“There is a hidden strength within me to overcome all obstacles. I will bring forth that indomitable power and energy.” Paramhansa Yogananda shared this formidable thought with us, and gave us tools to accomplish that great goal. Here are five effective ways to build our inner power.
1. Begin with Self-Analysis
Introspection is a tool of which Yoganandaji spoke repeatedly. Analyze with self-honesty your own strengths and weaknesses. Once you’ve identified them, give increased energy to developing your strong points — these are your best warriors in the battle against downward-pulling forces. Practice daily by bringing your strengths to the fore.
Then, without self-denial or justification, look at your weaknesses. At the first sign of their whining in the back of your mind, cut these weaklings off at the source, and refuse to allow them to dictate to you. As Sri Yukteswar said, “Roam in the world as a lion of self-control. Don’t let the frogs of weakness kick you around!” Whenever you find yourself justifying your mistakes or blaming them on others, know that you are diminishing your own inner power, and stop immediately.
2. Practice Even-mindedness and Detachment
Controlling the reactive process is one of the central teachings of yoga. Circumstances are always neutral. If, for example, we allow ourselves to react when it’s too hot or too cold outside, we are constantly a victim of circumstances over which we have no control. Remember: Nothing and no one can take away your peace if you don’t allow it. When you find yourself being pulled into a reactive vortex, repeat these words of Yoganandaji: “I am the prince of perpetual peace, playing in a drama of sad and happy dreams on the stage of experience.”
3. Develop Mental Strength
Concentration and determination are the foundations upon which we build the edifice of inner power. Challenge yourself daily to accomplish something new, or to perform a routine task in a different way. When working towards a goal, don’t allow into your mind the thought, “Well, it’s good enough.” Continue on until you can say honestly, “I’ve done the best that I can.”
When we live in this way, we draw the support of the universe to infuse our own efforts. Try to feel that with the magnetism of your determination, there are no obstacles that you can’t overcome.
4. Love Heroically
Swami Kriyananda has said that when times are difficult, either for you personally or in the world around you, the best way to stand strong is to love heroically. In a sense, this is the combination of detachment and mental strength. If you can love others no matter how they act towards you, then you can transform personal love and friendship to expressions of God’s divine love. Try it. Don’t hold back your love from anyone, friend or foe, and feel the power and freedom that this awakens within you.
5. Find Your Own Relationship with God’s Light
The times in which we live are confusing, to say the least. So many claims vie boastfully one against another that universal values and truth have become obscured. But as Swami Kriyananda declares in one of his songs: “The world may change or disappear, but truth can never die!”
In these uncertain times, we need especially to follow the practices of meditation that we’ve been given. The truth, the light, and the love we are seeking are all to be found within the calmness of our own being. Once you’ve touched these inner realities, cling to them and don’t waver. They will be the divine beacon that guides you through all adversity. As we build our own inner power, we can also become a source of support and strength to all those around us.
In divine friendship,
This blog is based on a talk by Nayaswami Devi during Spiritual Renewal Week. Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi’s SRW talks are available for viewing online here.