If you haven’t heard about the “30-Day Energization Challenge” that Gyandev launched on October 12, you can read about it and join if you’re interested. This challenge couldn’t have come at a more useful time in my life.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on how poor my Energization practice has become! I’m embarrassed to admit that as a new mother, I’ve developed some pretty bad habits while energizing—the worst being that I sometimes energize while doing other things. For example, I’ll start a few exercises until my son demands my attention, then I’ll stop energizing and attend to his needs—such as making him breakfast— then find myself putting away dishes, and before I know it I’m folding laundry!
After getting sidetracked completely, I’ll remember my energizing and will continue from where I left off. This cycle can repeat itself, so that on some days it can take me over an hour to get through the Energization Exercises, which should only take 15 minutes! This pretty much defeats the purpose of energizing! Each exercise is to be done with full attention and will power.
You might be thinking: hey, you’re a mother—cut yourself some slack. At least you’ve still been energizing! Yes, I can congratulate myself for keeping up my daily practice of the Energization Exercises on top of meeting the demands of raising a toddler. But as a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, I try to reflect continually and find ways to deepen my experience of the techniques I’ve been given. I know that I’m not practicing these exercises as deeply as I used to or as I could now.
So I’ve decided to do something about this. I’ve thought of 2 ways to change my morning routine to focus more deeply on my spiritual practices:
- I could wake up a little earlier than my son (easier said than done), which would give me space to do the full set of Energizations in silence and with deep concentration.
- I could wait until my husband has finished meditating, then energize alone in our meditation room as a part of my spiritual practices, rather than as something separate. After all, Energization ideally should be done right before you sit to meditate.
Either of these options is going to take a lot of will power to implement, but as Yogananda said, “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.” All I need to do is be willing, and God will take care of the rest.
Did I mention that I’ve also been struggling with absentmindedness in my meditations? Could there be a correlation between my distracted Energization practice and my restless meditations? I think so! The ultimate aim of Energization Exercises is pranayama—“life-force control.” If I’m not practicing these exercises while tuning into the subtle energy behind them, then I’m not aiding the transition from activity to stillness. As an active person both physically and mentally, I need to take these exercises more seriously in order to improve what’s most important to me: my relationship with God. I pray that Master help me with these endeavors!
Is there an aspect of your Sadhana that needs some improvement? I encourage you to reflect for a moment on a practical way you could go deeper in your inner life at this time. Maybe it’s removing an outer distraction, or adding something to your regular routine. May we all continue to dive deeper in that which brings us closer to the Divine.