“Your life is as it is. How you feel about your life is up to you.” ~Judith Lasater from “Living Your Yoga”
A few weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity to lead a workshop with Christine Dowling (a therapist in town). She and I taught how you can use the breath and training the mind to find courage to move forward on your journey. One tool she shared can benefit anyone- labeling your thoughts.
Christine shared that often our thoughts become our reality. (Sounds very Yogi and Buddhist right?) One way we can keep this from happening is to label these thoughts. An example would be if you think, “I am fat and need to lose ten pounds.” If you were to label this you would say to yourself, “I am having the thought that I am fat. I am having the thought that I should lose ten pounds.” Now your thought doesn’t become your reality, just by switching the way you talk to yourself. Another example, “I am completely overwhelmed. I am not sure how much I can take.” Re-label this thought and turn it into, “I have the feeling that I am overwhelmed.” Try it and notice the shift that occurs within you.
I have been working with this notion since I first read it in Jack Kornfield’s book “A Path with Heart.” He says to label your thoughts and let them go. They are just part of the experience. This simple tool has helped me shift my view of myself and has helped me release my inner critic and experience life in a whole new way. Instead of hearing, “That class was not good. People didn’t like it.” I was finally able to say, “I am having a negative thought about my teaching. I know that isn’t reality.” The next time you tell yourself your life / friendship / job isn’t good enough; remember, it is what it is, but how you think about it is up to you.
Try this over the next week. I would love to know if it helps you along your path.