Thursday, October 16, 2008

Economic Crisis: This is Your Time To Be A Yogi

My first yoga teacher was fond of saying something to the following affect, "Anyone can meditate in a quiet room with scented candles; the question is whether you can meditate in the midst of chaos, when it all really hits the fan."

Presumably, we can count the current economic crisis as an example of the aforementioned you-know-what hitting the fan. People losing their homes, banks collapsing, the stock market crumbling, the value of the U.S. dollar vanishing before our eyes, stable jobs transforming into the contents of a cubicle or corner office emptied into a cardboard box overnight- suffice to say it's getting a little wacky out there. It's enough to make any guy or gal anxious. Compound all this economic ageda with the idea-nay, the fact- that we are still at war, and it's downright panic-inducing.

However, you simply cannot put panic in the driver's seat. What good is any spiritual practice- be it yoga or meditation or playoff baseball- if it doesn't provide a source of steadiness during times of uncertainty? I don't know about you, but my spirit is relatively low-maintenance while traipsing through life on a gloriously sunny day, after having just finished a dish of gelato and crouching down to pet a puppy.

I agree. Panicking is justified- natural, even. But, it's not the only way, and frankly, it's not the most effective way. This is not to say that you should bury your head in the sand and convince yourself that everything is groovy. That's disingenuous and, if left unchecked, dangerous.

The best approach to chaos is to see it clearly. Take it all in. Assess the situation for yourself and your family. By all means, inform yourself, but don't let the economic climate taint your entire world-view. Countless people before us have weathered worse. You, in your lifetime, have probably weathered worse. Being a force of positivity and light in the world doesn't mean that you ignore difficult situations. Rather, take them and transform them into moments of opportunity. Delve deeper into your spiritual practice, encourage the people around you who feel defeated, get more savvy with your own goals and intentions, be creative with the resources you already have, teach the next generation how to be resilient and resolution-focused.

An Hopi elder once said,"We are the ones we've been waiting for," which, to me, is the ultimate statement of power, positivity, and, yes, pragmatism.

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