditation is - connecting with the spiritual Heart and oneness will change your experience of reality. Just don’t let the mind trick you ;-)
So looking at my losses in terms of want, need and undoing: Perhaps I was pushing too hard, maybe I was walking the wrong path, maybe the universe wanted to slow me down. Maybe the timing was wrong. I do not know what life holds for me so how can I know what is best for me? I realise this is a completely different approach to what most inspirational figures present recently. What I am saying defies the law of attraction in every way. But as I’ve said before the mirroring universe we live in is the illusory one. Letting God means surrendering to that which is real. And we don’t get to choose. We have faith that life chooses what is best for us. We need to have that inherit trust. And trust me it sometimes makes me angry!
The crucial point is this: if we are full and complete within ourselves and feel connected to the one, how can something leaving us be detrimental? We know about impermanence and that something new will float our way. We just don’t identify with it any longer. We see it as waves, coming and going. A “Lebenskuenstler” (the German word for the person who has mastered life) knows how to ride the waves, remembering we are all part of the same ocean.
Coming back to my depression - due to my salsa and yoga communities which seem to be floating away from me due to the current restrictions, something has been given the space to surface - and it is definitely telling me something important. There is hidden sadness that needs my attention. The dream making opportunities which have just stopped because of the current situation are also giving space: I see how much energy I had been investing to make them happen. And look, the minute my energy is diverted it all goes back to neutral. Is this something sustainable? Is this real? Obviously the answer is no. I see my need and feeling of lack having driven me so hard. The weirdest loss I am observing at the moment is that even on my path of sharing the teachings I am being stopped and redirected. I have obviously not found my exact path yet and believe me when I say it requires complete trust and faith that life has a plan for me.
Those who believe they create their own reality (which in our illusory universe thought does create more illusion) will find my words confusing. How can I be giving up my own empowerment? How can I not strive to be and have exactly what I want? The only thing I can say to that for now is this: what if you manage to create the life you so desperately want and you are not fulfilled to the max? What if there would have been a path which might not look the way you would like it to but ultimately it would have led to your complete contentment? I know these are very strong suggestions and in order to let the universe lead you, you must completely surrender and stop doing. This is much much harder than it sounds. Because when we have needs and desires there is always a tiny whisper saying… what if...
With this new space I have what am I going to do? Maybe the whole idea is to stop doing and let being. It is often a fine line between doing something just because we feel called to it and doing something because we are expecting to meet a need through it. I suppose this is the art of the ancient Chinese philosophy of Wu Wei - the art of doing not doing. It is part of Daoism, walking the Dao, the way, in an effortless flow. To me it kind of implies that there is a way for us to walk… we don’t choose it.
In direct opposition to doing not doing is when we imagine something that we desire can only happen in one given way. If we are meeting our needs things become more complicated as the notion of desire and lack come into the equation. Desiring something means we expect it to do something for us, usually the idea is to fill our sense of lack. Needing and desiring are very powerful forces and sometimes we have to entertain them and live out that fantasy. If we do it long enough or often enough we begin to see something different. Through continued spiritual practise we begin to see three dimensional world doings for what they are. And it’s a choice. No right or wrong answer here.
Here is what I am doing to transform loss into something positive:
1 Embrace whatever is right now. Suffering is basically the resistance of what is. If we can fully accept that the situation is whatever it is, we stop fighting it. Even if it is making us sad, depressed, lonely or lost we need to accept those emotions. We need to embrace the part of ourselves which feel that way and tell them it’s ok. In my example I just embrace my depression. I sometimes cry endlessly. But that's ok. My connection to the spiritual Heart is there. It gives me the capacity to hold the sadness.
2 Remember impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. This too will pass. One of my beloved teachers always says to me that I crave the highs, floating in air. And he always encouraged me to try the lows. Same as the ocean has ebbs and tides so does life have highs and lows. We need to be good at both. This is also a key concept in yoga. The unattachment of outcome - to be able to be happy and peaceful no matter what goes on around us.
3 Gratitude practise. Be grateful every single day for every single tiny beautiful thing in your life. It is one of THE most powerful practises you can ever do.
4 Be kind to yourself. Don’t force yourself into doing anything. If this phase means your yoga practise is only 10mins long instead of 60mins that’s ok. If you don’t go for enough long walks that’s ok too. And if you want to stay in bed all day by all means do it and OWN it!
5 Take some time for reflection. Look at what has left your life and what it meant for you. Can you ask the universe to send you something that brings you the same meaning without asking for its shape or form?
6 Let out your anger and frustration! Sometimes shouting it all out is not a bad thing :-) It’s ok to have a stern word with the universe!
7 Don’t sink. Float. There is a fine line between allowing our emotions and wallowing in them. Gratitude will help here.
8 Those who can let things come and go like grains of sand flowing between our fingers are the happy ones. They don’t try to hold onto anything. They rejoice in coming and going.
9 If you deeply know who you are and are connected with oneness, life begins to shift.
Yamuna Devi xxx