Do you have self-help books at home? Or books on popular psychology?
Many of my students have read some of those or took an interest in the self-help community. Many of them have found Naad Yoga because they searched for ways to change their lives, release trauma and to become a better version of themselves.
We all have our individual goals in life, and the reasons we choose to go down a path are just as unique. But at the same time, we also have much in common: for example, we all want to advance and improve. Stagnation and routine are not natural to us as human beings-when they take over our lives, we tend to suffer. If we can't move on, change our environment or adjust our physical bodies, we venture inwards and explore the world of our psyche.
Discovering who we are, the reasons for our actions, and what forces have moulded our behaviour is the foundation of self-development. It is also an essential part of Naad Yoga, where we use contemplation in many different ways to explore our emotions, feelings and moods through the medium of Sound. Naad Yoga is not just external communication expressed through audible Sound, but also internal communication. The exchange between the body, mind, and soul through emotions is just as significant as ourconversations with others.
Before we dive deeper into this, take a moment to think about how your imagination, dreams and memories are woven together with your intellect and senses. You, a human being, are an incredibly complex and fascinating creation, right?
This uniqueness means that there can never be just one answer, solution or path that fits everyone. Whenever we find a tool or technique that works for us or have an epiphany of some kind, we have seen the philosophers stone. While something may work for us, however, it doesn't mean it will work for everybody. Science has been searching for "a theory of everything" since the scientific method has been established, but so far, nobody has ever found it. Personally, I think this is a blessing. We need room to grow, to find our way, so we can choose what gives our lives purpose and meaning. Sound Alchemy is merely one path among many, but it works for me, so I made it my mission to share this knowledge with others. If it resonates with you, the chances are that it will work for you as well.
Now, those of you who have an interest in self-empowerment probably came across the latest big thing in this field: boundaries. There are various definitions of boundaries in use: for example, boundaries are lines that others are not meant to cross, they define who we are in relation to others and are an expression of personal sovereignty. Boundaries are mostly seen as a protection, a kind of wall, that we need to create to be safe when interacting with other people. They are linked to confidence, personal power, identity, strength, mental health and many other areas.
In Naad Yoga, we see boundaries as an expression of the driver attachment, called ‘Moh’ in Gurmukhi.
In previous blogs, I have already introduced you to 4 of the five drivers we are working with and explained the five drivers' concept. In case you missed it, I would invite you to go back and find out more about it in previous blogs.
Attachment is an essential driver because it enables us to create and maintain emotional connections that bind us to other people like family, friends or colleagues. Relationships are the building blocks we use to develop social networks, and attachment is the mortar that holds them together. This driver is also behind the natural urge to claim something or someone as part of yourself, thereby creating and maintaining boundaries on a social, emotional, and mental level. Attachment generally means that we hold on to something – this can be memories, emotions, ideas, attitudes, people etc. When the attachment is out of balance, it can cause you to cling to anything and everything while feeling resistance towards change. An imbalance can also lead to the opposite extreme, where you find yourself struggling to form social or emotional ties, hold on to a job or stay in one place.
In this context, healthy boundaries are the natural result when the driver attachment is in balance. Weak boundaries are a sign that you use this driver too much while the other drivers are underperforming. If attachment is the driver that runs our lives, we live in constant fear of loss and rejection and are compensating by trying to please others all the time - and that makes us reluctant to say no. As a result, we stop being authentic and instead play at being the person we think other people want us to be.
When we see boundaries as something we have to build and maintain, it is easy to fall into a kind of "fortress mentality", where we feel the constant need to defend them. We then become attached to these invisible walls as something to hide behind when we feel unsafe. But what keeps us safe can quickly turn into a prison, restricting our ability to experience ourselves in authentic relationships. Since experience is the ultimate tool for self-development and self-knowledge, the last thing we want to do is limit our experience in the name of empowerment. How can we then create healthy boundaries?
A Naad Yogi will focus on understanding and balancing the driver rather than worry about the symptom of the imbalance. The first step is always to diagnose: contemplate how you feel and act when you are around others. Do you often say yes, even if you would rather say no? Are you comfortable when you are on your own or do you get lonely quickly? Can you sit in silence without feeling the need to create a distraction? Explore the driver attachment through the dynamics of your relationships. When you start to feel how you are using this driver, it is essential not to isolate it from the other drivers. If you try to ease up on attachment, another driver will come forward to compensate. The drivers are in a fluid state of balance, constantly adjusting and adapting to the circumstances. Small changes in your behaviour or in your way of thinking can lead to significant change, so go easy. As with the other drivers, approaching attachment with an attitude of compassion and curiosity, rather than judgement, is the key to success.
Remember, the drivers are merely energies, a supply of power - we need to use them deliberately if we want to see the desired outcome. So, let us get close up and personal with our attachment. Naad an excellent a great ally in the quest to evolve and improve our lives. However, let's make sure that we don't lose ourselves chasing after perfection. The goal is to live life to the fullest, to experience our humanity in all its beautiful nuances. This is not a race where you win or lose. So, have fun, enjoy and explore!
In my next blog, I will show you how all these elements come together and become meditation.