Oh my mind,
why so sour today?
You’d be sour, too,
if you were expected
to figure this mess out.
You don’t have to figure this out.
Who told you that you did?
Well, you aren’t figuring it out yourself,
and someone has to do it.
Oh, sweetheart, just breathe and rest.
There isn’t anything to be figured out.
Just breathe and rest.
This afternoon I was really wallowing
(Hey, at least I can see it.)
I was feeling sorry for myself,
lonely, listless, lethargic, worthless,
abandoned, powerless, broken.
And it finally struck me…
If this is my rock bottom,
then I’m doing pretty well.
I’m safe, warm and dry in a home
(even if it’s going into foreclosure
and I have no idea how much longer
I’ll be here).
I have plenty of food available,
electricity, running water, a car that works.
I love my work as a yoga teacher
(even if I am not currently being paid enough
to support myself and my two children).
I have so many books chock full of information
right at my fingertips; I can read and learn.
I can write.
I can reach out to a friend
(even if Depression lies to me
and tells me that no one cares).
And I realized that this is all about focus.
Which thoughts am I focusing on and believing?
And can I focus on thoughts that will help?
I can try to shift my mind
(even if I have tried and tried a million times
and I keep ending up back here).
I can put one foot in front of the other.
I can breathe.
(even if I doubt this will ever change).
Clearly, I need to focus on facts
and ignore the parenthetical nonsense
(even if it seems impossible in this moment).
I see how you are hurting,
and I know how hard it is for you right now.
How can I help?
What do you need?
Could you make me a cup of tea?
Could you put your arm around my shoulders?
Could you listen without interruption or judgment?
Ah, better yet,
just leave me alone.
I just need some sleep.
Put me to bed.
For those of you
who live at the mercy
of your inner critic–
Have you ever stopped
to take a good look
at the things you say to yourself
and the thoughts you believe?
Would you ever permit yourself
to say such things to someone else?
What if, before accepting as true
one of those largely unconscious
you asked yourself,
Would I say that to someone I love?
Would I say that to my child?
My beloved pet?
If the answer is No
why, dear one,
why would you ever say such a thing to yourself?
Let’s clean up our self-talk.
Let’s be more kind
to the self who waits for our awakening.
I listened to a student express frustration today.
He said he hadn’t improved in his yoga practice
as much as he should’ve since he began
two and a half years ago.
Who decides what adequate improvement is?
Who tells us whether or not we are good enough?
What are the stories we tell ourselves
to keep us from becoming lovers with this moment?
If we could drop our stories for just a second,
we might behold our own magnificence
and experience the ecstasy of being
Now imagine what would happen
if we could drop our stories for two seconds.