Cleaning House

OMI am working to clean up/tie up all the loose ends here at Everyday Yoga and in my life in general.  I have far too many distractioins, too many things that allow me to escape from daily activities and fritter my time—my life!—away.  One aspect of pratyahara is that we withdraw the tendrils of our mind from the concerns around us.  Clearly the more clutter and distraction in our lives, the harder this will be.

The key, I believe, to avoiding distraction and clutter is to avoid procrastination.  As my wife and parents can tell you, I am the procrastination king.  I can find a good reason to put something off without even thinking twice about it.  This is such an automatic response for me at times that actually forcing myself to not procrastinate leads to mild anxiety attacks—my heart is racing even as I type this!  How do I deal with this?  Usually, I have a depressive episode.  Unfortunately, I tend to focus more on cleaning up during the Fall, Winter and Spring.  Those of you who know me or have followed my blogs for any length of time, know that SAD plays a rather . . . entertaining . . . role in my life and that it is more of an issue from September through about April.  Does anyone else see an unfortunate correlation there?

Allow me to ask the question again:  How do I deal with the anxiety on top of the SAD?  Today I have found a great mitigator for my anxiety.  Palms pressed together, a deep inhalation and simple mantra of Stay Focused.  So far so good, heart is racing, the pink steamroller is running at full tilt but I am still cruising along clearing up this and that and the other.

So, how does this tie back into my topic of Yogic Philosophy?  Clearing the clutter from life leaves the mind free and at ease.  Think for a moment about the thoughts and ideas that raced through your mind the last time you sat for meditation.  What was your monkey mind chattering about while you tried to find quiet and peace in your own head?  Now, put all those thoughts down on paper as a todo list and start clearing out those distractions.  Even if you only clean up one item from that list, your monkey mind will have one less thing to entertain it and you will find yourself moving more quickly into pratyahara and toward dharana.

With all of that in mind, if you have sent me an email since May and have not received a reply, you are on my list of things that need cleaning; so, expect an email from me by week’s end at the latest!