Restriction is a constraint or a limit to the flow of something. When we discuss restriction in spirituality, it refers to consciously limiting our actions or limiting the flow of Light. Why do we want to do this? There are a few reasons.
The first is to build our own reservoir of Light. We spend our days giving energy to others sometimes at our own expense. When we give too much of our Light, our internal reservoir is depleted. This is an opportunity to refill our reservoir. During this time of year, there is an abundance of physical Light. This is visible with the growth of plants and the high temperatures. Knowing the physical is a reflection of the spiritual, we can tap into the abundance of spiritual Light as well. With the availability of excess Light, we want to conserve and maintain it within us.
When we restrict, it is an opportunity to direct the excess Light to specific areas we desire. Instead of sharing the Light as an open blanket, we direct the Light with precision to the areas where growth is desired.
Lastly, restriction is a cleanse for the body. When you limit consumption or refrain from certain actions, the body burns through what it currently retains. It cleans house. For example, spiritual restriction often involves restricting from certain dietary foods and limiting overall food consumption. Some people may even fast during this period. This restriction allows the body to remove the foods from the being. Burning through the nutrients, the fats, the minerals, and waste, leaving the body in a more pure and open state.
Both ayurvedic and kabbalah teachings discuss foods that are eaten during an abundance of spiritual Light. The first is to restrict meat from the diet. Meat is the energy of death and ties us to this physical world. Instead consume foods that are sattvic, food of the saints. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts. These foods help to maintain the lightness and cleanse the body. Food is an easy way to restrict but not the only way.
There are many ways to restrict. Desires of the flesh is another. In sex we give our energy away instead of keeping the energy in the reservoir. Speech is another. Words are energy. Do your words give encouragement and upliftment, or do they spread gossip, hate, or devalue love? Sharing can also be used in restriction. When you share do you need to be acknowledged or can you let the receiver receive without knowing who the giver is? Can you let the energy created from your generosity sit within you and build?
This is the time of year when we learn to handle the abundance of Light. Leo is the sign of the sun. As we enter the month, we prepare our minds, strengthen our bodies, and connect to our souls. May we all learn to work with the Light and not be burned by it.