Mind Improvement, part 2

Back in December of last year I wrote that I thought the stress of the pandemic had shown that my mindset needed improving. I am writing now to give an update.

College Hill Yoga, Cincinnati, Ohio, Iyengar Yoga

We can all probably agree that most everyone–even evolved souls–can benefit from improving their mindset, their thought patterns. It’s part of the human condition to struggle, to some extent, with thinking.

Self study or self obsessed?

Both under thinking and over thinking can cause problems.

If I am not thinking enough about my behaviors, not reflecting, then I will continue to repeat unhelpful patterns. Which will compound future problems–potentially causing more pain.

Overthinking is also painful. It can lead to obsessive worry or paralyze you when action is needed. When I have been overthinking (my tendency) the behavior has made me more self-focused and not able to serve others as well.

My goal is to be somewhere in the middle–not too much under thinking and not too much over thinking. But is this even possible? I think it probably is. I think it’s probably possible because I have seen myself improve toward neutrality over the years.

Pandemic discoveries

Yoga is not a theoretical philosophy. Yoga asks us to study ourselves, observe our consciousness and make adjustments when necessary. The asana practice is one way to observe and adjust ourselves.

Through the upheaval of the pandemic my stress level, like the rest of the world, has been elevated. This showed up in my asana and pranayama practice by not allowing me to be as sensitive to decisions I needed to make concerning my poses–I witnessed myself overdoing or under doing.

The overdoing and under doing made clearer some imbalances in my body which have been there a long long time. These imbalances were caused by upsetting past events and therefore was bringing up emotional pain, in the moment. Which was not helping the pandemic stress.

One morning while taking my teachers online class I had a fairly large realization. I realized that the emotional pain was probably always there. But the stress of the pandemic made it clearer.

I also realized that this was deep internal work that years of practicing had finally brought to the surface. I had always said I wanted to pursue a spiritual life and have big evolutions. Well, guess what. It’s here. Now.

You want to hear something funny? This is not how I pictured it going! I think I thought that a spiritual evolution would be easier? Or that I had already done so much work, why is there more work to do? I don’t know.

One thing I do know. All these realizations have been a huge relief and has greatly improved my mindset. And also my stress, to some extent.

Certainly, the end of the pandemic would greatly improve the stress. But that end is not on the immediate horizon yet. So, instead of urning for something that isn’t occurring I will practice and try to surrender to the outcome.

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