The way we feel at any time dictates how well or unwell we perceive ourselves and our reality to be. For instance, if you are running at a high blood glucose level, your energy will be different from normal levels or low levels. Within the blood glucose spectrum, there is a difference between 200mg/dL and 400 mg/dL, or 65 mg/dL to 45 mg/dL. You are going to feel different.
Just as there is a difference between when we feel capable with diabetes versus hopeless. There is a thought, but also a feeling in the body.
Our energetic condition governs our mood and emotions. How we feel determines how we see the world and live in relationship to it. Essentially the better we feel, the more vibrant and engaged we will be in our lives and, in turn, our diabetes management. But if we're in a funk, numbers awry, plagued by stress and digestive distress, we're less likely to view the glass as half full.
Our mood is a feeling; it is not a thought. It connects with thought, but mood shows up as a sensation in our body. The problem is that when we feel an uncomfortable mood, we identify with it just as we would identify with a core belief like "I will never control my diabetes."
We feel it, so it must be real.
By learning to link with our feeling/energy body, we can de-link from uncomfortable sensations and link with sources of happiness and devotion, transforming discomfort into ease.
In yoga, this is the energy of bhava shakti - the feeler. We can bring a positive bhav - or feeling into our yoga practice - and then into our diabetes practice. To transform mood is one part mind (intellect) and one part body (nervous system). The most potent and practical tools for transforming mood are self-reflection, intention (sankalpa), breath, and sound.
A Meditation to Transform Mood
1) To begin your practice, any practice take several breaths and reflect on your feeling state - what is your energy like? How does this manifest as emotions and sensations in your body? Where do you feel these sensations? As you reflect, keep the breath smooth and even.
2) Remember a pleasant experience, a time in your life where you felt the freest and effortless. Observe the sensations in the body and where they are most concentrated.
3) Alternate nostril breathing. Lift your right hand, inhale left nostril, breathing into the space of concentrated sensation, hold your inhale for 5-10 seconds in that space. Exhale right nostril. Inhale right nostril, breathing into the same space, hold the inhale for another 5-10 seconds. Exhale left. Repeat 5x.
4) Bring attention to the fact of your natural, effortless breath at the heart center. The feeling of your breath when it is effortless is the feeling of PURE JOY and LIGHT. As the body inhales, experience the joy and light radiating at your heart. When the body exhales, the light is absorbed.
5) Mantra - remaining with the same awareness from #4, mentally chant the mantra SO on inhale and HUM on the exhale. Remain in this effortless space for several minutes. So hum = I AM THAT.
6) Eventually, the mantra will occur spontaneously. Experience the breath, light, and the mantra occurring at the heart center, recognize that the feeling of you is the feeling of THAT - the essential SELF - beyond sorrow, beyond darkness.
7) Before you return, recall that moment of peace, the feeling of real, lasting peace in your body. Recognize that there is no separation between you and lasting peace.
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Evan Rachel Soroka