Occupy Yourself Outside of the Box

   Posted on March 8th, 2012 by in LifeLessons           I’m beside myself with worry.

I can see my mother standing at the kitchen sink in our childhood house, her hands immersed in soapsuds, proclaiming this. It was a phrase she used a lot when I was young. How confusing to my childhood brain! There she was, standing in front of me, clearly only one mother, not two. How could she be—beside herself?

I’ve been thinking about this phrase a lot these days, which, according to the Dictionary of Word Origins by Jordan Almond, was used “because the ancients believed that soul and body could part and that under great emotional stress the soul would actually leave the body. When this happened a person was ‘beside himself”.”

Living yoga off the mat seems to be the ultimate coming together of self—the unity, the yoking of body, mind, and spirit—the antithesis of being “beside one’s self.” My mother was speaking her 1950s understanding of how to cope with stress and with feelings. Hers is the model that I learned, the model that today brings me suffering. As 2012 unfolds, I am committed to practicing the ancient and ultimately relevant model of unity consciousness, a powerful and effective way to cope with life. As I come into awareness of what is, as I relax around it, transformation occurs.

When I notice my body feeling quirky and creaky—when I recognize that my thoughts are habitual and racing toward imagining the worst of me, of you, and of life—when I find fear nibbling at my spine—these are the moments to come into myself. To relax into the physical sensations, to soften around the crazy thoughts, to wrap myself up in a blanket of radical acceptance for this moment, just like on the yoga mat—to bring my awareness directly to those places of sensation as a blessing of presence—all open the door to change.

Using the phrase coined by my colleague, Annie Kay, I choose to Occupy Aruni, to dive into myself, to notice, to embrace, to relax—and to realign my thinking, my perspective, toward the positive.

Occupy Aruni. This is my 2012 proclamation.

That is where I can end my struggle with the moment. That is where I can savor what is, and not obsess about what isn’t.

That is where transformation happens.

My 2012 urging to us all: Occupy Yourself.

How do you occupy yourself in your daily life?


13 thoughts on “Occupy Yourself Outside of the Box

  1. Thank you for this…Aruni is a powerful practicioner & teacher….I was able to take one of her workshops….it was life-altering-empowering….beautiful post….


    • You are welcome. When I read this, it just sank right into my soul, so I wanted to share! Maybe one day I will be able to take one of her workshops. Thanks for reading.


  2. My school administrators would harp on us to “think outside the box” Then you would present an idea and they’d jump all over you for being insubordinate, disloyal and a trouble maker. Then two weeks later the idea would be implemented and they would claim credit. I’d like to put them in a box. A coffin. Thanks visit my blog.


Peace, love, bliss kind reader

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