I’m thinking too much. I’m thinking right now actually. I’d like it to stop but it won’t. The best I can do right now is channel my energy in writing a blog about thinking and hope that I find respite from that voice in my head.
We can all relate to the small self, the ego, the voice that is sometimes with you and sometimes not. In Yoga Philosophy, it is ahamkāra, in modern day speak it is your subconscious. Let’s call it the ego. It is the voice that tells you if you are happy or sad, hungry or thirsty, challenged or bored, tired or energetic, in love or not. There are times in the day when the ego is with you, and there are times when it leaves you alone. When your Yoga Teacher tells you to ‘be present,’ it means you need to transcend the ego.
In an ideal world, we would all be far more present than we actually are. We are faced with distractions and stimuli that set the ego off on a tangent in an instant. So much so, the ego is with us far more than it needs to be. We do not need to think all the time. We need to live in the present moment. Enjoy where we are, what we are doing and who we are with. But we don’t. We are too busy thinking about the past and the future, the big things and little things, what makes us happy and what makes us sad.
The consequence of this is that we then believe that we are our thoughts. If one experiences success, one thinks themselves as successful. If one experiences sadness, one deems themselves as a sad person. A break-up can lead to a ‘pity party.’ This is a misconception and a product of existing in your subconscious with your ego. On a bad day, you do not want to be there!!!
I seem to be thinking all the time. I’m thinking about next summer, next year, my career, new curriculum, yoga, yoga venues, my finances, my relationship status, my family, my friends, handstands, surf, good things, bad things……just always thinking. And there are times when I feel positive about my thoughts and times when I really don’t.
Recently, someone really hurt me. The ego went bonkers. For weeks, the ego bothered my about how I was feeling. It bothered me at a time when I would have really appreciated being left alone to concentrate on stuff that mattered. My ego pestered me every morning when I woke up, every minute when I was by myself and every night when I was trying to sleep. My ego hated him for upsetting me, my ego wanted to phone him and give hell, my ego was frustrated that he’d made a mess. A second ego, hated this ego and wanted to let go of the negativity. My emotional ego just misses him and is waiting for him to sort his shit out. My most rational ego knows that my true self doesn’t want any of this, my true self wants inner peace and to stop thinking about it, what will be will be.
We are not our thoughts. Our thoughts are the most superficial level of what happens upstairs in the ‘brain department.’ We are more than this. In recent weeks, my ego revelled in the emotion of being hurt. My ego took over and so it was easy to think that I was my ego, I was that voice of doom in my head, a victim in the complications of compromise. But that is not me.
The true definition of yoga is to transcend the ego. The ultimate aim is to exist beyond the subconscious. Sometimes, we need that voice to guide us in the right direction. We need to develop an awareness of knowing when the ego is behaving rationally or emotionally. Our aim should be to live consciously rather than within the subconscious. To be fair, my ego knew that it needed to take steps to get away from the negativity of it all. I’m definitely working in it. Well, I think I am.
An addiction is something that you do beyond your control that you would like to stop. It is just like smoking or drinking wine every night after work. That’s how I feel about thinking right now. I feel like it is an addiction, a vice. It’s too much and I want to stop. I could write at length about the strategies that I am using right now. But they are text book strategies and nothing new or revolutionary. My ego definitely knows better than to bother me when I am on my yoga mat which can only be a positive thing. And I can say this: in writing this blog, I didn’t think once, I was existing consciously and the ego was at rest. Job done, for now anyway.
I hope this resonates and I am not alone here!! Comments welcome.
I’d highly recommend this article by Ekhart Tolle:
Upcoming dates for 2019
5th January: 200 hrs YTTC in Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga Yoga, Nicaragua
3rd February: 300 hrs YTTC in Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga Yoga and Yin, Goa
5th March: 300 hrs YTTC in Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga Yoga and Yin, Goa
4th April: 300 hrs YTTC in Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga Yoga and Yin, Goa
8th June: 200 hrs YTTC in Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga Yoga, Nicaragua
November: 200 hrs YTTC in Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga Yoga, Nicaragua