Do You Seize the Moment?

When life presents opportunities there are effectively only two choices to make, to act or not to act. When presented with an opportunity your discerning faculties kick in. Those with greater clarity of mind will be able to act (or not act as the case may be) decisively. While those with a mind that is less settled and driven by external forces will waffle, deliberate, calculate, analyze and delay making a decision.

A clear and discerning mind is one of the outputs of yoga practice, in particular meditation. Yoga starts with building a mind-body connection through physical practice. Physical yoga may or may not have an impact on stilling the mind, depending on how the practice is done. When breath becomes a focal point of the practice the positive impacts on the mind are amplified. A steady flow of breath will trigger a steady flow of the mind.

Pranayama practice, focused breathwork techniques, is really the best vehicle to get the mind under your control. Of course, this is relative because most of our minds are active and undisciplined. When used regularly focused breath and pranayama have a powerful impact on establishing a strong body-mind connection.

Breathwork also establishes the perfect runway for your meditation to soar.

In the grand scheme of things, meditation is the vehicle to building a discerning mind. This is a process, a journey, not some quick fix. It requires a regular, dedicated and reverent approach to the practice of meditation.

So what is a discerning mind and why is it important?

A discerning mind is capable of making decisions that serve your higher purpose. It is a mind that is powered by an inner awareness. It is a balanced mind that is minimally pushed and pulled by external forces. It draws on the internal resources and forces that have been built through physical practice, breathwork, meditation and life experiences. It is not driven by the reactivity of the lower mind or the attachments and aversions related to the ego.

The discerning mind is steeped in the attribute known as Sattva. This attribute has qualities of clearness, resiliency, confidence, and is an inspired state of the mind. It is effectively the natural state of the mind to which yoga seeks to return us.

To arrive at a sattvic state and by extension build the discerning faculties of the mind a number of factors come into play. Essentially, you first need to build a strong container in the form of the physical body through asana practice. As the physical form becomes purified an efficient flow of prana, or lifeforce occurs. Prana has intelligence that helps to bring us to our natural state. As your container strengthens your digestive fire that fuels your transformation also grows.

If this all sounds complicated, it need not. Remember, you are a holistic system with everything contributing to your current state. Patterns and life-long habits - both physical and mental - that don’t serve your higher purpose fall away and you are able to act in new life-affirming ways. This is the ultimate goal of yoga - that your daily life is filled with more freedom, fulfillment and joy.

On a recent trip to Victoria where I was scouting out accommodations for a possible future move, an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly. I took a chance submitting an application for tenancy for one of the units I looked at, not expecting anything to become of it. However, within hours the owner replied saying I’d be an ideal fit for his property. My fact-finding trip had become one necessitating decision-making.

I had to act. I had to seize the moment. I knew the apartment was perfect, but how would I pull together a move across this vast country in 5 weeks? My landlord was aware I was in Victoria looking for a new place but would she grant me a shorter than required notice to vacate? Would I be able to pay out the last few months on my vehicle lease as I wouldn’t need it in Victoria? How much would the move cost?

I did my due diligence getting the questions answered that I could then let the owner know I accepted his offer. I was clearly able to assess the opportunity and act in a timely manner and feel very comfortable in my decision.

Being a peace with your actions is the hallmark of a decisive mind in yoga.

If you struggle with decision-making or find yourself repeating patterns of behaviour it may be time to make real change. I’d love to work with you in a coaching capacity to align your yoga goals with your life plan. Reach out to me or check out my membership site.


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