It had been exactly 3 months and 9 days since I had returned to society – full-time, after living in an Ashram for 8 months.
It was challenging and needless to say, I was not very kind or patient with myself in taking the time I needed to re-adapt, get used to the fast pace around me, the impatience experienced by others, all while trying to stay in the new “zen mode” I had found so I would not get carried away and let my mind and societal pressures take over.
I started feeling the cloud of despair taking over and, in these moments, I could not believe that I was going to let my mind take over!
I had returned to mainstream society a different person, with tools and methods to keep my head above water, way above water; but, I still felt like I was drowning.
In these moments, when we feel we are drowning, we always have a choice, and in my case, I knew that I could either allow myself to drown, or, I could apply the tools I had learned to start kicking and dog paddling myself back up to the surface.
In life, we often allow ourselves to get carried away by our thoughts. A repetition of thoughts that often sound like a mantra: I should; I can’t; I’m too fat; I’m too old; It’s too late; People will laugh at me; They will judge me; I don’t have enough money; It could never happen … an endless stream of thoughts that pull us down instead of empowering and uplifting us!
When I work with clients, I often remind them of the importance of reframing their thoughts, in other words, to create a new perspective to help them see their situation differently and in a more supportive manner.
When you take the time to shift your mindset, you open your mind up, you use your imagination to create new possibilities. This approach allows you to realize that nothing is impossible.
Why am I sharing this information so confidently? Because I have applied these techniques and been blessed with the positive outcomes!
By thinking new thoughts that are more supportive and positive (ex., affirmations), we can slowly start to shift what we believe, and as a result what we experience in our life.
For example, if we think we are too old to do something, our body will start to present symptoms of old age.
If we believe we can’t get something done, then how will we ever get it done?
One of my best examples around how I was a prisoner of my thoughts is my experience getting into the Sirsana pose (the headstand in yoga).
In my yoga practice, we teach the headstand.
When I was completing my 200 hours teacher training course, my goal was to get into the headstand because I wanted to have the option to demonstrate the pose when I would start teaching (this is not a requirement, but it was my goal). The whole yoga training course is a one month intensive process where we practice yoga 4 hours a day.
Initially, I was very aware of the fear I had of getting up on my head. It was scary, it meant a certain loss of control of being used to standing on my two feet, and I was definitely afraid to fall and injure myself.
For weeks, I kept on getting up and falling (the best way to fall is to allow yourself to roll into a somersault). I would get up, and fall, get up and fall. After a while, it just got frustrating, so I finally asked for help. I requested some spotting (support). However, just like everyday decisions in life, and in the coaching and counselling process, even with support and guidance, we are truly the only ones who can take the required steps and necessary actions to reach our goals and succeed.
Therefore, as I still lacked the confidence to stay up with my feet reaching for the sky, I started paying attention to my thoughts.
What was I thinking this whole time? “I AM GOING TO FALL” – and that is exactly what would happen every single time.
I graduated from my course without getting into the headstand alone, but I did promise myself that I would continue practicing until I overcame my fear.
It required me to embrace patience.
Our mind is often in a whirlwind of emotions that leads to impatience.
We live in a society where everyone is RUSHING. We believe that fast means effective – even though we know that “slow and steady wins the race.”
So, I took my time with my goal in mind. Every morning, I would practice getting up in the headstand. I would practice the 8 steps technique I learned to get into the pose. I was able to find balance in step 6 (knees to chest) – so I would stay there for as long as I could. When I became really comfortable and built up my strength, I added step 7 (knees up to the sky) to my practice. And, again, I would practice these steps until I found my balance, strength, and courage to take the next step: bring my feet towards the sky, confident that I would be able to keep myself up.
Then I would repeat to myself – “I am there for you, I’ve got you.” – It might seem silly, but these supportive thoughts kept me up. And, today, one year later, I am confidently reaching my toes towards the sky.
And, this is how I support my clients in reaching their unique dreams and goals.
One baby step at a time.
Take one step outside your comfort zone, build up your courage, and then confidently take the next step.
Check your thoughts. Are they supporting you in moving forward and reaching your goals?
As you work to build your positive, supportive thoughts, and become aware of my your self-talk; you will see how easily you can make positive changes in your life, and free myself from unhelpful thoughts and beliefs.