As is often the case, today’s blog post was inspired by a conversation with a friend. Ironically, we were discussing the topic of yesterday’s post, ‘Refilling your patience carafe.’ We were talking about keeping our cool when despite our best efforts to maintain a peaceful attitude, life still comes at you.
He told me about a recent incident he had when he was in the car with his kids, and found himself to be the object of someone’s road rage. At first he was able to rise above, but the other driver had long gone ’round the bend’ (pun intended), and soon he found himself feeling taken over by the same frustration. He was able to stay out of the chaos, because he was concerned most with his children’s safety, but was still seething long after he’d gotten of the road.
How often do we relinquish control of our happiness or unhappiness to someone else? When we allow someone else to control us, we’re really just giving ourselves over to ego, to the monkey mind. “How dare he do that to me?” “Who does she think she is?” “I’m never going to pass that test.” “Where am I going to find the money for that?”
When we replay conversations or situations that didn’t sit right with us over and over, it’s like we’re stepping on a thought accelerator. And once you find yourself in this obsessive ’round about’ it’s hard to see the exit. How often are we really just mind racing ourselves?
I found myself in a sort of ‘thought loop’ the other day, and decided to take an online class with Marc Holzman targeted at grounding yourself after a hectic day.
The poses were delicious, of course, but it was a quote he kept repeating that really helped me to let go. The saying had been passed to his teacher from the Maharashi, and then passed down to him
“Oh my mind, be kind to me.”
Sometimes something as simple as an inspiring quote can unlock a new door. I love this quote, and will definitely incorporate it often into my practice and my teaching.
How else can we find our way out of the roundabout? Be aware of your physical and emotional reaction without trying to change it. Awareness is distance from attachment. And give your mind something to do like focus on your breath.
The breath tells us a lot about the mind. If your breath is wobbly, labored or short, so goes your mental state. You can begin to let your mind off of the gas pedal and cruise by witnessing your own breath.
May your mind be kind to you, and your breath help you shift into neutral.
– Your Charmed Yogi
(Photo: Recycledartco / Etsy)
- A mind full of free kittens
- The simplicity of mindfulness
- The meditative puppy mind
- Just breathe – even if it isn’t easy