5 steps to quiet your mind and return to your TRUE self.
The light of the moon tends to shine into my bedroom through my bamboo shades quite often. The moonlight can bother me occasionally, I stir, rustle, and move about to try to settle into sleep again. Do you ever notice that your mind can challenge you in the deep dark night?
I hear this all the time. Things always seem worse in the middle of the night.
Once mine starts, it is hard for me to rein her in.
My mind chatter, like most of us, can be my biggest source of stress, my biggest obstacle and my biggest teacher.
In these common human moments where our minds and our internal dialogue can get the best of us, it is helpful to have some strategies to anchor inward and “turn it around”. Knowing how to reign in the mind is a game changer.
Your thoughts influence the quality of your inner world, and the nature of your outer world. Our internal dialogue can be a positive force, guiding us into our power, our presence and tending to bring about positive results in the moment and in our future. Our internal dialogue also has the ability to be negative, critical, and even ugly, often leading to strengthening negative attitudes and behaviors.
The path of the yogi(ni) is stock full of practices, tools, postures, sutras, kriyas, and meditations that all have the possibility of quieting the mind. You would think with all of these in our back pocket we would be able to rein in the negative internal dialogue and turn it around no problem.
The truth is, the mind is a tricky part of our psyche, and holding to our truest power with our mind takes a lot of practice.
Be sure to check out these 5 steps to try to ease your mind (and the rest of you) so you can live in your most authentic self with grace and ease.
Watch and Witness
Becoming the witness in our own lives is the first step to recognizing both what quality of thought we experience, and where we can begin to upgrade. The pause, as Valerie DiAmbrosio mentions in her article in this months issue of SYJ, is a very powerful place with which to familiarize ourselves.
The more we can create space between our original thought, and our next action, the more intentional and aware we can be of what thought pattern to enforce or let go, and which action we wish to take next.
*Try to practicing the pause. Witness, watch, and listen.
Breathing is often thought of as the vehicle into the subtle body in the yoga practice. Slowing down the breath will automatically slow down your brain waves and give you more time to improve your internal dialogue and make your thoughts more intentional.
The ancient yogis believed that if you can regulate your breath, you can regulate your mind.
* Try some pranayama, or specifically alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana) to practice slowing down your thoughts.
Remember you are NOT your thoughts
Once you pause and slow down, you will begin to notice the quality of your thoughts. Often when we get swooped into a familiar or habitual thought patterns and we don’t realize we have a choice.
Some of our most common thoughts may be judgmental, critical, and can very easily sneak up on us. These thoughts may bring us down, leave us feeling unlovable, not good enough or even inadequate.
*Try asking the question “Is this really TRUE?” The thoughts we believe are optional.
“Don’t believe everything you think”
Believe in Miracles
A Course in Miracles, defines a miracle as the shift from FEAR to LOVE. Here is a place where we have the power to shift our thinking, our internal dialogue and our habitual thoughts moment by moment.
The real miracle is the love that inspires the new thought. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.
*Next time you notice having a fear based thought, try replacing it with love. Believe in miracles.
“Through prayer, love is received,
and through miracles love is expressed.”
Create a Positive Mantra
A mantra, or an affirmation, is one way to practice changing fearful thoughts, self-sabotaging thoughts, or plain old icky thoughts into LOVE. Mantra has been used in many spiritual traditions to begin to condition and sculpt the mind chatter into a positive supportive instrument.
The best mantra to practice is one that will take your most common negative or fear based thought and turn it into love. Keep it in the positive, keep it simple, and keep it relevant.
*Try pulling out your smart phone and set the timer for mantra moments. I would suggest every hour to start. Whenever you hear the chime, say your MANTRA.
*Write your MANTRA on a post-it note and put it on your computer, your desk your bathroom mirror or somewhere you will be seeing it often.
*Place your MANTRA in your sacred space, on your alter, or somewhere close, so when you practice each day you will have it there to bring into your meditation