Addiction is the inability to face the present moment. The motivation of addictive behavior is not bad. Usually when we engage in an addictive behavior we are seeking relief, love, control, release, attention or we just want to hide. Although the underlying emotional need is natural, the addictive behavior comes at a cost to the physical body and to our health.
It is good to know what we need in the present moment, but it is also the hardest thing. It is hard to know what we need in the present moment if we are not used to presence. Changing habits are really hard. We have to awake before the unhealthy action and choose a different and healthy action.
Our senses are very pervasive and can cause us to attach to things and behaviors that do not help us. Additions are an offense to our wisdom. The mind is where the hook is. Addiction is a desire of the mind. It is unsustainable and comes with a cost to the body. There is a war in this.
There should be no shame that the sense organs, mind, and heart are needing to be satisfied; addiction just has bad side effects, bad karma.
To overcome addiction, we need to add energy to our will power. We need to cultivate the willingness towards change. Yoga assists in the cultivation of personal will, love, and fulfills the recognition we are seeking.
We are going at a much faster pace generation to generation. We are disconnecting ourselves from our true nature through distractions such as the Internet, electricity, pollution, processed food and alcohol. We are becoming addicted to this fast life. To heal addiction, we initially have to do something else even if we don’t want to. We have to move beyond the attachment to addiction. We have to slow down, and fill up. We have to find something we love more to motivate us. For me it was yoga.
Yoga assists us in attention. With intense attention, we can uproot the cause of our addictions and diseases. There are usually multiple factors, but often it has a root in our psychology and our interpretation of our existence.
When I say that yoga saved me, it is my truth. Yoga saved me! Yoga gave me the will, the love, and the courage to choose something different when the desire of my mind was screaming. But I had to show up. I had to be awake. I had to awake before the action. I had to have strong intention to inspire me.
No one will tell you that yoga is easy. But it is thorough.
When we purposely put our bodies in an awkward or uncomfortable position, we have to discipline ourselves to show up to it. Initially our mind might be freaking out, but somehow the connection to the class, the guidance of the yoga instructor, or the person on the mat next to us inspires us to stay with it.
We train in yoga to practice challenge with ease, and steady connection. Eventually we heal our nervous system, our stress response, and calm our addictions to our sense gratifications. We feel so much better after a yoga class, something releases, and we surprise ourselves. So we keep practicing.
Yoga reminds us that the cause of our stress is the forgetfulness that we are apart of something grand, that we are in relationship to everything, that we are in relationship to God, that we are in relationship to the multidimensionality of our selves, all of existence. Yoga will heal the nervous system and bring us back to joy.
We can heal ourselves. We have to believe it is possible to create the space for the possibility.
In a way, we are all addicted. We are addicted to control. We are addicted to the control of our environment. Control of our environment brings us a sense of safety. Yet true control is the control of the inner landscapes of our emotions, our thoughts, and the company we keep in the empty moments. As yogis, we strive to feel safe no matter the external happenings, because we have moved the mountains within our selves.
We are culturally conditioned with impatience; we are used to instant gratification, due to how instant everything is becoming. We can find information, a date, go shopping or communicate instantly through the Internet. We have lost our patience.
Instead of being obsessed or upset about situations, just get excited that you are going to provide for yourself what you desire, what you need. Getting upset just creates more karma, more energy of lack, or not enough, and greed.
Are you looking at your behaviors? If we recognize our roles in creating our own challenges, we really resolve what is off balance in ourselves.
This reminds me of the saying in the Bible about how you should remove the speck in your own eye, before you judge the speck in another’s eye.