Let's begin by defining the word mastery for this purpose.
"Mastery is the ability to choose the tone of your own energy in any moment. It is the ability to occupy an uncomfortable situation with a sense of where you are inside and a deep level of command as to how you behave externally." Overheard in a yoga class with Elena Brower
Read it once more. Let that sink in a minute. How often is it that we are flying through each day eager to check the next thing off the list without stopping to acknowledge where we are inside and how we are behaving externally? Do you find yourself feeling tense, stressed, anxious, or unable to calmly approach the moments in your day? I'm sure at some point all of us do but, the problem is when this starts to become the norm. We may start by feeling a little pressure and then, before we know it, we have gotten so far from center that it feels as if we are in a full blown cyclone. This unsettled energy can manifest in many ways from what we would consider mild to moderate to extreme.
I am assuming (I know it's not cool to do that) that anyone reading this, at some point in her or his life, has experienced the feeling of tension or uneasiness. Uncomfortable situations are an invitation to welcome us deeper into relationship with our inner experience but instead we fight it with everything we've got to not have to feel. We can do this in infinite ways....overeating, checking out, drugs, alcohol, sex, anger, shopping, etc. When combining the unsettled energy within with the unrest in the world, we are in the perfect position for an unraveling of the old and a deep awakening of mastery of a new way of relating to ourselves, each other, and the world.
So, how do we become masters? How do we create caliber so that we are clear and capable of penetrating each moment with our presence and love?
PRACTICE....lots and lots of practice
Here is a short practice that you can do anytime, anywhere. I also recommend getting into your local yoga studio or joining a group of people who are getting outside, moving their bodies, helping others, and the Earth.
Sit tall. Begin to deepen your breath for a few rounds. Think about a situation or context in your life where you could be more clear; where you could practice being more present. Keep in mind that the "things in the way" ARE the way. Don't be afraid to be honest with yourself about the situations and relationships that could use more clarity as the monsters always seem scarier when we keep them in the closet. Now welcome this situation right into the center of your heart or belly (whichever feels most natural to you) and begin to offer it gratitude and thanksgiving. Maybe saying something like, "Thank you for teaching me how to surrender, thank you for teaching me how to choose who and how I am, thank you for allowing me to grow and gain a larger perspective." Practice a full body prostration with your palms up as you offer this situation to the higher power of your choice or, if that doesn't feel right for you, offer it to the cosmos, universe, sky, etc. You can do this as many times as you would like with as many situations as you would like. Set a timer and practice this for 5 minutes every day for 21 days then let me know how much lighter you feel. And don't forget to SMILE :)