NotSoZen YogaJen

Posts Tagged ‘thoughts

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about how you can have a negative thought about yourself and then feel bad/wrong about having that thought, and that makes your initial thought so much worse/more painful.  A few days ago, I went to a lecture that Kamini Desai gave at Yoga to the People about a type of meditation called Yoga Nidra.  She talked about this exact thing and how if you are thinking a thought, and then you fight the thought and try to force yourself to have another different, possibly better or more positive thought, then you are having double thoughts, which creates even more internal conflict (!).  So the idea is not to fight your thoughts, but to get to place where you can disidentify with them.  She compared this state to listening to a TV that is in another room and hearing it off in the distance without actively engaging in what you are hearing, or those moments right before you fall asleep when you are aware that your thoughts are floating by but you just let them go without grasping on to them, as you drift peacefully off to sleep…

This made me think about how, even if you have the best of intentions, you can sometimes use self-help, positive thinking, and affirmations against yourself to cause more internal conflict.  Five years ago I started taking self-help classes, and the teacher said that your thoughts create your reality, and to look around at your life and circumstances to see what you’ve been thinking.  So I looked around.  And this was my thought, “I’m broke.  I’m single.  My job is unfulfilling.  Huh.  Not really crazy about these circumstances.”  And then this was my thought about that thought, “I created this?  What the f*ck is wrong with me?  Is this all I believe I deserve?!” And THEN, this was my thought about the thought about the thought, “Stop being so negative!  Stop dwelling on what you don’t have!  Think about the positive and what you want or else you’re just going to create more of the same shitty circumstances!”

Ugh!  Internal conflict is exhausting. Whenever you judge or criticize your thoughts as wrong, it adds another layer of agitation.  But if you do that, don’t then beat yourself up for doing it because that adds a third thought layer, and triple-decker mental agitation is hard to calm down from!

Detaching from your thoughts is totally easy to say and totally hard to do.  But one layer of thoughts is enough to deal with as it is!  So it’s good to practice, in whatever way you can, watching your thoughts go by like a far-off TV playing a show that you’re not really all that interested in, instead of jumping in and clutching on for dear life as they speed into a downward spiral of thoughts upon thoughts upon thoughts upon thoughts upon thoughts, and take you down with them.  When you see a thought coming on, and then another one layering on top of that one, and sense that a violent internal wrestling match is about to ensure, choose to practice non-violence instead.  Just put your hands in the air, and STEP AWAY FROM THE THOUGHTS.

What are your thoughts about your thoughts?

Namaste!

YogaJen