Prana is sanskrit for “life force.” The energy that moves life. The sea awakens to the rise of the sun. Our bodies become upright as the day breaks and the flowers open, often turning toward the sun witness and receive this force of all forces. The river and the birds settle down when the day closes with God’s artwork, the sunset. The energy is ever present and ever changing. Like us.
The body of water has high tide and low tide points that can and do literally change the shape of an island slowly over time. It can possess roiling waves or be calm with peace. Just like us. The water doesn’t seem to mind too much. It just is what it is and seems content with that. There isn’t an agenda or specific goal to this energy. It goes with the flow. Not quite like us.
The prana of the mighty tree grows steadfast and upright, adapting to any other life force it encounters. It may have done this from the sapling stage literally sharing the same root ball. It may encounter “others” later on in it’s life with simple contact of another life force — such as another tree, insects or parasite plants — sharing it’s space openly. Seemingly undisturbed in it’s quest to grow and moving on, if necessary. A little like us.
The tree and the ocean both know that they are part of the collective universe and not any more important but just as important as any other tree or body of water. That is the difference. We humans have a distinct characteristic, and that is intelligent (or not so) thought and reasoning. Let’s not forget our powerful sense of self that renders us separate from others, the ego. Self importance —being absorbed with the self and not thinking of the collective whole of us — is man’s greatest enemy. With all respect for needing to care of self, the basic need is to remain vital and happy, but the ego can become the driver pretty quick once those needs are met.
We can look within and let compassion, love and connection be the director ofour day. Day after day, yoga practice after yoga practice, phone call after phone call, grocery store trip after trip (especially this time of year!), every morning we can choose this. In spite of our inner voice that becomes so agitated, losing patience, saying things we wish we hadn’t, and above all releasing stress hormones in the blood stream the body does not appreciate. We can cultivate the open attitude of being of the same world as the slow driver in front of you.
Every time I encounter the “20 mph” vehicle, I think of a dear friend who passed recently that was well in her 80s and moving more slowly in her later years. She told me when she was driving slowly and cautiously and the driver behind was impatient coming up close behind, it made her more nervous, and she felt the need to slow down.
Her prana, the energy that moved her body, worked at a different pace. I never rode a bumper again. That person could have been as lovely and generous in her life as my friend Ginny was. Someone in the world might think so anyway. When you are in a situation that is stressing you out, due to “others,” ask yourself this, “Would I prefer to encounter a grumpy face or a light (perhaps even smiling) face in the world?” Let’s leave a ripple of love instead of impatience in the world.
Love is a verb. It is action. It is life force and doesn’t ask anything of you but equal consideration and respect. We can lighten up as we encounter others and spread the positive vibes! All you need to do is observe instead of obsess, smile more and frown less, and think of others some while you ponder on yourself. Oh, and one more thing — BREATHE.
Dianne Saywell works full time as a dental hygienist at a local dental office educating and helping patients maintain their oral health. She also spends her time introducing people to and sharing the healing power of YOGA and the health it brings to the body, mind and spirit. She offers group classes and private sessions at all levels, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.