A lot of people forget about themselves in the chaos that is life. The U.S. is relatively well-known for its fast-paced, future-forward lifestyle. We don’t chill out when we eat meals, even when we go out, we’re always rushing and always on the move.
It’s tough to break away from that lifestyle and focus on yourself, especially when almost everywhere you look there are messages telling you to be someone else.
My problem isn’t necessarily the society I live in, although the way the world works can be a nuisance my biggest issue is actually myself. I’m my all-time biggest critic by far!
If you’ve somewhat followed my haphazard blog you may know that I have a lot of random and unusual health issues, if you have not then now you know! 😛
In short, I tend to get sick fairly regularly and when I do get sick my body goes into this weird sort of hyperactive flurry of activity. My doctor compared my digestive/immune system’s reaction to unknown elements as follows:
“When a foreign body enters the digestive/immune system the body goes into fighting mode, sending out little guys to take care of the enemy. Your body decides to basically riot in the streets.”
Unfortunately, the past several days I’ve basically been out for the count as my body starts to get itself back in order. I’m taking probiotics and I altered my diet due to recent test results – I’m definitely on the mend!!
BUT I am still overly critical of myself, especially in regards to blogging regularly and things of that nature. I inherently feel REALLY bad about not being as consistent.
As I have begun attending yoga teacher training courses our class has focused on being mindful wherever we are. This week we’re focusing on “judgment” — which in a nutshell means paying attention to when the mind starts judging itself/you. This could not have come at a better time for me, clearly!
So much of our day can so easily be used up thinking foolish things and all too often thinking negatively, especially about one’s self. That’s why it’s important to slow down, listen to what your mind is saying, and kind of watch the thoughts go by and let them go if possible. The point of being mindful isn’t to stop thinking, it’s to recognize/acknowledge your thoughts and the understanding in a way why you’re thinking about such things.
This past week I found myself in this horrible negative thought loop. Much of the problem was due to the fact that my work contract was screwed up and in turn that made me none too happy because it wasn’t the first time that had happened. Deep down, though, it seemed like no one really gave a damn about me.
I started ruminating, thinking about the past, worry about the future, criticizing myself, talking/commentating to myself, and the loop continued on and on. I got so stuck in my mind at one point that I had absolutely no idea what had transpired in the lecture I was in, I had no clue how much time had passed, and as I realized what was going on I also panicked and thought I had stopped breathing. It was kind of crazy – and it didn’t help that my health was poor on top of all that!
And that’s when the yoga rationale kicked in and I took several long, deep breaths.
INHALE. EXHALE. INHALE. EXHALE. (REPEAT FOR AS LONG AS NEEDED).
And after that, things didn’t seem so bad. I was able to realize my thoughts were fairly crazed and that my situation was not something I could personally do anything about. Fortunately, within a day or so after that experience everything sorted itself out!
It was really important for me to recognize what was going on inside me, what my thoughts were and what I needed. All too often we do things because we feel some sort of obligation, and that obligation can be something we created within ourselves that pressures us!
So what if you haven’t blogged as much as you wanted to? So what if you had to bail on a friend because you weren’t feeling the greatest? So what if you’re tired and you have to go to bed at 7pm? So what? Because as long as at the end of the day you’re happy with yourself, that’s what matters.
Go forward, try not to be overly critical of yourself and remember to breathe! 🙂