I was in a yoga class several years ago, not long after I started practicing, when the teacher said: don't believe everything you think.
It had honestly never even occurred to me, and better yet, how could it be possible? and by god, sign me up. My mind often resembles a ping pong match.
Here's a recent and rather tame inner monologue:
"Yoga on the patio or at the studio?" "You should go to the studio. You haven't been there in awhile.""The studio will be too hot." "and wouldn't it be nice to practice under the blue sky?""i should definitely go to the studio." "Maybe I should practice three times a week at the studio and three times at home." "You're not disciplined enough for that.""Look how disciplined joe schmo is. you'll never be like that."
Ugh, gross. and not very inspiring right?
I know I'm certainly not the only one who has the maddening roundabouts with themselves. It's part of being human, and it's also what has driven so many of us to end up on yoga mats, meditation cushions, self-help aisles and bar stools. The present moment is perfect and beautiful and whole, but our minds seem dead set on sabotaging that.
In yoga we refer to this sabotage as avidya. It's a bit like walking around on the sunniest day with these terribly dark sunglasses that skew the color and are completely smudged. Those glasses are avidya, which means delusion, and they wanna mess shit up. Thoughts are just thoughts. They come and they go like clouds or waves or anything else that's just passing through. We are the ones that seem dead set on keeping them sticking around.
Through my life coaching training, I'm getting pretty good at kicking my thoughts' asses. Karate chopping right and left. Truly no thought of mine is safe right now.
Thought occurs: I am overwhelmed. Flip it: I am busy and fulfilled.
Find evidence that supports that I am busy and fulfilled: my email inbox is full of opportunities, my schedule is full of dates with friends/events/classes, my house looks lived in. Once you've caught the thought and flipped that shiz, you have take away a lot of the thought's power. Now "I am overwhelmed" is no longer true. Being busy and fulfilled feels good. And when it stops feeling good or feeling true, I'll flip it again. Flip flip flip.
It certainly takes time and work but the truth is : you get to create your reality, and if your reality is currently experiencing some major suckage, it's highly likely your mind is the culprit.
Do some spring cleaning in the mind and pick a beautiful reality. Spend some time in silence. listen. Then listen.
Then flip it.