"Inhale Peace, Exhale Freedom" (Yoga & meditation as important tools on the path to sovereignty)

in freedom •  8 months ago

This piece was written exclusively for Steemit, hope you enjoy!

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About two years ago I was waking up every morning and immediately hopping on Facebook only to find myself wrapped up in vitriolic comment wars and jabs from both the left and right.

It was fine.

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Narrator: It was not fine.

In my six years of actively speaking out in favor of peace and freedom, I’ve encountered a lot of colorful perspectives and trolls. Some are convinced I’m part of the “Jew World Order,” working as a Jewish trickster to horde shekels for myself and maintain the Rothschild globalist cabal (or something). Others are certain I’m just a flaming libtard craving socialism while still others would bet their lives I’m a right-wing nut job hellbent on figuratively (or literally) murdering the poor.

The negativity started to get to me, and I most definitely lashed out at more than a few hecklers.

Many of my new readers on Steemit (btw, hi!) have moved past the two-party paradigm, as well as statism as a whole. Unfortunately, it can be a wildly maddening ordeal to continually see people stuck in the matrix mindset — especially when they try to indignantly lecture you.

But as frustrated as some of us may be, imagine how much more extreme this agitation is for someone whose emotions are still extremely manipulated by propagandistic institutions that largely rule over them using fear and hatred, goading them into believing they must secure control over a violent institution in order to feel safe or powerful.

When politicians and media outlets aren’t sowing negativity and stoking anxiety during election seasons, they are poisoning the worldviews of those who still view them as authority figures with constant claims of war – on cops, women, healthcare, Christmas, you name it. In the mainstream political world, the country appears to be in perpetual in conflict, and that’s to say nothing of the actual wars the population is funding and their constant fear of terrorism and mass destruction.

This polarization and contempt makes the most philosophical sense in the context of America’s involuntary constitutional system. As Lysander Spooner wrote of voting in No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority in 1890:

“[The voter] sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he maybe become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defense, he attempts the former.”

Everyone fears their rights will be usurped and their freedoms abused, so they engage in an abusive system to secure control of it. Is it really surprising so many people are angry and hateful with paranoia?

The State thrives off this division as it continually encourages individuals to focus their dissatisfaction on their fellow humans as opposed to the power structures that are actually making their lives harder.

Experience has taught me that adding more negativity to this cesspool isn’t going to do much to challenge the system.

That’s where the yoga and meditation come in. At least for me.

I’ve tried screaming at people on social media. I’ve called them stupid, ignorant, authoritarian peasants. But it left them feeling attacked and insulted and me feeling smug for a short while, only to be embarrassed upon realizing how many silent social media observers might have witnessed my reactive tantrum.

I eventually realized I was lacking compassion because, as @larkenrose brilliantly points out in his seminar, “Candles in the Dark” (which he’ll be presenting at Anarchapulco next month!), those who believe in established paradigms are victims of institutional programming. They are conditioned to believe in the false virtues of war, oppression, and power through violence. As immoral as these things they be, most people who support them are actually acting with good intentions.

Compassion is vital because it is woefully absent in government, whether in the form of agents of the state who murder innocent people or in the form of citizens who rationalize such behavior.

Seeing others as human and recognizing their inherent goodness (outside of sociopaths, of course) has completely changed my approach and allowed me to achieve far more constructive dialogue with others who disagree with me. But i couldn’t have done it without first cultivating compassion, love, and patience for myself so I could in turn offer it to others.

Though they don’t carry the same tangible weight as, say, cryptocurrency, yoga and meditation can undermine the negative emotions that feed the constant discord among humans and, as a result, the cycle of statism.

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Yoga and meditation are constant practices in gentleness, self-care, and consequently, compassion.

While many “workouts” urge participants to push themselves as hard as possible, physical yoga practices encourage the opposite. Whether it’s an active power yoga class or a deep stretch yin practice, the goal is never to push past a boundary. Rather, in yoga, it pays to accept where you are and let your body be, letting go of expectations and preconceived standards. Allowing your body to be as it is is an act of compassion toward yourself.

