Running towards peace; not running away from life

I want to be someone who runs toward a peaceful, content spirit. Most of us, myself included, seem to be running away from sorrow, loneliness, shame, regret, frustration, unworthiness, etc. How can we be the type of people who stop the repetitive cycle of living in the past or worrying and dreading the future? The secret must be in living in the present moment and finding a deeper trust that wherever we are and whatever we face -- we can be free.
How does all of this relate to yoga you might ask? Yoga teaches us that we are more than our thoughts, more than our body, more than our physical, outward appearance. We are spirits, the inner being. This shines through our facial expressions, especially our eyes.
As we practice equanimity on the yoga mat through our breathing, our postures, our quieting of the mental chatter, we begin to find that inner tranquility. We let go of those things that do not serve us well, such as guilt over the past and fear or dread over the future. In the letting go, we begin to welcome in the silence of happiness and acceptance.
I read a story this morning during my quiet time with God of a man who grew up in an abusive home and found himself constantly wishing for someone to come and deliver him from the pain. He carried that shame, guilt, loneliness, and all of its components with him throughout his life. Through meditation and other yoga experiences, he began to deal with the trauma of his past and let go of its repercussions. From what he learned on the yoga mat, the lessons began to carry over into his daily life. Now, his life is dedicated to leading other people to find freedom from either the pain of childhood or adulthood; and despite the day to day situations that life offers, he helps them let go of the anxiety and depression that come from a broken and damaged self-image.
My prayer today for all of us is just like the Serenity prayer. Lord, grant me the serenity, the tranquility, the acceptance, the letting go of the things that I cannot change. God, please grant me the courage, the ability to overcome, the confidence to go on, the power to change the things that I can. Above all, I thank You for the wisdom to know the difference and run towards the light.


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