I always have a theme for my yoga classes. I encourage the class to derive their own mantra from that theme. For example, if the theme is "How may I serve?" one might pick the mantra "Be kind."
I decided to start this ritual when I realized a few years ago that I had my own personal mantras. I walked around thinking I am so tired 800 times a day, like it was my mantra. I had others in my 20s. I am so fat. I am worthless. Terrible mantras. Once I realized I was thinking this way, I rerouted my thoughts in a more positive direction.
So when I started teaching yoga, I wanted to help people come up with their own helpful mantras. But ultimately, it was up to them. They had to be the ones to recognize their toxic thoughts and then want to change them.
I was talking to a friend today at lunch who is very happy and doing well in her career and who is really happy. She mentioned that someone recently said to her, "So... what's next? You should try to do this...," and my friend said, "But I like where I am and what I am doing now."
So I asked her, "What if there is no 'next'?"
We're taught that we always need to be moving forward, that we can't be content exactly where we are. What if right now is enough?
I hear horror stories from my New York City friends about getting their kids into the "right" preschool — and they don't even have kids yet.
What's next? What's after? Then what?
Needless to say, I made tonight's class theme be "peace."
I told my class that the best way to find peace is to appreciate exactly who you are and where you are in this moment. Don't take yourself too seriously.
This sparked my idea to create a video series entitled "Don't Be An Asshole," which is also the name of my newest mantra. The idea is to make fun of myself. To call myself out for thinking too much into the future — or, as I like to put it, being an asshole (And trust me, asshole is used lovingly.). Laughing at myself helps me stay present. And with this series, I want to encourage you to do the same.
All joking aside, I want to make something clear: Sometimes, we are NOT doing enough.
Through all the years I was miserable waitressing, "trying" to be an actress, I wasn't actually doing a damn thing. I was just waiting for an opportunity to fall into my lap. Wishing for something is not enough. Sitting and whining on your sofa all day everyday is not enough.
But let's say you are exactly where you want to be or you're with the comfortable progress you've made so far toward your goal. If you can sit back and fully accept that, then maybe you can breathe easy, knowing that this moment is enough for you. For just a night, you can stop pushing and fighting and resisting and trying to be somewhere else. Wouldn't that be, I don't know, peaceful?
As Wayne Dyer says, "You are a human being, not a human doing."
You are enough. So, put your hands together, right there, like that, and whether you believe in prayer or not, whisper the word "peace." But don't look so serious! You can crack a smile as you say it.
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