I heard a phrase today that made me chuckle, "The mind eats psychology for breakfast." At this moment it's not important who said it. What's important is this may also mean that the mind eats all our attempts at organizing and modeling our behavior for breakfast. The mind is sophisticated, yet singular--avoid death (death of the ego), keep status quo.
The mind also eats self-help, personal development, and platitudes for breakfast.
There are so many modalities, behavior modifications, and practices that people endure in hopes of reaching that elusive place where we finally love and accept ourselves . . . and along the way we secretly we hope it makes our lives easier by way of earning the approval of others.
Even when we turn off our consumption of information, advice and entertainment, we are left with the mind. When it gets intolerable, we try to reel it in. We might even reach for affirmations. We are addicted to fixing, searching, and consuming.
So, how do we resolve this without fixing it? The mind will only allow so much. Even the part of you that wants to "fix" you will only allow for the parts deemed unwanted to be fixed. It will not allow the mirror to be turned on the part that is rejecting and fixing.
Enter yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation. Does it matter which one you do if your goal is to discover the truth of your being? Maybe not. What all these activities can create is a SPACE in which to observe, listen, and receive. I don't think it really matters which modality you do. Of course, some could argue that with the asana-based yoga you get flexibility and strength of the body as well--which is true. But why choose only one?
In our day-to-day life this space isn't readily available because we are reacting to circumstances and our environment. Simplifying one's life can cut down on some of these derailing factors, but no one can cut them out completely because wherever we go, there we are. We easily create our own kind of chaotic, shit show--even on deserted island.
A contemplative life includes the activities that bring us back to our center where we can receive. We get to receive peace, love, freedom, truth, and beauty. This is the well of our own being. It feeds us and once we visit regularly we find hard to understand why we denied ourselves in the first place. But going down the path of regrets and "should haves" is more ammunition for the mind.
I say all this as an invitation to find the thing for you that cultivates the SPACE you need to receive. It's okay to be fierce in pursuit of this space because for many of us it feels like our life depends on it. We can accept no less.
I write about wellness, spirituality, psychology, and metaphysics so others have a home to explore these topics.