This morning, running late for my class after waking up later than planned, then finding time for yoga practice but not leaving time for getting myself and little one ready.. i found myself snapping at my little girl as she pulled the biscuit packets out of my class supplies and wandered off with them! To my surprise she responded by putting the packets carefully back in the bag! I felt an immediate rush of love and regretted snapping at her.
I know very well that anything i leave at floor level will be investigated by her; she often scatters my things while i’m getting ready so why did i snap today? Was she being more annoying than usual??! No! Of course- because i was annoyed with myself for running so late!
I think it’s too often true that we are our own worst critics, harshest judges and worst enemies! And often, when we feel judged by other people, or worry about what ‘people might think’, we are actually projecting our own harsh judgement of ourselves, onto them. Yes we may pick up signs that someone may not agree with or approve of, the way we are parenting our children; or our decisions about work or childcare; or the amount of time we devote to our family versus our ‘me time’, etc etc. But most likely, that person does not give very much time or energy to disapproving of us or our choices! It’s ourselves that focus on this disapproval, and make it grow into something much bigger , feeling how it resonates with our own sense of disappointment with ourselves or having not met our own high standards and interpreting this as annoyance at other people judging us or not giving us enough credit.
My partner commented on something i had forgotten to do for my daughter the other day on yet another rushed morning; i took it on board but felt aggreived that he had noticed this, but not all the things i had managed to do! The thought rumbled around in my head angrily: ‘When was the last time he told me i am a good Mum?’, until a voice from a better place said ‘when is the last time i told myself that i am a good Mum?’. Feeling kinder towards myself immediately took the weight away from my thoughts about him, and brought my focus back to a more peaceful place.
This practice is yoga- i cant explain how in a technical sense without deliving into my ‘Yoga Sutras’, but i know that it is. Raja yoga is yoga of the mind, it is all about gaining mastery of the mind, in order to become free of it. Realising thoughts for what they are is a big part of trying to master them. Replacing thoughts generated by your mind , with feelings generated by your heart, cultivates what Buddhists call ‘Loving kindness’ , which starts with the self. Wouldn’t the world be a more peaceful place if everyone took some steps in this direction? I think so! ( Ok, thats from my mind, from my heart i say, i dont know but it feels right in here!)