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by Deana Tareshawty
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Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay.
Sometimes, while flipping through channels, I’ll stop at a show on The Weather Channel called “So You Think You’d Survive.” I watch, just in case I may need some survival tips if I find myself in a flood or encounter a bear in the wilderness. An episode of how to survive an avalanche held my attention recently.
Out of Nowhere
An avalanche appears to come out of nowhere. A peaceful, beautiful scene unfolds into a Tsunami of snow cascading rapidly down the mountain, consuming everything in its path, burying anything in its way under deep snow. I contemplated why this episode captured my attention. I concluded that it was the similarity between the root cause of an avalanche and a lack of emotional resilience.
The root cause of an avalanche is a weak foundation of snow with dry conditions to not allow the snow to compact. When treading on this weak foundation, all it takes is one wrong move, and the cascade begins.
The root cause of a lack of emotional resilience is also a weak foundation. When one is not strong in The Spiritual Power, a poor mental state occurs. With this increase of a restless mind, a roller coaster of emotions takes over. Like the avalanche, all it takes is one wrong move and the cascade of reacting instead of responding takes place.
Set Me Off
This contemplation led me to think of how many times in my life when someone said or did something and it just set me off. Just like that, the avalanche occurred. A tsunami of words spewed out of my mouth, followed by reactive actions, blindsiding whoever was in my path. Now in the aftermath, I find myself buried deep under regret, sadness, anxiety, self-loathing, and shame over my reaction to a situation or circumstance. As I wait to be rescued, I then realize this was a situation I could have avoided if I was more aware of the danger signs and able to improve my inner state.
There are other times in my life where I have turned this tsunami on me, hurling all this reaction on myself, because I lacked the understanding and awareness of the Self dwelling within me as me. If I perceived that I was hurt or wronged by another and didn’t want to express that anger or sadness, I harmed myself with self-criticism and loathing.
I am reminded of how my life has been transformed through the understandings and application of methods offered in Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga and Sadguru Kedarji’s 4 Pillars of the Joy in Daily Living.
Throughout my life I sought many ways to heal this avalanche of emotional reactivity. I sought the advice of elders in the church I belonged to. I read self help books. I went to mental health counselors, psychics, astrologers and energy healers. I took anti-depressants. What I have come to realize is that none of these methods offered me a lasting and more permanent solution to stop from becoming entangled in emotions.
In the third pillar, emotional resilience, or Shakti Bhava, we examine and practice expressing emotions without becoming a slave to them. That no matter what the outer circumstance or situation, one’s inner state is not moved from joy and peace. To experience this, we are offered the practice of The ARC.
The ARC is an examination of the understandings we reach for and embrace, and the feelings connected to those understandings that cause us to vibrate in a particular way, thus dictating who and what we attract into our lives.
Sadguru Kedarji shares with us, “If we want to change how we feel, we need to change our understanding. The understandings you hold either keep you bound to lack, limitation, and contraction, or they free you to experience the joy and peace of the true heart-from which you are able to invoke changes in your life that enhance your living, well-being and vibrant health, without compromising your Peace and your true worth, without compromising your human dignity that is the essence of the experience of The Spiritual Power.”
Sadguru Kedarji asks us a simple question from time to time. He asks, what if the understandings you embrace to navigate through your life were based on your direct experience of inner peace, that sacred space beyond the mind and the senses, that embodies joy, happiness, and the inner strength to take on life’s challenges?”
He continues, “Often, we tend to get the understandings that we fashion our lives after from embracing the popular and widely accepted notions about who we are, based on what society, the collective consciousness of the masses, husband, wife, friends, family members, lovers – based on what they all tell us. In other words, we’re playing tapes fashioned by other people, places and things that have been deposited in the subtle body. These understandings cause you to feel very passionate about those things that you have accepted, often without questioning them. As a result, you vibrate in a way that continues to attract the people, places and things to you that reinforce these understandings.”
Too Good to Be True?
