Bad thoughts like a party and they are always the last to leave. Bad thoughts are rude and uninvited and seem to not care about what you or anyone else think. You have one bad thought and then another and then another until you have a a whole ball and chain set for your ankle.
My bad thoughts tend to come when I have a reaction to something. For instance I could be happily doing yoga and then the teacher will say something that will set me off. It could be something harmless like glide into plank. PLANK, Danger Will Robinson, lights start flashing and I’m off. Plank pose, bloody plank, it’s not even a yoga pose, I hate plank pose, why the hell are they doing plank now? Haven’t we done enough PLANK. If I hear that word one more time I’m leaving. Then it gets worse, high to low plank, high plank, low plank.
We can have reactions to anything. Have you ever heard someone say ‘ don’t start me….’ This is a verbal cue that the speaker has entered into a reactive blind spot. They know that if they get started they won’t be able to stop. All those bad thoughts that have been in suffocation will vomit out of them like an alien.
Here is what I have learnt about thoughts through yoga practice.
A bad thought will always follow a bad thought. So to break this you must think of a good thought. eg ‘plank is a really good way to help my core strengthen.’
Most of the pain in life is caused by words, so is all the joy. Each of these words has an attendant emotion. Choose your words, choose your emotions.
We have our own set of mantras , I”m useless, lazy, no good’ that we love and cling on to. Replace your internal dialogue with something more useful.
Practice for today: Strip away the power of your words both internal and external by finding some silence. Don’t react with more words to what someone says to you. Stop talking a while both inside and out and see how silence can liberate you from reaction and negative thinking. Become the silent witness.