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Letting go of things that no longer serve us
Let me start by telling you what inspired this post. I’d just finished the very last session of a very epic 2 weeks of surfing in remote parts of Indonesia and it was time to pack everything up and get ready for the 36 hour journey back home.
My first job was taking the wax off my boards and as I was doing so, it occurred to me how interesting it was that just 20 minutes ago, this wax was absolutely vital to both my performance and happiness out there in the surf.
Without it, my board would be a slippery mess but with it, my only excuse for not ripping was my ability. But now, on land and headed back to the land of cold water where this wax would go hard, it was completely useless to me.
There are many examples of things that once were extremely useful, vital even, that no longer serve us.
My teacher Thom uses the example of the umbilical cord. Absolutely fundamental whilst we’re in the womb. Completely useless once we leave.
Another is stress. Stress, in a nutshell, is a physiological response to an overload of demands. We go into what’s called fight or flight mode. And this mode is very useful if we are being attacked by a predator.
But more often than not, we’re invoking the stress response because our Uber is late. Or the traffic’s bad. Or we didn’t get enough instagram likes.
Our body, however, doesn't know the difference and unfortunately, in the aforementioned examples, the stress chemicals created by the body to attempt to overcome the overload of demands, aren't burned up but instead, stay in our system and get stored as stress memories.
We don't want to be carrying around these stress memories. They are as useless as wax that doesn't stick or the umbilical cord to a newborn.
What's worse is, if we don't have a technique to systematically unwind these stress memories, they compound. As we become more and more burdened by them, our resilience becomes less and less. As does our performance.
It would be like me, rather than taking off the old wax that won't work in California, leaving it on and putting more wax on top. And continuing to do so. Eventually, my board would sink.
That's what's happening to our body when we accumulate and don't unwind stress each day. Eventually, one of two things happens - bad behaviour or disease. Or worse, both.
With the twice daily practice of Vedic Meditation, each day, we get rid of the wax that's no longer useful. And because each day, we're upgrading the system with which we operate, our performance continues to improve.
Now, as for my surfing.....could someone please send some waves. It's been too long.