Let curiosity flow: six steps to embrace the rut
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on May 2, 2017
Are you in a rut?
Are you stuck? Are you running on the Hamster Wheel to Nowhere? Is your tire sinking in the mud-covered road?
A rut, or what I prefer to call “A Necessary Retreat from Activity,” is a perfect place to sit, protected and isolated, and to enrich yourself in preparation for your next move. And you never know what that move could be.
For now, just go with the flow.
Begin a basic Sankalpa meditation.
A life full of activity is not a life filled with purpose. The rut indicates your actions haven’t been in alignment with your true nature and your dharma, so you need to drop out and tune in.
Step One: Ask yourself three questions daily, preferably in the morning: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
You don’t have to know; just ask. It will come to you.
Step Two: Your morning mantra is “so-ham” which loosely means “I am that.” Use this mantra to cleanse the energy and begin focusing the mind.
Step Three: On the inhale, visualize a ray of light from your crown shooting down the spine to the sound of “so.” On the exhale, imagine that light emerging from the base of your sacrum and spreading through the body to the sound of “ham.”
Step Four: Balance the right and left sides of the brain with alternate-nostril breathing.
Close off the left side of your nose and breathe in only through the right. Then, close the nose completely, and hold the breath. Then, release only through the left side of the nose. Inhale left. Hold. Exhale right.
Repeat for 6-12 rounds. Your mind may wander, but gently and without judgment, bring yourself back. So-ham.
Step Five: Imagine a portal at your crown, and see a ray of light connecting your crown to the universe’s abundance. Every time you inhale, envision that light entering your mind, and, slow like honey, it moves down your body, your spine, filling you with all you need. As you exhale, ask, “How can I serve?”
Step Six: Enjoy your day.
Follow your natural curiosities. Read new books. Visit art galleries. Just take care of yourself physically, emotionally, nutritionally, spiritually, intellectually.
Concentrate on exploring your deep thoughts. Your findings are your “yet-to-be-applied research” and education is never a waste. It doesn’t matter if what you are Googling or reading or watching has any connection to a specific outcome.
Enrich you, as you are a living system one with all other living systems. Open your notions as to what constitutes time well spent.
Activity slows. Signposts and inspirations can be temporarily obscured. Bullying yourself into uninspired action for action’s sake isn’t helpful. Accept the invitation to drop out of the “busyness” paradigm. Have faith your next move will come to you. Your rut is a deep meditation space.
The lull is a call to move inward and reconnect with purpose. When you don’t know what to do, do nothing. Sit, be quiet and listen to the wind.