Meditation can also have a similar effect, though it took me until just a few months ago to recognize it. Often, meditation is perceived as silencing the mind. But with that mentality, if you have trouble doing so (me!), a session can feel like a failure and prompt even more frustration and irritability. What I’ve learned is that meditation (at least for me, because there is no one “right” way to do it) is a lot more satisfying if I simply try to notice when I’m having a thought (or 100) — and when I notice that thought, to remind myself that it’s okay. “Of course your mind is busy, you have a lot going on!” works a lot better than “What the f*ck is wrong with you, you neurotic slug!” The same gentle approach toward quieting the mind applies to yoga since its core foundation is attention to the breath and using body movement to help zero in on it.

(If you’re interested some amazing and brief introductory meditations that can help you develop compassion and love for yourself and move away from feeding judgment and contempt, check out these -- one is featured just below, and many focus on the broader goal of emotional healing).

In learning to have more patience and presence with myself – body, mind, and spirit – I’ve found it’s a lot easier to be less reactive to those who remain locked into emotional, partisan mentalities. This doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and wildly irritated at statist trolls, but it does increasingly mean that I’m present to my reactivity and can pause, breathe, and collect myself before spewing insults in response to them. Having compassion for myself also makes it easier to have compassion for others, bypassing opinions I disagree with to find potential in their humanity.

I’ve experienced far more civil dialogue, engagement, and human connection, and in my opinion, this does far more for spreading the message of freedom than talking down to people, which often only drives them away from the views I’m trying to spread.

Even if cultivating compassion isn’t where you’re at at this point (believe me, I understand how difficult it is to feel a human connection with raging statists), yoga and meditation also serve a more general purpose: they can help reduce stress and ease anxiety and depression, especially as anarchists in a statist world.

While I may have liberated myself from the destructive religion of statism years ago, in truth, my emotional well-being lagged behind, which left me tragically shackled in spirit despite my rational, philosophical understanding of “freedom.” As Albert Camus wrote, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

Yoga and meditation do just that for me.

Mounting research is beginning to show that both practices can help ease anxiety and cultivate a sense of well-being. Meditation can also be useful for softening anger while yoga is deeply relaxing and healing for the muscles, which often carry tension from emotional stress (next time you get into a political conversation or even an argument in your personal life, notice how your shoulders, jaw, or brow scrunch up). If nothing else, yoga and meditation serve as tools for self-care, and since we all own our bodies, what could be more beneficial than removing stress from them?

In truth, just because we can learn communicate in a kinder way with statists (and others in general) doesn’t mean they will respond in kind. Hell, even most liberal members of the “spiritual” community here in Los Angeles have waxed hysterically hateful in the age of Donald Trump.

But even if these efforts are lost on others, practicing yoga, meditation, and self-compassion allows us to take our well-being and happiness into our own hands, further removing us from the stale mentality that we need the government to secure our happiness.

Whether we use meditation as a means to foster peaceful communication with others, to live in peace, or simply to counter the immense stress, frustration, and loneliness that can come from living outside the machine’s mentality, yoga and meditation are potentially potent tools to combat statism and create a better world.

Cheers to finding internal freedom as we work toward it in the outer world!

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If you’re interested in getting into yoga, here are some great intro classes:

Please feel free to email me at carey.wedler@theantimedia.org if you have any questions about getting started!

For meditation, I recommend Insight Timer, a free app with thousands of meditations on different topics, from basic breathing to childhood trauma.

If you’re interested in how yogic philosophy lines up with anarchism, check out my speech at Anarchapulco in 2016. I’ll be discussing a similar topic this year, but will expand it to delve more into the need for inner emotional healing to empower free societies.

My Links:

Steemit: https://steemit.com/@careywedler
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/CareyWedler
Anti-Media: http://theantimedia.org/author/careyw1/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs84giQmEVI8NXXg78Fvk2g
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/careywedler
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CareyWedler/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/careywedler

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Amazing post.

This should be upvoted to the front page of Steemit!

"I eventually realized I was lacking compassion..."

I came to the same conclusion, and I sincerely hope the rest of the world slowly comes to this realization. Without compassion and empathy, the world will burn in perpetuity. There's just no other possible outcome.

If a decent chunk of the population starts devoting some time on a daily basis to halting the incessant activity of their own minds, we'll be living in a very different world.

