I love nothing better than talking with people, as every time I do, I learn a new perspective or something new – which is so exciting. Recently I was in a client meeting at a coffee shop and the conversation moved to The Three Gunas. I had never heard of them, but they sounded really interesting! I love when you can learn more about yourself and understand why some days you feel really motivated and on fire (Rajas), and other days you have to drag yourself from bed and find it hard to be motivated (Tamas), to days where you feel calm and in control (Sattva). I know I have days like this … in fact, I have days where I experience all three in the one!
So after the meeting I looking into ‘The Three Gunas’ in more detail and here is what I have learned:
Linked to the ancient theories of Yoga, the Gunas are three energies that form the basis of the material universe. The word Guna means strand or rope that binds, so The Three Gunas are the three strands that embody us in the physical world. It sounds a little freaky but stay with me!
On a spiritual level the Gunas provide opportunities for spiritual inquiry and personal development. On a practical level the Gunas reflect states of mind that manifest as moods and behaviours. By being aware of these Three Gunas we can start to master why we are behaving/ feeling a certain way. It is exactly that which I was most interested in. Imagine if you are feeling demotivated, it would be helpful to know how to ‘energise’ yourself to get things done.
Here is a little about each Guna:
Rajas = Activity. It is a positive energy that has qualities such as enthusiasm, excitement, ambition, alertness, accomplishment, passion and the ability to get things done. Too much Rajas heightens emotion and develops hyperactivity, anger, anxiety, aggression, agitation, struggle or fear.
Tamas = Inertia. As positive energy Tamas presents qualities such as ease, loyalty, patience, stability and being grounded. In excess too much Tamas leads to laziness, apathy, helplessness or loneliness.
Sattva = Luminosity. As positive energy Sattva presents qualities such as goodness, clarity, illumination, appropriateness, being in the present and pure consciousness. In excess a big pitfall of Sattva is the delusion of the ego, which generates smugness and complacency.
Everyday these three strands of Gunas intertwine and affect each other with the aim of staying in ‘balance’. If we realise we have become out of balance it’s because we have either excess rajas or tamas. If we are feeling hyper busy, not knowing where to begin with our work load, we need to stop and look for the source of our anxiety, irritation or chattering mind. I have found by becoming aware of myself I can start to address the issues and head more towards Sattva.
On the flip side if I find myself at a Tamasic low with no motivation and no will to keep pushing forward, I need to stop and notice this about myself, and then to overcome it I simply force myself to get up and do something … anything!
The key I have found is to just stop and take a minute to really observe what is going on around me and realise which of the Gunas I am under the influence of. The challenge will alway be to move yourself back through to Sattva.
I recommend you dive deeper into the Gunas to really understand how you can work with them to stay in balance, as it really can make your life that much easier. Here are few links I have found:
Yours in Design,