When the time is on you, start and the pressure will be off
Remember where we are in our series? Yogi Bhajan, a master of kundalini yoga and spiritual teacher for decades to thousands worldwide, taught a set of principles that he coined the Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age.
Our 5-part series in Soul Notes continues, with this edition devoted to Sutra #3: “When the time is on you, start and the pressure will be off.”
May we all heed this one, and get off our buts! (“But, what about…?” Or: “But, how will I…?”)
“When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off”
[Sutra 3, Yogi Bhajan]
Start where you are!
When the time is “on you”– that just conjures up a feeling of the weight on your shoulders, doesn’t it? Time somehow personifies into an ogre, the ever lurking “Procrastination (Wo)Man,” pressing down on you, constricting your every movement. You’re stuck! Or, so it seems. Alas, what is a soulful, spiritual being to do?
Start. Start where you are. Seems obvious, right? What often happens, however, is that we tend to get ahead of ourselves, and feel as if we should “already be further along.” So, starting from where we are feels like a failure, from the get-go. So we don’t go. Anywhere. At all.
What does it mean when we tell ourselves we should be further along? According to what time table? According to the imaginary one in our head?
Even according to the laws of physics, we can only take the next step from where we are, right in this moment in time. While fanciful imaginings of time travel are as fun for me as the next seer, trying to catapult ourselves ahead of the natural next step is like trying to jump onto a fast moving train. That only works in the movies (and even then only about half the time). In our minds it feels just about as implausible, anyway. So, we simply avoid moving forward altogether. We stand still. Our courage wanes. Our dreams stay on hold. All the while, the pressure continues to build. And, the longer we postpone it, taking that first step just seems all that more arduous.
Focus on the joy, the sense of fulfillment, instead of the dread
The burden of the waiting, and the avoiding, ultimately exacts a much greater toll than does the actual doing. So, I invite you to join me in hereby proclaiming, from this point forward: “the wicked dread is dead!”
Consider this wild thought: What if you were to start?
Instead of feeling the pressure being on, how about feeling the pressure being off ? Ahh…feel into the welcomed state of relaxation. The one where your furrowed brow softens; your shoulders lower back down to their natural position; and your breathing becomes slow, steady, and replenishing.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
Approach your intended result from a place of confidence and remove all doubt. As you center yourself, experience the task at hand as if you have already handled it with great aplomb. Stop the worry at its source – in your mind. Allow yourself to move forward from a place of inspiration, not perspiration. Let your spirit, your soul, be your guide.
Spirit is above time and space
“When you are afraid, ‘What will happen tomorrow?’ you are not living, you are just dragging. Spirit is above time and space.” –Yogi Bhajan, 7/29/78
We are in a time of elevated awareness and consciousness. With that elevated consciousness, often comes increased pressure. Expect it, and you’ll be ready. You won’t be caught off guard. Embrace these new levels of pressure, rather than stalling out and avoiding them. “It is now time that we must learn the way to be happy and to thrive under these new elevated levels of pressure.” – Yogi Bhajan, 7/27/99.
Tips for Starting
Remember, Sutra #2: “There is a way through every block.” Believe that to be so, and be confident in taking that first step.
1. Take any step in the direction of your intended end state. Sound too daunting? Make the steps smaller. Break them down into bite-sized chunks. [For a refresher on dismantling blocks, go here.]
Still too big? Make the steps smaller yet again, so that your first step is the size you KNOW you can (and will) take. Martha Beck, PhD calls these “turtle steps.” Feeling of success builds confidence. The proof of the pudding, is in the eating. (proverb).
2. Set a timer or countdown clock for 11 minutes. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in that amount of time. It brings into sharp focus the immediate task at hand. Moreover, the very act of actually STARTING gets you in motion, and up, out, and away from that nasty procrastination pothole.
3. “Make it to the mat!” As we explored in a previous post, it’s important to put yourself in the right environment to jump-start your activity. As my kundalini yoga teacher says, “just making it to the mat” is the critical first step. Get yourself over to your writing desk, or to the piles of files you’ve been avoiding. Set up an environment that feels good and welcoming, and gets you warmed up and ready to GO! [For more tips on making it to the mat, go here.]
Rise to the occasion! Start, and the pressure will be off!
Okay, your turn:
What prevents you from getting started? Recall how you felt when you (finally) started on a project that you had been avoiding…In retrospect, do you wish you had gone ahead and started sooner? Will you start sooner the next time around?
I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!