mulling things over, self-talk

Practicing to practice

I was irked with myself today, because I didn’t practice (apart from the non-practice practice of uttanasana on the kitchen counter).  I told my sister I thought I should be practicing daily to get ready for YoMo.  She laughed at me.  “It’s YoMo that’s supposed to jump start your daily practice.  You don’t need to practice for it.”

She’s right.  I suppose if I didn’t do yoga several times a week it would be a good idea to get in the habit before YoMo, but maybe not even that.  Sometimes I’m too hard on myself.

Another of my sisters encountered this great thing in a book by Sylvia Boorstin:

“I continue to suffer, tumbling around in stories of discontent, until I catch myself, and stop, and allow myself to know, and deeply feel, that I am frightened or confused or disappointed or angry or tired or ashamed or sad–that “I’m in pain!” Then my own good heart, out of compassion, takes care of me. It all happens when I am able to say to myself (I honestly do use these words), “Sweetheart, you are in pain. Relax. Take a breath. Let’s pay attention to what is happening. Then we’ll figure out what to do.”
>From Happiness is an inside job: Practicing for a joyful life, by Sylvia Boorstein, p. 9-10.

She goes on to say that in these rescue phrases she is giving herself three instructions:
Take a breath.
Pay attention to what is happening.

It’s important that she calls herself “sweetheart” in this instruction: “‘Sweetheart’ reminds me that it isn’t my fault that my mind is embittered, that something has upset it, that I’m in pain. Even if I see that the source of my suffering is my own mind’s refusing to accommodate to its challenge, I can still feel compassionate about that. No one purposely suffers.” (p. 12)

It helps to remember this.

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