An Excercise in Awareness

The recent inundation of political mud-slinging thinly veiled by fine color glossy print and TV ads

has me wondering at the effectiveness of this style of marketing. Even my phone, generally

sedate, is ringing off the handle with robo-voiced pleas to vote one way or the other, and as

often with requests to know which way my decision is trending at any number of governing levels

in any particular moment… Enough. I close my eyes and bring into my present moment my

Phoenix Rising approach to processing what life brings my way. First, I notice a tightness in my

belly and throat accompanied by my inner voice:


Does this type of advertising really work? Clearly it does or they wouldn’t drop the billions they

do on it. How can it be, I wonder, that people are so easily influenced on decisions that are driven

by the values they uniquely own and cherish? I can understand the power of advertising when

appealing to our taste buds at meal time with a decision between granola and Fruit Loops, but

voting on who will lead our country at the highest level for the next four years?


As I observe this inner voice, I begin to notice another, more compassionate layer to it, along with

an easing of the tension in my body:


I suppose some percentage of voters are well grounded in what they would like to be hearing from

a candidate and are not, and thus find themselves in the indecision of choosing between the “lesser

of two evils.” And then there are others who are truly unsure what to believe. It is often hard

enough keeping up with the life unfolding in front of us to stay on top of national politics that, let’s

face it, feels pretty far removed from us most days.


And then I notice a sense in my body as if letting go of a burden and my inner voice concludes:

This too shall pass and however intolerable it feels in the moment, it will no doubt work just as

our founding fathers intended. Somehow a leader will be elected who represents the majority’s

opinion. After all, if it’s this close how far apart can the two sides really be?


When we are all voting from that place inside us that holds our own personal truth, our own set of

values, then this will truly be the case. How do we learn to live and fulfill life’s many obligations

from a place that is grounded in our personal truth? How do we know for sure what we believe?

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy offers a process to explore and find this inner compass that we all

have within us.


To test it out try this: close your eyes and take a few long, slow, deep breaths. Tune into and

connect with what’s happening on the inside of you for several breaths. Then call to mind one

of those political TV ads and notice how it makes you feel on the inside. Angry, frustrated,

powerless? Or maybe it fills you with an energized conviction to act on something you feel

strongly about. Notice sensation in your body. Maybe you notice tension somewhere – in your

belly, chest, or throat. Or maybe you feel lighter, less tense, liberated by the opportunity to be

heard and exercise your voting right. There is no right or wrong way to be or feel, just whatever

is there on the inside of you right now as you observe without judging or trying to change it. Take

a couple more deep full breaths and let all that go. Let the external voices calm and quiet along

with your response to it.

Now bring your awareness to the decision you made at the polls a couple of days ago. It’s not

important here which way you voted, simply bring that decision to your mind now. Notice how

that decision feels to you on the inside. Notice all sensation – breath, body, thoughts, emotions –

and again, notice in raw form without judging or changing what you find there. Let your body be

your sensor for what is uniquely right for you. It will let you know.


Somewhere inside each of us there is that inner compass, a guide to our own personal truth

that when tapped into can allow that truth to drive us in our lives. Take yourself to that place

now – your inner wisdom, inner best friend or confidante, soul, whatever you know it as – and

bring with you what you noticed when considering your voting decision. Allow yourself to receive

guidance from this place. What does this source of wisdom have to tell you about you now? Any

surprises, or does it feel like whatever you found you somehow already knew, whether or not you

were aware of it?


A few blogs ago you read about definitions of stress. Another one I have heard is “wishing

things were other than they are.” When we make a decision from our place of inner knowing, the

decision we make is the right one for us in the moment we make it. The more we stay connected

to this source of wisdom and make life decisions from our own truth, the more our life resembles

what we want it to be rather than what someone else wants it to be. This is true at all levels

of decision-making, whether choosing a president or a breakfast cereal. Phoenix Rising Yoga

Therapy helps you tap into, make choices from, and live from your inner truth, reducing that gap

between the way things are and the way you want them to be. In short, it helps reduce stress.

Read more about Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and find programs, practitioners and teachers

offered near you at


Written by Bev Johnson

Bev is a PRYT Practiortioner, PRYT Teacher and PRYT Group Facilitator. For more information about Bev visit her website here.