THe rabbit hole is real (Have You Fallen Down It?)

“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.”

Sometimes our thoughts seem to happen in just this sort of way, they might start out as a simple question or as a smidge of a doubt and then all of a sudden we find ourselves drowning in a very deep well at the end of a very long tunnel. 

I have played the role of Alice and plunged down that hole countless times throughout my lifetime (and still do) but one of my deepest, darkest falls was a fall so slow and non-eventful that I never even realized I was falling.  I grew up in a VERY traditional household with all parties meaning well, but meaning well will not necessarily remove rabbit holes or ones’ ability to avoid them.  The word ‘traditional’ itself contains a copious amount of multifaceted holes shooting off in every which direction.  ‘Traditional’ in my house meant that women did what they were told, the first time they were told, and kept quiet about it.  Period.  This ‘traditional’ programming lead me down a many a rabbit holes.

One example being, years later, in a workplace where I was faced with an untruthful, manipulative boss. I gave away my precious time and mind resources to a myriad of fictitious conversations and confrontations, sleepless nights, indiscriminate gossip, and nightmares that persist to this day!  I had no idea that it was even a possibility for me to have a voice and stand up to the unethical, discriminatory behavior of someone in an authoritative role.  My voice CAN make a difference (and yours can too), but NOT when it is running a muck in the imagination.

Do you spend countless minutes, maybe even hours, possibly days, months, even years holding fabricated dialogue in your head, participating in mock situations, and responding to events that have not even happened???

The rabbit hole imprisons an infinite amount of precious time and mind space to be lost FOREVER; it detains perpetual possibilities to get lost within, including and certainly not limited to: fears, doubts, regrets, anxieties, cheating spouses, possible job promotions or eliminations, crashing airplanes, robberies, identity theft, and so on and on and on.  

The rabbit hole is *Vikalpa: images, thoughts, and mental static that play randomly in the mind….key word here is RANDOMLY.  Without deliberate intention, imagination and creativity can dip down so suddenly or maybe so slowly, into a dark tunnel that leads to a VERY deep well.  

You cannot serve anyone from this far away place, INCLUDING yourself.  The practice of yoga means dropping the role of Alice and intentionally making THIS REALITY, THIS VERY MOMENT, your very own Wonderland.

*In the yoga philosophy Vikalpa is known as one of the five Vrtti’s. The Vrtti’s are the “turnings” of the mind, including our thoughts. Vikalpa can be defined as imagination in the form of indecision, doubt, or fantasy. Note that this is different from deliberate creativity/imagination.

Andrea Behler