Fending off the Malas – Day 3

Karma mala is the classic holiday mala, and the last of the three we’re exploring this week.  It’s that feeling of not being able to do enough, of not having enough resources or time to complete your actions.  When you’re under the influence of karma mala, you feel overwhelmed, powerless, anxious, and fearful.

Karma mala can be a result of overidentifying with your actions.  In our culture, we tend to define ourselves not by who we are but by what we do.  Think about it: the last time you were at a cocktail party, what was the most common question you were asked?  I bet it was “what do you do?”  Am I right?  And how did you feel when you were asked that?  If you had a quick answer, you may not have even though much about the question.  But when I have been un- or under-employed and haven’t had much of an answer, that question has stung me hard.  Typically, when we can’t clearly state what we DO, we feel paralyzed and overcome with inadequacy.  Inadequacy?  That sounds like anava mala!  Oh, it is.  Once again, these layers of dust on the heart have a pesky way of building upon each other…

For me, it is so important to remember that I am a self even if I do nothing.  I am not what I do, I simply am.  There is someone in there behind the goals, objectives, activities, and efforts.  And she is connected to breath, grace, and other people.  My mirror or luminous orb or diamond inside radiates goodness whether I get things done or not.  Some might even argue that it radiates more the less I am doing – simply because when I do less, I have more time to notice my environment, appreciate beauty, and slow down to be with other people.

I think that extreme attacks of karma mala are the universe’s way of getting us to slow down.  It’s a little like when you work and work and work and then take a vacation and get sick; only in this case, your to-do list gets longer and longer and longer until you simply can’t manage it.  Then you freak out, and the sky cracks open and in comes this light beam message:  “you are more than what you do, so take a deep breath and settle into who you really are.”

The challenge for me is to remember that before the universe has to pause for a commercial break and hit me over the head with it.    And the stakes go up in December.

It’s 10 days before Christmas.  Do you know who you are?

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~ by bridgetannlyons on December 15, 2011.

2 Responses to “Fending off the Malas – Day 3”

  1. Bridget, you so eloquently cut to the core of what’s important… during this holiday season and always. Thank you for the reminders.

    • You are so welcome. I am glad the post worked for you. I just added one more summarizing the specific strategies for fending off the malas that we explored on the mat this week. Shine brightly through the holiday week and enjoy yourself!

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