What’s the force that we are fighting in life?
ROUTINES / ACHARA (from Sanskrit)
For some of us, routines could be very rewarding, while for others could be a constant struggle against ingrained habits, against the force of one’s likes and dislikes, and against inertia. Sometimes it feels like we are fighting with the beast, from morning to night. What is this force that we are fighting in life?
People that want to keep a level of spontaneity and creativity in their life say that routines are limiting and lead to boredom to wake up and do the same things every day makes us feel like programmed robots. We accomplish our goals but there is something missing, and what is missing is the real joy and satisfaction of consciously attending to the task.
Habitual people love to stick to routines and say that to follow routines is rewarding. We don’t have to consume every time energy for basic tasks and things that matter the most, we simply act. Consciously attending to each and every task that occurs in our life, from taking a shower or driving a car, could be overwhelming. Our brain is too busy to process more important information and needs help with the most common, ordinary tasks to be controlled by routines and habits.
What is interesting about routines is that there are people in this world that never bother to plan their routines. They are moving with whatever comes on their way and seem to be happy.
We are trained and conditioned since childhood to follow routines and habits. Psychologists say that children grow healthy and mentally balanced when their life is centered around routines. The reality is, that despite all these years of training and programming, as adults we still struggle with the most basic routines: waking up in the morning, going to bed early, eating regular meals, exercising… Sometimes it feels like all our life we are swimming upstream.
What is this force we are really fighting from morning to evening?
For answering this question we have to understand the “universe business” and how our human nature relates to it. All living creatures are part of this all universe and its laws. Nature is created from simple to complex, from orderly to disorderly, from dependence to independence… We strive and strive and yet, sometimes the feeling is that we are back to the same habit, the same situation, the same thought, the same emotion, the same place, or the same experience… Why?
Life itself is a paradox, a contradiction. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that everything in the universe is moving towards decay and breakdown, and this process is called entropy. This means that the universe is not interested in us building high skyscrapers, buy 10 cars, 3 houses, and a lot of other things…Unfortunately, under the second law, things can only go one way. It is almost like the universe is telling us: ” you can try harder and harder but things never organize themselves, they can go only my way”. In yoga, this is called the law of impermanence. Everything in the universe is subject to change and decay. Everything is transitory.
Let’s see what is this entropy force that we depend upon so much.
Entropy is a measure of disorder and randomness in a system. Our body is an energy system. Entropy is inertia, disorder, lethargy, decay, illness, death; is the opposite of life. This creates a state of duality in us; there is a force in our nature that pulls us towards live and at the same time, there is another force that pulls us towards death. The state of entropy can change only if we change our perspective and look at life from different angles, this way becoming more conscious about what is going on inside and outside ourselves.
How is entropy manifested in our life?
The more we postpone of doing things, the more we get trapped into the cycle of entropy. When we refuse to jump in the morning from our bed and follow with the morning routines, we unconsciously move towards a state of entropy. When we become sick the body moves towards a state of entropy. When we don’t want to follow an exercising routine entropy has us at its fingertips. Entropy is the force that stops us from doing things, from helping others and from evolving into more conscious human beings. It makes us roll over and sleep instead of jumping from our bed and make things happen.
Moreover, it stops us from doing things that help us grow. Entropy is the force that keeps us clinging to old ideas, fixations, old maps, and old habits. That is why when it comes to habits there are two sides of the coin. On one side, we think that we have found a way to organize things and safe energy, while on the other side we become too attached to the habit and this way avoiding to change things.
Entropy is versatile and will find ways to infiltrate in our life no matter what and exploit our weaknesses, especially in those moments when we want to change things like; routines, habits, jobs, places, relations…It looks like our own nature is sabotaging us, and has the goal to make us feel miserable. For example, we are thinking to change something, and at the same time unconsciously avoiding the change. We hate the place we live and every day we think to move some other beautiful place, and at the same time deep inside we feel pulled back from what we want. In the end, the mind will find hundreds of reasons not to move. It also could go the other way around, we finally moved to live into that beautiful place, only what is happening every day we find new things that we don’t like there and we start to regret taking the decision to move. This force of entropy is the one that puts us in a situation to excuse for not attending an event, rejecting an invitation, lack of willingness and motivation.
Life instead is a biological organization at every single level: from cells to tissue, from plants to animals, from families to communities…It can be planned and also can organize itself. That is why sometimes some illnesses are healing on their own, or some life problems solve itself and we call these miracles. When life makes progress it increases the order and decreases the disorder. The presence of life reduces the entropy in every single organism and inevitably creates movement allowing life to evolve.
The truth is that we all want to grow into healthy, successful and conscious human beings. For some of us it is very difficult to come out from this state of entropy. Growth becomes a struggle us we have to put lots of effort into confronting and fighting the force of entropy. Due to this natural force in us, it is so difficult to do the right thing, and so easy to do the wrong one.
Why some people are high on life and others are high on entropy?
Why for some it is so easy to follow with routines and change them when needed, and for others is a continuous struggle?
What makes the difference?
I will give an answer to this questions in the next post.
Maria Mitea – HealthYoga Therapist, Teacher, and Student