Whenever we repeat to ourselves that we ought to be doing something else, or perhaps should be behaving in another way, we reinforce the mind’s stuck belief that we or our circumstances or our friendships and family aren’t good enough!
So next time you are sitting in a coffee shop with your friends, remember that when you tell each other that you ought to be gardening / doing housework/ paperwork / finishing a project that this is dangerous talk to engage in!
Similarly, if we indulge ourselves in longing for holidays or the time when will have moved house or moved career or retired, we are feeding our mind with the “My life isn’t good enough” drug. We also run the risk that a lot of need for event or time of life will turn out to inevitably disappoint!
You are not necessarily choosing these thoughts. They are choosing you! The human mind, if not well trained through meditation will naturally choose a course of dissatisfaction! We seem to be hard wired to rehearse our failings, and the disappointing nature of others. We are hell bent at times to endlessly self criticise and play the martyrdom story of others’ failures in an endless circle of being dissatisfied with life and the current moment is therefore always falling short of our expectations of ourselves, others or our set up.
Very easily, mild irritation with the behaviour of others and ourselves breeds deeper resentments and we get stuck in an endless loop of falling short. In Yoga we are called to take on a discipline of mind that doesn’t engage with the dissatisfaction loop. All there is to do is to notice when we are indulging in a bit of self nagging; playing the victim or wishing our lives away and to release ourselves from continued engagement with it. There’s no need to falsely become cheerful and positive about everything. No need to kid yourself everything is perfect. It’s just a question of not endlessly rehearsing the lack, such that that is all you are present too…
But isn’t there a place for a bit of self nagging?
We often do silently coach ourselves to engage in activities that are good for us, such as meditation, Yoga Practice, or exercise and surely it is good to want to stay on top of these disciplines? Usually what is in the way is sluggishness. This is where discernment comes in. It could be that you had a poor night and you just need to rest.
Genuinely. Or it could be that these are the activities you need to have in your life when the energy is always high, such as in the morning, instead of setting yourself up for failure by nagging yourself in the afternoon dip time! The dangerous thing is giving yourself a hard time whilst you are avoiding engaging in these healthy activities.
Another common mindless behaviour of our modern world is to engage in restlessness. There are often no spaces in our day for silence and disengagement with technology and busyness. Even when life offers natural gaps, such as waiting for a friend, we fill them with checking our phone for messages, emails, tweets and Facebook postings. We feel uncomfortable just sitting and waiting and as a result our brains are being trained to be more distracted and restless every day.
Our calling as Yogis and Yoginis is to notice ourselves when we are disquieted by a natural “gap” in between activities. While waiting or when we have come to a natural gap between activities we can embrace the moment as an opportunity to be fully present in the moment. We can practice just sitting and waiting for a few minutes and allow the muddy waters to settle. The more you practice this, the more gaps you will notice and even create for yourself and the more calm and happy you will be with an increased tolerance of others.
Namaste Dear Friends!