December is upon us and with the turn of this month of winter holidays, glittery dinners, opulent parties, tree-lightings, floating candles, White House invitations, delicious foodstuff, cinnamon-laced drinkstuff and other glorious stuff will be intermingled with our daily lives. Even those of us with the hardy constitution of a Nordic sailor in The Dark Ages or Keith Richards will find life a bit of a stress steam train on ice at some point in the next 30 days. Don’t have time to stop and take a deep breath? What if I told you that in the time it takes to watch half of Dog the Bounty Hunter (without commercial interruption), you can tune into the universe and balance your three minds? (I think two of mine went missing at Coachella a couple of years ago.) I, too, was of little faith until I ventured to a Kundalini yoga class a few days ago. It was actually my left eye – not my intuitive third eye – that lured me to the wonderfully peaceful Yoga West Kundalini studio here in Los Angeles. My eyelid was stuck on hyper twitch mode at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and I took it as a sign that I needed some long-overdue silence. I soon found myself exhaling atop of a lush sheep’s wool rug listening to gong reverberations amid twenty or so other Sunday morning souls. The guru teaching the class reminded us that there is an abundance of over 1,000 minutes in every day (1,440 to be exact) and certainly we can take three out for a deep breath, or even better a solid 22 minutes for the realignment of our three conscious minds: the negative mind, positive mind and neutral mind. Meditation aids in developing the neutral mind and giving it more prominence in everyday living. Gets you back in touch with your “subtle self” as opposed to your crazy elf. After a series of meridian (energy pathways) clearing exercises (didn’t break a sweat) we got down to chanting, whispering and sitting silent through a 22-minute meditation. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through the equivalent of a AM Radio news segment without yawning or eyes popping, but with a little shush of the negative mind talk I made it through with nary an itch and found an incredible release of stress at the final bang of the gong. Even if I don’t meet up with the white-bearded guru again this month (there’s another white-bearded guy already on the schedule), I did take away from the experience the knowledge that we always do have time for what is important to us and our well-being. Time to breathe. Time to step outside for some fresh air. Time to draw a bath without the kids’ toys floating in it. In fact, time is ALL we have. Personally, I’m real excited to get all James Brown with my subtle self. She might even wear sequins.
© Jennifer Dowd