Last week, in the span of an hour, someone called me mean and selfish and someone called me kind and caring.
If I had taken these two comments too seriously, I would have ended up feeling tossed around and beaten up like a leaf in a wind storm. My balance would have been completely rocked.
When I let others define me, I can become what others tell me I am. So instead of remembering who I really am, I am not me but a version of me that has been created by someone else.
In yoga philosophy, we learn that our ego is our small self that is created by labels and judgements and conditioning from the outside world. Our ego has the potential to cause us great suffering.
I see the ego as a suit that we are wearing. It looks EXACTLY like us. When we are healthy and not too attached to it, it fits us well and we barely know that it's there. We are comfortable walking around in our ego suit. When we are too attached to our ego, a comment like "you are mean and selfish" will cause our ego suit to shrink. It will get way too tight and REALLY uncomfortable. In our discomfort, we may lash out at another or berate ourselves. On the other hand, when we hear a comment like, "you are so kind and caring", our ego suit might get too big. It will fill up with air and we may find ourselves feeling all puffed up and superior to others.
When we get very clear and honest with ourselves, turn our attention inward, let other people's comments and judgements pass through us, we will be balanced and peaceful regardless of the comments of another. Our ego suit will fit us perfectly. We will feel comfortable with ourselves and remember who we really are.....a soul that is full of light and love.
So next time you find yourself judging someone or someone judges you, take a moment to check that your ego suit fits. If it doesn't, take a deep breath and remember who you are deep inside....maybe your suit will begin to fit just right.
I am not a fan of the New Year's Resolution. To me, it always has an underlying negative message that can leave me feeling bad about myself.
"I want to loose weight" says, "I am so fat!"
"I want to be more organized" says, " I am a mess!"
Creating a change for the better at the beginning of each year is a great concept, but more often than not, our attempts to follow through with our New Year's resolutions fail.
A yogic version of the resolution is called a sankulpa.
A sankulpa is similar to a resolution in that it focuses on creating a healthy change. It is different because we are asked look deeper into the reason behind the change we would like to create to make sure that the change supports our highest good, not just our ego.
So instead of a resolution that says, " I want to lose weight because I am too fat!.", a sankulpa would go deeper and explore what thoughts or feelings might be driving the behavior. Maybe over eating has become a way to self soothe and avoid facing difficult emotions. Becoming aware of what motivates an unhealthy behavior is the first step in finding a way to change it.
A sankulpa is an intention that we set in the most loving way towards ourselves. It becomes powerful when we create a clear and concise phrase or mantra that we can repeat regularly. A sankulpa to lose weight might go something like this, "I over eat to stuff down my feelings. I will allow my feelings to arise and then to pass which will keep my mind, heart, and body open to love."
Once you have decided on the change you are seeking, create your sankulpa by setting a positive intention in the present tense, using only positive words.
Stay present and attentive to the process of the result that you are seeking. If you fail to follow through with your sankulpa, forgive yourself, repeat your mantra, and recommit, remembering that change doesn't happen overnight.
If you are like me and New Year's Resolutions leave you feeling bad about yourself, consider making a New Year's Sankulpa instead.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras