Knowing boundaries: Why it’s helpful when establishing new routines
By Gina Shaw
“First we create habits and then habits create us.” – Yogi Bhajan
Rising to experience the quiet stirring of the world in the early morning, I am curious to know the routines of the life around me. The air hangs heavy, yet softly lingering in the grasp of the humidity. My particular romanticized view of nature offers guidance to the questions of my heart and I sit in the grass with gratitude for these moments. The energy of the trees and their quiet and humble ways have become a source of inspiration for the type of life I choose to nurture. This omniscient peace and stillness reflects the place in my mind that I know to be true, yet I all too often forget is there.
I imagine this may resonate with many, as we are all living in a time that seems too chaotic to even comprehend the subtle energies that manifest within each thought and action. In a world of consumerism, distraction is the goal; to fill each moment with something. If we are not purchasing material items we are becoming purchased by the media – sold to its ever present ability to consume our thoughts and moments. Making a conscious attempt to shift out of these habits and ways of life take time and for someone who has only just begun to dismantle such patterns, this weekend showed some of my truest colors.
This past weekend was the observance of Independence Day and while I had the pleasure of spending time with friends at a vacation home on the beach in Maine, I found just how easy it is to be swept up in the pursuit of distraction. I so easily shifted from rising early to enjoy the silence and quietly eat my breakfast, to riding the wave of constant activity. In the midst of enjoying each others company, I looked around and realized that in this vacation of relaxing, it didn’t seem like anyone actually was – especially myself. I unconsciously gravitated towards my cell phone in the lull of activity, rather than sitting and enjoying my breath. I jumped right back into my old habits of hyperactivity, where impulsiveness is far easier that mindfulness. I didn’t realize how careless I had been towards myself until I left and returned home to sit in meditation. My thought patterns were wildly chaotic and the familiar rhythm of my breath did little to ease the energy. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, constant mental stimulation and poor eating choices. In the moments I had wanted to cherish, I lost to the whim of mindless distraction.
However, my recent integration with Kundalini yoga has brought a fundamental shift in my daily experience, from the way I hold myself to the way I navigate throughout the day. In this way, I have found a yogic life brings one back to the natural flow of the Universe as one aligns with the common vibration that is shared with all life. Furthermore, what I find so inspiring about Kundalini yoga and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan is that he offered a comprehensive lifestyle that adhered to this mindful and compassionate way of living, not only to others but to oneself. For those interested in healing their wounds of pain and neglect, the Happy, Healthy, Holy way of life may suit you well. He outlines the necessary boundaries that present when creating new routines – what ways of living to be cultivated and others to be discarded. What I learned this weekend was that these boundaries are a necessary part of remaining true to your authentic self. Knowing when energies are present and assessing whether or not they are conducive with your deepest values. I had a beautiful time with the people I love, yet in my reflections I am aware that it is possible I could have served myself in a more loving way, if only I had taken the time to sit, breathe and remain aware.