Episode 013 The Power of your Thoughts
The Power of your Thoughts
As an october challenge and a reconnection to the philosophy of my yoga practice I began to re-read the Yoga Sutras. The yoga sutras are 196 short verses that break down the study and practice of yoga.
I challenged myself to one yoga sutra per day to be read at night right before I fall asleep. I do so many mindful practices in the morning already so I thought this would be a great addition to my night time rituals which is very minimal.
I was reading sutra number 2 which says:
The restraint of the modifications of the mind is yoga
I was intrigued at this point but wanted to know a little more about how the mind and thoughts work AND how we can practice controlling them.
As I see it the thoughts in our head are our stories, and those stories control everything else in our lives.
Brooke Castillo (Owner of The Life Coach School) says that we are responsible for our own thoughts and those thoughts control our feelings, actions, and results.
I have shared this idea on the podcast and wanted to dive deeper this week.
Let's take an example to explain what I mean:
It's a beautiful, clear, sunny day. It's 80, low humidity. Those are the facts.
One person wakes up and thinks "It's a beautiful day outside. I can't wait to enjoy the day." As a result that person feels positive or even happy about the day and spends most of the day outside
Same day. Same temp outside. This person says "ugh the sun is too bright. It gives me a headache." As a result this person closes the drapes, pulls the covers over their head and goes to sleep. They feel overwhelmed and spend zero time outside.
This example explain how your thoughts shape your reality. It's not the sun, or the temperature. Those were the same for both people. The sun is neutral, it will always be the sun and it will always do it's sun thing. It was the person's thought about the sun that shaped how they thought, felt, and acted.
The Yoga Sutras say: "The entire outside world is based on your thoughts and mental attitude. The entire world is your projection."
WAIT. HOLD THE PHONE. MIND BLOWN
If we take this as true, and I do, then we know we have the power to create the way we see the world.
I think that idea is equally powerful and overwhelming
We as individuals have the opportunity to shape our reality every single day.
Isn't is possible to create the life you love based upon your thoughts? The answer is Yes. Yes you can create the life you love.
Now let's deal with the practicality of it all...
Can you control everything? No. We learned that in last weeks episode in the art of letting go.
But we do have the capacity to choose how we think, feel, and act about each and every moment.
Your mom leaves you a passive/aggressive voicemail about how she never hears from you. You could...say a few choice words, roll your eyes, OR take a moment to realize that you are far away and she just wants to know how you are doing in NYC.
That's the power! That's how this all works!!
Later the sutras say: "If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated." Either way you chose to think, you are right. It's all in your thoughts. You can fill your day up with stressful, negative, I can't even, I'm too tired thoughts or you can fill your head with gratitude, patience, and understanding.
You chose. You get to chose each day. What a privilege!
And in case you needed further convincing, stress lowers your ability to stay healthy. It puts your body into a more acidic state and that is where the common cold, the flu, and other nasty sicknesses live.
When my sister get stressed out and has a ton of negative thoughts going on she get's a sore throat. Or maybe you have experienced a migraine when you are super stressed about something. All of the mental negativity takes a toll on the physical body too.
So what do I wan't you to do?
- Everyday chose to create the reality you want to see. Don't let the thoughts take the driver's seat. You are in control.
- Pick one event per day and change your thoughts about it. It can be work, an audition, walking in times square, standing in line at starbucks, training a new employee. The options are endless and the opportunity is always there to change your thoughts.
Get to it.
Create the live you love!