The desire for increased clarity is often defined by its lack…
When one feels confused or lost, it becomes evident that clarity would be helpful to set the mind free in order to find peace in that moment.
And yet, looking to the external world for clairvoyance- especially at this time- has never been an apt solution.
Clarity, like peace or happiness, is a state obtained from within... and from within one’s own mind; not from circumstance.
It is certainly not found in the cosmos or the evening news, nor within the church or state.
Clarity, as with all virtues, is an inside job.
Perhaps clarity is a position obtained through a series of unveiling thoughts.
Apocalypse, at its core, means "to be unveiled"; its definition is neutral, although often its arrival is painful.
And still, even the most accurate abstract understanding of any quality, like that of clarity, is no less frustrating to the most dedicated seeker.
In a version of the universe where normalcy seems to have been turned inside out, finding clarity for just moments at a time can bring about a most pacifying respite.
And while clarity and certainty are not necessarily synonymous, some element of feeling clear may be a prerequisite in assessing the certainty of any given moment.
So, how do we achieve some much-needed clarity in these tumultuous times?
reaching for the clearing of thoughts
One of the best ways to cultivate clarity in the mind is by doing something challenging with the physical.
This can mean different things for different people, but the good news is that it doesn't require one to run a half marathon to get clear headed!
With most physical exercise, we tend toward activities that bring us some sense of physical security. We gravitate toward something that is familiar, known, and has been experienced to bring an intended benefit. So trying something new seems... unnecessary- that is, until new results are desired.
The old adage of; “If it aint broke, why fix it?” rings true... But just because something doesn’t appear to be broken, doesn’t mean one could not benefit from some greater improvement- or greater clarity.
During this time of great external uncertainty, the universe is presenting each of us with an unprecedented opportunity to go deep within...
To confront those aspects of ourselves and our lives that we're usually all too happy to numb, distract or ignore; during the normal non-pandemic hustle and bustle.
IF THE CONFUSION ONE IS EXPERIENCING IS WITHIN ONE'S OWN MIND, THEN TRYING TO OUT-THINK THE PROBLEM LIKELY WON'T BE THE FIX.
FORTIFYING THE MIND THROUGH PHYSICALITY
Choosing an activity that is both mentally as well as physically challenging can reveal great insights through practice.
Take yoga, for example: It sounds really enjoyable upon contemplation of the practice... when in reality, many of the postures themselves are actually quite difficult or uncomfortable.
Breathing through the temporary discomfort, though, is what creates not only a physical strength, but also an acute mental stamina as well.
In yoga, we like to believe that those poses (and things in life) from which we run- are the very things toward which we ought to lean, should we seek to find solutions to our current quandaries.
The aversion to the activity itself is the clue, as well as the guide. Specifically for finding clarity, certain yoga poses can be useful to help bring the mind to new levels of mental acuity.
the best YOGA Poses TO ILLUMINATE CLARITY
Each yoga asana, or pose, is attributed to a corresponding benefit. Particularly helpful types that will shine a light on troubling thoughts that may be clouding your reality are:
- Backbends- They're known to be extremely stimulating to the nervous system. They are deeply energizing and heart opening.
- Forward Fold Postures- While they're especially illuminating; forward folds may also be particularly confronting- One is required to literally fold in on oneself, and get very close to that which may be uncomfortable.
Whether it’s a backbend or a forward fold POSTURE YOU'RE TRYING, both may illuminate some gentle clarity that was previously unforeseen.
forward fold basics
Try starting with a gentle forward fold pose to unveil some instant feelings of clarity and calm.
This one is called Head to Knee Pose, or Janu Sirsasana in Sanskrit...
- If this is a new idea, first find yourself seated comfortably on the floor.
- Extend one leg and keep the other knee bent, with your heel to your groin.
- Place a blanket under your bent knee to support the stretch.
- Hinge forward from the hips, allow the spine to extend forward over the straightened leg.
- Engage the muscles of your straight leg to protect the joints, and allow your torso to relax forward, slowly releasing the head toward the extended knee.
- Relax into the pose for about one minute, and then slowly repeat on the other side.
HEAD TO KNEE POSE IS WONDERFUL FOR RELEASING TENSION IN THE BACK OF THE LEGS, YOUR LOWER BACK, YOUR SIDE WAIST AND ALSO ALONG YOUR SPINE.
TRUST THE PROCESS
As mentioned earlier, engaging in some energy-clearing practices may bring up some confronting emotions. You may feel some frustration, impatience, grief, or even anger bubbling up within you.
This is completely normal, and thoroughly encouraged. Allow whatever rises within you to come up, and do your best to not judge yourself for whatever you feel.
All feelings are valid, always.
Giving yourself these two minutes to release that which no longer serves you from your physical body may create extra space for new clarity in other areas.
Even if nothing emotional comes up, practicing one yoga pose at a time serves the mind as a brief meditation and allows an internal energy to reset and recharge.
See if you can’t find some joy within the slight discomfort.
As always, it’s a dance.
Just be sure to give yourself credit for taking the time to charge your own batteries!
Self care is not a luxury- it’s a necessity... but it is allowed to feel luxurious.
To your unfolding discovery of clarity,