The discussion for today is on the Yama Brahmacharya or Self-Control. Another translation of Brahmacharya is “right use of energy.” Yamas are guidelines to help people find more peace.
I haven’t been writing much recently because my human fostered several dogs in past two months and eventually adopted the last one. His name is Jake and he is a one-year old Lab/Hound mix (picture of us both below)
This fostering and adopting activity has been very difficult for me. All the foster dogs were much larger, younger and more energetic than me. They also were very nervous when they came to our home and weren’t at their best when interacting with me. Finally, they didn’t show respect to me as their elder – I am nine after all!
Having these doggy visitors made it hard for me to be the calm and mature when interacting with them. The dogs were infringing on my house, my owners and – more than once - on my food.
Once I actually lost my cool and started to bark and nip at a dog that was three times my size. He thought I was playing and started to pay me back in kind. My human quickly snatched me away – but this brief loss of control almost got me into a fight I could never win.
Afterward, I worked to accept the foster guests. I was more cautious around them and let my humans protect me when they got too rambunctious. It was good to have support from my loved ones and it helped me use my energy more positively. Recently I even let our new addition – Jake – sit next to me. Even though he was obnoxiously chewing his bone (see below). Why can’t the young just relax and just take a nap sometimes?
Some other ways to control impulsive behavior include counting to ten before acting, or channeling your energy into other activities like drawing, painting, writing or taking your favorite dog for a walk (I am always up for that).
Are there new people or situations that cause you to lose your cool? How can you remember to be kind to those going through difficult times and use your energy to comfort them and make them feel safe? Would leaning on your loved ones for support make your self-control efforts easier?
Hope this discussion of the Yama Brahmacharya on Self-Control has been helpful. My next blog will be on the Yama of Aparigraha or non-possessiveness.
Until then, Namaste.
Yogi Bear is the friendly and wise mascot of Mini Change Yoga.