Somewhere Else to Sadhana
I used to listen to a band called Somewhere Else. Their name reminds me of past longings. Wanting to be away from here. Now. Filled with presence but avoidant of the present.
So many struggle with this. Finding exits through daydreams or texting or medicated moments. Our routes of getting elsewhere may be different, but our desires are the same. I surprise people sometimes when my mind races and I can't sit still. They think because I practice yoga and start my days with meditation that I am somehow above that sort of thing. The truth is I do what I do because I have to. Because I have a brain that talks way too much and a tendency to run away. From body, mind and spirit.
Being in a human body was never promised to be easy. But it would have been nice if life on earth had come with a manual. A how to of how to thrive, or even survive in our wild modern world. Throughout my life, I have tried many different avenues of escaping the now. A lot of them have been unhealthy, though I have worked to shift them out. Leaving self destruction behind, I began experimenting with mindfulness practices. Meditations and different types of yoga. Alternative healing and "medicines" like ayahuasca. Instead of constantly trying to flee, I yearned for comfortability in the present moment.
Today, the thing that keeps me from going somewhere else is my sadhana. Simply put, this means a daily spiritual practice. For some, this looks like 10 minutes of meditation in the morning. Or sipping tea in silence as the sun rises. Moving the body till sweat drips down. Or writing in a journal to gain clarity of mind. Although the name sounds fancy, this action can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. I worked with a young client who had developed a debilitating health condition. Despite the fact that it was severely limiting her life, she woke up every morning to greet the sky with a "thank you". I always found that gesture so profound and beautiful. The image of her lifting her head towards the clouds and whispering a soft prayer of gratitude.
For me, sadhana means three different kundalini meditations that equal to about 30 minutes. Sometimes I do these in the mornings, but I have also been known to do them before bed. However, starting my day like this makes a huge difference. It clears out the junk in my mind and sets a neutral tone for the day. I highly suggest carving out space right after you wake up, but I know that this isn't always possible. If you want to get really crazy, do it between 4 and 6 am. This time period is known as the ambrosial hour, and is said to greatly increase the effects of your meditation.
Most importantly, do what feels right and choose something that works with your schedule. Better to start small and succeed, then to set yourself up for failure. I can't promise that it won't be challenging, but I can say that it will make somewhere else less enticing.