There are those us who have (not yet?) chosen to escape to caves or island retreats for a life of meditation and yoga.  Those of us who still throw ourselves into the daily chaos of creativity, business and economics.  In our chaotic contribution, we still look for the same peace of mind, the same sense of equilibrium amongst the hustle and energy of our world.  We too seek Sattwa.

The ancient yogis have known what modern science has recently affirmed  – everything (all matter, our bodies, the empty spaces between us), when broken down to its smallest component, amounts to nothing more than energy.  The world as we know it is essentially a massive collection of energy particles.

 Energy only ever finds itself in three different states. 

(1) The state of ACTION,

(2) The state of INERTIA, and 

(3) A NEUTRAL, balanced state. 

 The yogis call this state of actionRajas.They call the state of inaction or inertia Tamas.  And the neutral, balanced, calm state is called Sattwa.

Each of us can recognize the inter-play of rajas, tamas and sattwa in our lives;

At times, and triggered by certain circumstances, we are active, energized, aggressively forward-moving, chasing passions, celebrating our highs, feeling invigorated.   At other times and triggered by another set of circumstances, we are lethargic, inactive, lazy, depressed, down, consumed by our lows, feeling torrid. 

Most of us long for that middle state; a sense of calm and peace.  A place where things feel balanced, with gentle—not dramatic—ups and  downs.  Where we flow with life; cool, calm, collected.  This place is Sattwa.

The gifts of sattwa”, according to Sri Aurobindo in his book, A Greater Psychology,  “are the mind of reason and balance, clarity of the disinterested truth-seeking open intelligence, a will subordinate to the reason or guided by the ethical spirit, self-control, equality, calm, love, sympathy, refinement, measure, just acceptivity, moderation and poise.  A satisfying sense of ease, happiness, mastery and security.”

So, how do we find sattwa? 

The old sages, like the modern coaches, tell us the starting place is self-understanding.  A self-recognition of the triggers and circumstances that set off our energy spikes. 

Because everything is energy, there is an obvious link in our relationship with the food and sensory sources that we use to fuel our bodies energy.  Being selective about what we eat, drink and imbibe can have a huge impact on our energetic state.  As can what we choose to watch, listen to and experience. 

As Leaders and people developers, our energy is felt most significantly by those we influence around us.  Our own responsibility in seeking Sattwa will impact the ability of others around us to do the same.

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Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach.  She works with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to  develop strong, influential personal brands and to elegantly navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership . To learn more about her work please visit her website, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates. If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

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