How to live in joyful flow whatever the weather
The EAST Way is an approach to life that brings a sense of joy and ease, while maintaining a realistic view on life. Crap things will happen in your life – this cannot be avoided (hint: you’re going to die) – but with the right mindset, you can more quickly bounce back and continue to grow through the pain and suffering (you might not even perceive it as such!).
A brief history
I developed The EAST Way as a culmination of much personal processing through the 2020 pandemic.
How did I remain optimistic?
Why was there much laughter throughout 2020?
How were others experiencing the same issues of restrictions and lockdown?
How were they processing this experience?
A realisation soon hit me that The EAST Method which I developed around 2005 (see the page dedicated to The EAST Method) was not just a way of overcoming limiting beliefs and mindset blocks, dealing with addiction or beating stress and anxiety.
When implemented in its broadest sense, it forms an approach to life that helps you to ride the waves.
I then realised that I needed to share this with the world so that people would not suffer from their own personal “2020”.
What do I mean by this? My personal 2020 occurred back in 2001. Redundancy shortly followed by divorce leaving me feeling like a failure and not having any control of the direction of my life. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts was the flavour of the day.
Thankfully, I didn’t act on those thoughts and it formed a turning point in my life. It reignited my then waivering tai chi and chi kung practice, and set me on the path of learning. This learning came from reading many old and new texts as well as training under some very interesting and inspiring teachers.
The result was a series of practices based on ancient approaches but with a modern twist.
The EAST Way – The EAST Method as a way of life
The EAST Method comprises 4 aspects: Exercise, Awareness, Somatic awareness and Therapeutic intervention. The EAST Way is about applying this to everyday living rather than using it to solve a specific issue – it is about living The EAST Method!
Regular movement is important especially slow movement as this is a simple way of reducing stress and anxiety when you’re overwhelmed and can’t focus. It also burns calories and keeps you mobile.
Doing a range of different types of exercise is also good for you as is having goals. Most people who will be reading this will probably do yoga and dance. Try doing a martial art or playing a competitive sport. And try lifting heavy weights (supervised!).
Varied movement helps you to reconnect with your body in different ways and gives you a greater understanding of how it works and what is best for it.
In a word, mindfulness. But not just on the cushion in front of a statue of the Buddha.
Try focusing on the present moment and not judging the experience (not liking or disliking anything you notice, there’s no good or bad experience, it is just an experience). It goes beyond appreciating a beautiful landscape. Try appreciating the vista of a business or industrial park!
This also includes doing things such as mindful eating, mindful communicating and mindful art.
By mindful art, I don’t just mean colouring in a mandala or painting something beautiful – try drawing something with your non-dominant hand and enjoying the process of not being in control as well as the “awful” result. Appreciate the imperfection. Be with that imperfection.
Listening to your body and honouring it can be a powerful practice. What does it tell you when you move and adopt certain positions? What do you really feel when you stop doing stuff? What do you want and what do you need? Why do you move in certain ways?
Therapeutic intervention (or Transformation)
In the broadest sense, this is about doing the shadow work, dealing with past traumas or simply overcoming mindset blocks that hold you back from achieving your goals.
Seek the help of a specialist or try some kind of therapeutic activity that you know.
Ultimately, it’s about resolving any issues that are controlling how you behave.
People like to think they’re in control, but mostly they’re not.
Why do you really make the choices you make? Why do you really do the things that you do? Why do you really like or dislike certain things? Why do certain things trigger you and why do you react in the way that you do?
Note: in more generic terms, the T stands for Transformation.
The following principles can be applied to all aspects of the EAST Way and indeed anything that you do whether it’s eating, painting, sports, work or relationships!
Honour and listen to your body – what is it telling you? What do you need (not want!)?
Awareness – focus fully on what you are doing with a sense of non- judgement/equanimity. Learn to be with experience, not liking or disliking whatever you sense.
Practice – consistency and persistency but in moderation. Regular practice results in progress. Too much can lead to injury or just getting fed up with the activity.
Play – experiment, learn to fail, enjoy exploring the outcome, like a child.
Yield – learn to go with flow when it’s too tough, and practice acceptance of what is going on and even how you feel.
So you want to know how to implement The EAST Way into your life? The simplest way is to join the Wimble Library as a standard member. You can find out more by visiting the relevant page from the menu.