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365 Steps of Survival

Sometimes survival is just that: an uninspired trudge through the monotony of daily life. Sometimes the effort to resist is too much, and we give in to the urge to collapse on the couch, because, “why bother?” There are days when gratitude is waning, and on those days, we have to trust.

When anxiety builds or fear gathers momentum, we hunker down and select from our yoga toolkit: we breathe deeply, write a gratitude list, journal about the fear, pray, meditate, repeat a mantra, practice asana, or take a walk in nature. We help someone in need or connect with a friend. Each challenge is an opportunity to prove that yoga works. We need these experiences to strengthen our courage, stamina, and resilience for the difficult times that are yet to come. We need proof that, no matter how rough the waters of life become, we’ll arrive on the shore stronger, more grateful, less fearful, and firm in our knowledge that, with faith, anything is possible.

Practical Application: How do you strengthen your faith? In Hinduism, there are many gods and goddesses, each representing specific characteristics. For example, the elephant god Ganesha is known as “the remover of obstacles,” and Lakshmi is the goddess of abundance. It is understood that you can summon your needs and desires into your life by communicating with these deities with consistency and regularity. In Sanskrit, one’s chose deity is called their Ishta Devata.

Consider selecting a spiritual person (Buddha, Christ, Gandhi, Mother Theresa) that you admire or whose characteristics you aspire to emulate. You can ask for their guidance, chant their name in a mantra, talk with them as you would a dear and loyal friend. Select a scriptural text (the Bible, Yoga Sutras, A Course in Miracles, the Bhagavad Gita, etc) and open the book daily; consult it when you have a problem, a question, an obstacle in your life. "Seek and ye shall find" the answer to all of life's so-called problems.

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