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Very true words!

Wow, an inspiring post. Yoga, allows a human body to cross all the boundaries and find peace. This is the most purest and magical experience, and apparently this is life.
We get into all sorts of worldly attachments, and eventually we get addicted to all unwanted things. Yoga teaches a human being to experience life.

Hope you will like my recent post on yoga
https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@mrs.ginger/yoga-the-union

Please follow me
Thank you :)

defnitely not one of my options,
but i see where are you when you talk about stress removal.

i successfully killed all my connections with media industry after 15 years.
but if im still in, guess id turn to yoga till now =)

i used to fight it by completely separating work from rest of my day. it was not easy, sometimes work used to last for days, nights, weeks - before i get my own time. or i steal the day and go fishing to some remote god forgotten place, only to be called back because ‚‚emergency" just few hours after i arrive. and emergencies are every day.

hopes ill never have to get back into machine ^

and hat down to you, use all the weapons from arsenal, just remain sane and healthy :D

It's been 3 months since I started meditating and the effects are remarkable. It is important to take some time during the day to reflect and find balance. It's good to have you here, Carey.

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Yay! So glad to hear that it's improving your life. A simple practice goes a really long way. :) I started meditating in the morning before going online about a year ago, and I can't even fathom how I used to get by without it!

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That is how I start my mornings too now :) By the way, I'm a long time Anti-Media fan <3

These are very helpful thoughts and tools for rising above the fray. Thank you for the links and for spreading your peace on Steemit!

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I'm glad you liked this article, the subject very close to my heart! :)

I like the point about overcoming the hurdle of a "failed" meditation! Often if I don't come out of one relaxed I will at least have a better idea of what I need to get over, and that isn't a failure to me.

namaste carey

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You forgot the "Jesus loves you" part ... just sayin' ... the meme is still h0t.

Nice post Carey. It's good to be reminded of the importance of daily meditation. Upvoted and Resteemed :)

Haven't joined the yoga club yet (the pants wouldn't fit me) but...I can relate. I've recently been successful at removing around 99% of the negativity for my feed on FB (most of which was political). I'll be composing my own post about that soon as I get my laptop back. Right now im relegated to writing via my phone...and that's annoying.

Love your posts, though.

🤘

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Yoga is a LOT more than what you're seeing in the Americanized corporate classes, and definitely has nothing to do with the tight pants.

Ashtanga is made up of 8 limbs, one of which is the asanas that the western programs seem to focus on so much. The internal work is the focus, and the physical work is heavily to help bring you into the present for it.

So true...
Yoga is a very helpful tool to bring more peace in yourself.
I practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is quite intense, and do a few yoga exercises after each training. These extra exercises help my balance a lot.
Cheers!

Great article! Yoga it's good either for soul and mind! thanks to yoga you can increase your brain plasticity as well! if you want read my first article and follow me! cheers :)

Thank you so much for this article.
I'm new on steemit and appreciate to see that people value a lot well-being on this platform. Meditation, just as you explainted, helped me to live in the present moment rather than past or future. And the results are amazing.

Keep spreading thses useful tools.

And don't forget to follow me :)

I've been doing deep breathing exercises for years (not actively thinking about the fact that I'm doing them) in order to deal with stress. Until I went to a few different trainings that were "voluntary" as part of my job (to be clear, everyone had to do it, not just specific individuals), I learned that I was actually "meditating".

By controlling your breathing, you are able to slow down your thought process, as well as your heart rate and lower your stress levels. The rhythmic pattern is soothing.

In the few times that I've tried Yoga, I noticed that breathing was a huge part of the exercise and I enjoyed that. I may not know all of the positions and poses, but I do appreciate the process and would probably get more into it if I had the time to take classes. Work, Work, Work, you know.. and traveling 80% of the time for work doesn't really help consistency with classes either.

Anyway, enough of me. Thanks for sharing your story and rituals. I'm sure this will be helpful to others!

(and welcome to the community!)

So ,when finding ones self in a state of informational anxiety, strech it out, an relax
breath,...tension gone,
Absolutely!
"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society” –J.Krishnamurti.
Very good read and vids!
Lynn

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Thank you, and such a great quote!

