Lately it feels to me like this world is beginning to crumble a little. Fear, lack, stress, ego and terror have intertwined into our everyday lives and created a messy tangle between our love, desire and our fear.
It’s hard to know where to start in trying to unravel the nasty mess, especially when so much of it is blasted at us through news updates, headlines and viral social media posts, illness, work pressures and stressful relationships. When we are rarely able disconnect with the bad news stories it can become challenging to see the positive in life and our fear is allowed to snowball and cloud our vision of the world.
So I have a question for you, how do you want to feel each day?
Fearful, lacking and insecure? no, me either… Light, joyful, happy, peaceful, vibrant and alive? HELL YEAH!!
The thing about fear is, it blocks us from feeling the good and keeps us stuck in a gloomy mindset. That shit can be heavy! It can be near impossible to feel light and alive our minds are filled with fear, insecurity and lack. We we focus on, we attract. So we need to focus on the good stuff and let go of the bad.
What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create. – Buddha
After exploring the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, I became inspired to look for a personal solution to the doomy gloomy outlook that I sometimes have of the world. When you consider that our thoughts become our reality, it becomes pretty important to clean up our mind chatter and become more mindful of the things we think and say.
Ahimsa, known as non-harming or non-violence relates to not only physical violence but also violence in our words and thoughts. What we think about ourselves and others can be just as powerful as our actions. What we think are harmless thoughts can so easily spill out as hurtful words and actions which can be devastating to those involved.
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali Chapter 2: 30-34 – Translation by Chip Hartranft.
The five external disciplines are not harming, truthfulness, not stealing, celibacy, and to being acquisitive.
These universals, transcending birth, place, era or circumstance, constitute the great vow of yoga.
The five internal disciplines are bodily purification, contentment, intense discipline, self-study, and dedication to the ideal of yoga
Unwholesome thoughts can be neutralized by cultivating wholesome ones.
We ourselves may act upon unwholesome thoughts, such as wanting to harm someone, or we may cause or condone them in others; unwholesome thoughts may arise from greed, anger, or delusion; they may be mild, moderate, or extreme; but they never cease to ripen into ignorance and suffering. This is why one must cultivate wholesome thoughts.
This section of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teaches us about cultivating wholesome thoughts, so that we may not bring about suffering to ourselves or others.
Take responsibility for your own words and thoughts, for what you think, you attract. Cultivating unwholesome thoughts can only attract suffering and amplify fear. Focusing on the good things will attract more of them into your life.
In practicing Ahimsa we must practice being more mindful of our thoughts and words. It is possible to change our default setting with daily (constant) practice.
I am not saying that you can just switch off that part of your nature that enjoys a bit of gossip or leans towards grumpiness, frustration and irritation and magically see sunshine and flowers all the time. In fact since I began writing this post I have begun to realise just how often I do slip into unwholesome thoughts about myself and others. I also pull faces and roll my eyes allot… but I’m working on it, that’s why it’s called practice – because you need to keep doing it to for it to become easier.
All Minds are joined.
Whatever thoughts we hold towards others, we are holding about ourselves as well – Marianne Williamson
Another question for you…
Have you ever sent a nasty text or an email about someone, to them by mistake? Or perhaps been caught out or overheard gossiping? How shitty did that make you feel? How shitty do you think it made that person feel? Was it worth it?
Gossip is addictive. I know for me, it used to make me feel included if I could share in a gossip session about someone else. I used to be the gossip queen! I loved how it made me feel included and sometimes superior, like it created a commonality between myself and the other gossipers that let my ego believe I was cool and fun. It was a way of building my self-esteem – by pulling others down and casting judgement. It was easier to throw shadows on other people than to shine my own light. Focusing on the negative plants seeds of negativity within us. So by engaging in this gossip I was actually fueling my own insecurities and it felt really sucky.
All communication begins with intention. Be intentional. Better yet, be intentionally kind. Or just be quiet – Danielle LaPorte
I want to encourage you to take note of your thoughts, about yourself and about others. Take note of the things you say about others and why you feel the need to say (or think) them.
Be mindful of your thoughts but, here’s the tricky part – if and when you think a bitchy thought, don’t judge yourself for it. There is zero value in scolding yourself – hellooo, non-violence is the aim here! Calling yourself a bitch for thinking someone else is a bitch seems kind of silly now doesn’t it… Instead, see if you can take note of the thought and consider what the root of that is for you.
Perhaps your mind is screaming that someone is a fat bitch. Get curious – ask yourself why that person has become the target of your minds wrath. I’m willing to bet that the “offender’s” weight has nothing to do with why you are targeting them… more likely your attack has to do with your own issues and frustrations and our human nature to lash out.
Now see if you can find a different perspective, something with a little more love. Can you see the situation in a different light? Look for a way to respond with love and compassion – you know, the kind of response that helps you feel joyful, alive and vibrant!
If the above doesn’t do it for you, don’t freak out! I have a couple of quick tricks for you to help reboot your mood and help you think more loving thoughts:
- List 5 things you are grateful for. This will instantly shift you into a mindset of abundance and will help you experience more of the good stuff!
- Look up at the sky. Not only is it fucking magical, its perfect for helping you to become present and for taking your mind off whatever was making you think crappy thoughts.
- Yoga! Movement, breath and focus will help put things in perspective and get you out of your head
- Meditate. Stop. Re-calibrate. I am a huge fan of a quick toilet meditation or sneaky breathing practice to help slow down the swirl of mind chatter.
I am making a commitment to myself to practice Ahimsa in my thoughts, perhaps you would like to as well? As a little reminder to myself I am setting an intention with a blessing:
“May I show loving kindness towards myself and others”
I hope this helps you too to bring a bit more light, joy, peace and balance into your day.
Id absolutely love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.