You have left the house with plenty of time for your appointment. Then traffic slows down. There is an accident. You are barely moving but the clock keeps ticking. You KNOW you are going to be late.
What do you do?
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
It is easy to get angry, and feel like a prisoner of time and traffic. But this will not get you to your appointment any faster. Instead it will create stress and tension – both of which are insidiously harmful to your health.
Being in a bind is really about feeling that we have no choice or have no freedom. It is about feeling uncomfortable about a situation and feeling unable to resolve the dilemma.
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Take a few deep breaths.
Focusing on your breath is the first step to relaxing, gaining clarity, and beginning to see beyond your current situation. Think of this as precious time to focus on your breath, rather than wasted time. The practice of focused relaxed breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system helping us to relax, rejuvenate and heal.
Find a detour.
If you are stuck in traffic, consider getting off the next exit and finding a detour around the traffic. Even if you are away from home, there are often alternative routes to the same destination.
Whatever type of bind you are in, taking a detour can help you find a solution. Look in a different direction. Maybe you are on the wrong path. Maybe you can find your way out of a bind by broadening your perspective and finding a creative solution.
Realize that you are already at your destination.
Physically this may not be true. So you are still on the road and not at your appointment.
But what is your real destination? Isn’t it the journey? Isn’t it about living in the moment, appreciating your life and feeling connected to a larger Consciousness? Some call this God, or Spirit, or the Divine. Isn’t the ultimate freedom realizing you already have what you need?
Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
In yoga there are poses with binds. If you are very stiff and tight it can be difficult to come into the bind. But with practice over time, these binds can create new openings in our shoulders and hips and in our understanding of how to use binds to create more freedom.
Eagle pose asks us to twist our arms and legs around each other creating a strong action of drawing to our mid line. This creates great stability and balance while opening up the backs of the shoulders and our outer hips. It teaches us the power of hugging to our mid line.
In Bound Side Angle Pose we wrap our arms around our thigh opening the front of our shoulders.
We can use the bind of our arms to give our shoulders and back something to press into creating a greater shoulder opening than might be possible without the bind.
Bird of Paradise (top photo) is a beautiful pose requiring great concentration and teaching us balance and how to tap into our shoulder and hamstring flexibility.
Flip your perspective. Seek creativity in the impossible. Is the bind your enemy or your partner?