Meditation has been phenomenal! Thank you for your post. Yoga is something I will be adding soon. Have you ever tried doTERRAs yoga collection oils: Arise, Anchor and Align? They are awesome!

Great. It's really important to have a way to process emotional energy when you are setting off down a non-conformist path. The mind control is very strong and it's easy to get sucked into confrontation and fighting, rather than maintaining focus on creating something new. My techniques of choice are based on EFT (aka tapping) which is great for clearing the residue of collective limiting beliefs. I am shortly going to be holding free group sessions for Steemit members to support this community in resolving emotional blocks that are stopping them creating their life of choice.

Hey Carey, Just wanted to ask.. are planks included in yoga or not?

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Hi, yep! Both on the hands and the forearms. :)

So many people has taken social media as a place of seeking solace outside the real world, thereby shying away from the realities of life! Am happy you finally realised there is better way out which you discovered in Yoga and i hope others can see this and learn!
Your post is informative

Awesome Blog keep up the great work!!!

Great article! Really in depth with tons of passion! Very happy I found a quality author. Looking forward to more of your posts. (Jew World Order? New heard that one before!)

Yoga is not my thing really but I understand what you want to say, I acomplish these things with basic stretching and body-weight workout. Great article, btw

Yes! Finding your center is key to starting the day off right. Thank you for sharing. Namaste :)

hi i am very glad to hear it change your life.
Yoga is a very helpful exercise to bring more peace in body.

@careywedler I love this article. I have always been interested in activities that help release stress, and calm the inner mind. I myself try to practise mindfulness whenever I can. Thank you for sharing this! You have my vote.

You're definitely on the right path when you're accused of living on both the right and left sides of the aisle. There is an inherent peace when you give up taking either of those sides and committing to simple ideas like freedom rather than convoluted platforms and complicated policies. Nice post Carey. Think I'll go stretch... ❤

Spectacular masterpiece....love yoga

NICe!
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu
Thanks for this post!

I actually never watch the news or read the papers. It just makes me stressed and feel bad. I try to spread positivity instead. And I also love yoga and meditation. Great post :)

YES! So much wasted energy on conflict could be reallocated if we just learn to calm ourselves and feel emotions without reacting impulsively.

The benefits of yoga and meditation are many and endless!

thanks for sharing your knowledge with us :))
Now i am really motivated to do yoga !

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So happy to hear that! Let me know if you have any questions! My email is in the article. :) Yoga is my second passion after promoting peace and freedom!

The success of the system is precisely that: the same oppressed subjects defend the system that oppresses them even with their lives, including the life of the other, and be seen as an act of patriotism worthy of applause. They have done, the corrupted statists (that are the majority) a great effort of the hand of conglomerates and private institutions, to obtain that. That our effort of fight against this looks small, but it is not it. And, I think that the key is in the union of the small pieces, from their capacities and possibilities of action, to arm a great aparago of struggle (peaceful) against this system. All this, I also thought about it and I was doing it from a way of being more violent before knowing the meditation and yoga, and now after this time practicing (now I am practitioner and Ashtanga Teacher), I have also realized that compassion is fundamental within this struggle (peaceful) for freedom and our other rights, whether we have them and want to take them away or we no longer have them, as in the case of some countries and people around the world. Thank you very much for being such an incredible article, I fell in love, and I want to continue reading you, so I will follow you from today. Thank you.

excellent, I felt really inspired. A pleasure to have read. Venezuelans need to expand in this regard

Hello @careywelder, I really enjoyed reading your article. I totally hear you, how challenging it's been for you to deal with the ignorance of the programmed minds, but I'm pleased to hear that you've come a long way practicing compassion for yourself and them. It is key to realize we can only change ourselves, and by trying to force others into our way of thinking, no matter how enlightened we think it is, is only going to bring us frustration and anger. Control is not the way! Allowing, presence, compassion.. all of the goodness we wish to see more in others, we need to generate in greater measure.

I'm glad to meet you.

I also just wrote a post about my experiences and learnings from meditation, if you fancy checking it out.

https://steemit.com/spirituality/@bristena94/why-meditating-is-slowly-but-surely-changing-my-life-for-the-better