Category Archives: yoga

How to become unstoppable

I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me that I can’t do something.

I’ve been told not to talk, not to think, not to try, not to believe in myself. . .

But, the most consistent, negative voice in my life towards myself is my own. I tell myself that I can’t do.  I tell myself that I shouldn’t aspire for certain things. I tell myself that things will never get better.

About five years ago, I’d allowed my self talk to run completely amok.  I abused myself all day every day.  As a result, I constantly felt lousy.  One day, I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “You’re a bitch.”  And I think it was the sound that made it real.  I think it was hearing myself tell myself something so ugly, out loud.  If someone else had said that to me, it would have caused a real problem, but I had allowed myself to talk about myself like this for so long, I didn’t even realize that I was abusing myself.  From that moment on, I made it a point to be really aware of my negative self talk.

self-worth-quotes

Thoughts are not real.  They are just thoughts.  If I conform to the “box of thoughts” that others apply to me and my life I wouldn’t be married, a mother, an attorney, working in my current employment. etc.

One of the things I’m learning from my yoga practice is that there is a difference between ourselves and our brains.  Our brains are here to serve us, not the other way around.  But so often, we let our brains run amok, and tell us what to do and who we are. You can create your own prison through your thoughts. In the yoga sutras, Patanjali makes a distinction between the seer and the seen, and explains that by focusing on God, rather than material things, we can transform our minds, and become more like God.  See Yoga Sutras 2.20.

The same concept is explained in the bible.

 

 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

By changing the way you think you become unstoppable.  You do this by isolating the voices in your head, stepping back and observing the messages you tell yourself.

Do you tell yourself that you aren’t loveable?  That no one likes you?  That you are always wrong, or poor, or stupid?

Those thoughts can stop you from reaching your potential. The first step is to recognize the voice. Listen to what you tell yourself, about yourself.  Often, the only thing stopping me from reaching my potential, is me.  So, how do you change your mind?

GRATITUDE.

I’m going to write more about a gratitude practice, because my gratitude practice is helping to transform my mind. When I hear a negative thought, about myself or about someone else, I now consciously attempt to change it to a positive thought.

So, if I walk pass someone and find myself judging them, I stop, and tell myself, Thank God for that person. I bet they are a mother to someone, a father to someone, a source of joy for someone in their life. Who am I to judge?

For myself, if I find myself frustrated with my lack of progress or overcome with anxiety, I stop and say, “Thank God for my life. Thank God for my family.  Thank God for the opportunities I have been given to provide for them and myself. Thank God for the opportunity to study, and a mind and heart that constantly wants to improve.”

So, that’s the practice. That’s how you become unstoppable.  Transform your negative thoughts through gratitude.  Or at least, that’s what works for me.

Namaste,

Lady in Yellow

P.S. -Do you have negative self-talk? Have you ever been paralyzed by the negativity? How do you overcome it?

 

 

 

On Growth. . . and Real Karma

Sometimes, growth happens quickly. Like, you look up after a month and your jeans are too snug.

Other times, it happens so slowly, we don’t realize it happened at all. Or at least, I didn’t realize it was happening.

I’ve been working on myself.  Really.

Everything in the world in the last month has me down. The violence breaks my heart.  Work is intense.  The baby always needs her mama.  My husband needs me. And so, I find myself going from month to month, reacting rather than acting.

I wasn’t living.

get your life

I have been practicing  asana (yoga), practicing meditation, practicing mindfulness.  And I’ve realized that in all of my work, I wasn’t enjoying myself.  I created a situation where there was so much pressure to be better, to improve, to become this sage yogi,  that the expectation of change and what change should look like paralyzed me.

I wonder, why am I not there yet? I’m not writing on my blog.  I’m spinning my wheels on my endeavors. Or, at least I thought.

One of the concepts we are learning about in my yoga teacher training is the idea of karma yoga. Karma involves action, but without attachment to results.

My duty is to work on being a better me, even if I don’t feel like it’s working.  I still lose my temper. I still talk too much sometimes.  I still struggle with anxiety and depression.

But, I’m doing the work.  I’m doing my work.  I’m trying to be more mindful of my interactions with others in conversation.  I’m trying to be a better, more patient mother to my daughter, who watches mama closer now than ever.  I’m working toward creating a healthier, more efficient body with which to carry around my soul, so that I can be at my best every day.

James Altucher says in his book Choose Yourself!- that once we decide to change our lives, and choose ourselves,  we aren’t required or expected to be perfect all at once.  He points out that one of the things that creates an obstacle to personal change is this belief that we have to figure everything out in one day, or one week.  But, that’s not realistic or true.  James suggests trying to improve yourself 1% every day.  Just 1%.  That’s not a lot.  That’s choosing to eat a sensible lunch, maybe meat-free.  That’s choosing to take a walk in the evening rather than sit on the couch and watch the depressing news. That’s sending a friend a message to encourage them, and let them know that you appreciate them, rather than sitting around feeling sad about the fact that you haven’t been out in awhile.

So, fear not! If you haven’t seen the fruits of your labor, that just means it’s not harvest time yet.  If every time you planted a seed, you expected fruit the next day you would be sadly disappointed.  Give your seeds time to grow.  Let the sun bathe your leaves.  Enjoy where you are in your journey.  . . Because the journey is what this life is all about. Do your work.  Practice. . . and all is coming.

Peace and Blessings,

Lady in Yellow