“Everything that comes in through the senses must be digested. ~ Cate Stillman
According to Ayurveda, anything that does not get digested completely leaves a residue. That residue builds up over time and creates ama. This toxic sludge can build up in the physical body when we don’t allow time for our food to digest before consuming more food. It can also happen when we don’t fully digest our experiences and emotions.
Ama makes us less efficient, sluggish, and prone to dis-ease. To avoid the pitfalls of physical ama, space your meals 3-4 hours apart, avoid snacking, and observe seasonal cleansing. To avoid mental and emotional ama, get skilled at the art of reflection.
The Sanskrit word soma means “to distill or extract”. Soma is also the name of a juice made from an ancient plant that was offered to deities in exchange for insight and clear vision. When you spend time in self reflection, you get soma. Through distillation, the essence of your experiences is revealed. In return, you receive insight and gain clarity. You may see an encounter in a new light, suddenly understand someone’s behavior, get a great idea, or remember something you may have otherwise forgotten. From the standpoint of your new perspective, you will be able to see the next right action to take. Aligned action brings harmony.
Self reflection is a high stakes habit.
Without it, you’ll miss things. Beautiful moments that could be savored will slip through the cracks. Subtle hints at what your people need from you will be missed. Closure will elude you, and you’ll risk ama building up in your mental body, creating confusion and overwhelm, or having emotional trauma stored in your field awaiting a catalyst to become disease.
Some ways to cultivate a habit of reflection: