Today I listened to a talk offered by a prominent psychologist and meditation teacher. In the talk particular advice was offered about how one should tend to one's thoughts, particularly the challenging ones. This teacher's advice was that we should tell ourselves "not to trust our thoughts".
This advice didn't sit well with me. Now, I'm not saying we should take all our thoughts at face value. But to walk around telling yourself all day, however compassionate the tone might be, "don't believe this thought", "don't believe that thought" seems like placing you in conflict with yourself. The painful, troublesome thoughts, in fact, offer us an opportunity to go deeper within and explore what needs aren't being met.
For example, each month around my moon-time I get particularly cranky with my husband (poor guy!). Often the deepest unmet need behind the crankiness is not some flaw in my beloved, but the need within me to retreat and rest and look after myself. If I walked around telling myself "this thought isn't real" the part of me that needs attention, the part of me offering these irritated physical sensations and thoughts of frustration at my husband, might feel shamed, belittled and abandoned.
Instead, I dig into the irritated physical sensations and angry thought patterns. What is underneath all this? How can I take care of myself and tend to my needs?
I use the rest of the advice offered by the prominent teacher, which makes sense and seems a compassionate and loving response to internal suffering - come into the present moment, attend to your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions. And step into loving awareness, either from within or received from the Universe.
If you would like some time and support to step more fully into being on your own side, then my online Yoga for Resilience may be just what you're looking for.
Yoga for Resilience is designed to relieve stress and increase well-being. Specifically designed for folks suffering with stress, anxiety, depression or trauma, the program combines both trauma sensitive meditation and subtle yoga poses. It incorporates yoga movement and restorative yoga postures, gentle forms of exercise and relaxation soothing to both mind and body.
Yoga for Resilience starts online Tuesday, 25 August at 10:00am (Sydney time). The classes will run for six weeks and you can either attend online or if the time doesn't suit, watch the recordings. The investment is $75AUD and it includes weekly live classes, class and meditation recordings and emails packed with resources to explore the work further.
Even if you have completed an online or in-person series with me before, each round includes new insights and learnings.
Thank you to AndiP from Pixabay for the image.