When I began to dive deeper into the instruction offered by Sadguru Kedarji in this regard, I have to admit that I thought the promise of the instruction was too good to be true. I had been at battle with my emotions all my life. How could changing my understandings have any impact, let alone a lasting impact on my life to where I could be happy all the time.
The only way to know for sure is to apply the method and see what takes place.
I have had difficult and challenging relationships with both of my parents. A lot of what I understood about how to navigate life, how I felt about myself, and how I approached love and relationships, I learned from them. I especially attributed my lack of emotional resilience to my dad.
I Learned to Keep My Distance
I embraced understandings about his level of love for me, based on his behavior toward me. He was always distant, not affectionate, he rarely hugged me, and seldom talked to me. I never saw him smile. I was afraid of him, and I learned to keep my distance. So, I lived my life based on all these understandings. I observed and concluded that he didn’t love me and that I was a burden to him. Taking on these understandings, which I never questioned, lead me to feel and think the worst of myself. This caused me to vibrate in a way that I attracted more of these situations to me, and thought poorly about myself, as a result. This unstable foundation was the cause of many regrettable emotional outbursts, bad relationships, and self-inflicted suffering.
In practicing the Principle of The Arc, Sadguru Kedarji instructs that when our understanding of a person, place, or thing changes, our feeling about that person immediately changes and we immediately vibrate in a different way, as a result.
The whole basis of my relationship with my dad seemed to stem from my understanding that he didn’t love me. So, one day, while observing him interacting with my children, I saw a different side of him. He was fun, he embraced them, showed affection.
It was then that I decided to test Sadguru Kedarji’s instruction by applying the the principle and practice of the Arc.
Over the next several months, when thinking of my dad or in his physical company, I began to hold the understanding that he did love me, and that because of his particular set of life circumstances, he was not able to show or express love. I considered that his attitude and distance while growing up had nothing to do with me.
I also stopped seeing him as the problem I needed to fix and instead looked to fix the issue within me.
Things began to shift dramatically in our relationship. When in his presence, holding these understandings, I was able to experience the truth in what Sadguru Kedarji shared, in that when my understandings change, my feeling also immediately changes, and that, depending on the understandings I choose to embrace, those understandings can either free me or lead me to experience limitation and lack.
An added benefit from this practice emerged. I experienced an expanded witnessing awareness that allowed me to observe what was actually taking place when I was interacting with my dad, and ultimately what had been taking place my whole life in our interacting.
I observed that my dad didn’t speak much because my mom was always lurking, dominating, and controlling the conversation, monitoring what my dad would say. I later came to understand that my mother was doing this to protect her image and didn’t want my father to discuss the causes of their dysfunctional relationship. So indeed, his silence, his distance, his sour mood, had absolutely nothing to do with me.
From this simple practice of The Arc, to change my understandings, our relationship completely healed. In the last years of his life, my dad actively sought to have conversations with me, and he always made sure he said goodbye to me with a hug and kiss, saying he loved me. Something I never would have thought was possible.
By applying the Arc to this specific life situation, I have been able to see how my lack of emotional resilience was given fertile breeding ground to keep me stuck in a loop of suffering. It is as Sadguru Kedarji instructs. Indeed, the understandings I reach for and embrace shape my existence here.
I also learned that I do not have to go through life digging myself out from under emotional avalanches or feeling unhappy, angry, sad, anxious, or disturbed. I was able to see how I was playing old tapes that I can let go of.
Practicing the Arc freed me to move past fear, to question and contemplate situations and circumstances in my life, past and present, that move me to feel contracted and limited. If I find an old useless understanding that I’ve adopted, I know through my personal experience that I have the power to change how I feel and reach for a better, more useful understanding that frees me to dwell in a state of joy and peace.
Rev. Deana Tareshawty performs her selfless service as Vice President of our public charity, The Bhakta School, in addition to serving as a program leader and harmonium player. She also serves on our Board of Directors. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. She is a certified Ecology of Well-Being practitioner and the owner of Inspired Wholeness. She is also a trained Reiki Master in Usui Reiki.