Conscious Choices – Promoting or Demoting?

What will YOU choose to focus on?

“There are two kinds of habits: promoting habits and demoting habits. Demoting habits make you unhappy physically, mentally and spiritually. Promoting habits make you happy physically, mentally and spiritually. In your life, if you cultivate all the promoting habits which, you will end up as a liberated, divine person.” Yogi Bhajan, circa January 1969

I’ve learned in recent years the following about myself:

  • I NEED to get outdoors (ideally somewhere with trees and water/ice) every day to maintain my physical/mental/emotional AND spiritual health;
  • I NEED to consume at least 3L of water daily in order to maintain hydration and my emotional balance;
  • I NEED to take time each day to be alone and be still – in contemplation, in gratitude, in reflection; even if it’s for only five minutes as I begin or end my day.

These are all promoting habits that I do very well in maintaining – generally speaking. However, without beating myself up too much, I also recognize my tendency to get caught up in demoting habits that most certainly do not serve me, such as:

  • I spend too many hours on social media; using the excuse that I need to stay connected for my business;
  • I tend to go a bit overboard on chips & cookies if they’re in the house (“chip-aholic/cookie monster” is how I refer to these habits);
  • I overthink and over-analyze, especially if am wronged. I often find myself getting on the hamster wheel of “What have I done to ‘deserve’ this treatment?”

In each of the above habits – whether promoting or demoting – I recognize that it is I who makes the conscious choice, each and every time, on what I wish to focus upon. What helps me to make conscious choices that are a closer reflection my true Self is having had the chance to learn and contemplate what are known as the Five Sutras for the Aquarian Age.

These five highly useful statements are huge lessons individually, but as a whole, they serve as an excellent guide to live one’s life fully on all levels. So when there is the tendency to procrastinate or put off tasks that require my attention, I reflect on the third sutra. When I feel ‘wronged’, I reflect on the first and fourth sutras. When I feel entirely overwhelmed with my perpetually growing list of ‘things to do’, I reflect on the second sutra. And, particularly when I’m feeling a bit stuck, or possibly unsure of what is my next step, I reflect on the fifth sutra.

If you wish to read more on the five sutras, click on the links below:

Recognize that the other person is you.

There is a way through every block.

When the pressure is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.

Understand through compassion, or you will misunderstand the times. (a great video by the Catalyst Yogi with a heart-opening meditation!)

Vibrate the Cosmos, Cosmos shall clear the path.  (a short video explanation by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.)

Gabby Bernstein is a wonderful contemporary thinker of our contemporary times. Here’s her take on the Five Sutras for the Aquarian Age. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, PhD is another brilliant teacher who brings the ancient teachings into modern medicine as director of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology; here is her interpretation of the Five Sutras.

May you take time in the coming year to recognize that the new year offers the opportunity to learn anew – about yourself, your needs – and opportunities to become your BEST Self – daily, moment-by-moment.

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Posted in MAT Musings