Beating the obstacles of the mind

It has been going on for a while, a long while. No matter if the tools were available or not. Feels a lot like being frozen. I used to think of it as “negativity”. It’s that situation that happens when one knows what has to be done, the whole process and even how to do it. Yet, one cannot even bother to start. Even when one starts, it doesn’t last for long because quitting follows pretty soon. It may be named lack of passion, vocation, motivation, willpower, discipline and the list goes on. I truly believed it to be “negativity” because it feels as a way of affirming the “I can’t” phrase.

But today I feel as if it has to do with the mind itself and not with negativity. Why? Because I know and must accept and acknowledge that deep inside of me I constantly make an effort of being positive, optimistic and looking at the bright side. Even when in the surface it might appear as negative. I wouldn’t be writing, or I wouldn’t pay attention of having an altar space no matter how small, I wouldn’t keep my sacred texts with me, I wouldn’t travel around with my favorite set of Yoga books, or angel cards. In a way, one has to stop being so hard with oneself.

The mind is not us neither our spirit. It’s part of us, but it’s by no means the control tower. Patanjali’s second Yoga sutra (1.2) even acknowledges the mind as something that must be tamed (just like wild animals) it says: yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah, translated it means “Yoga is the restriction of the fluctuations of the mind”. I came to learn about the sutras (and this one in particular) four years after I started becoming passionate about Yoga and to practice it more habitually than I used to. During those years that I was an “ignorant” of the sutras, I started practicing a lot of Bikram Yoga and benefited so much from it that I chose to get certified by Bikram himself. One of my sharpest memories of this training was Mr. Bikram yelling to a lot of people in the middle of class “I HATE LAZY PEOPLE”.

Now, wrapping this all up, I come to realize that it took me 3 more years and few months to understand that my teacher who hated lazy people was using those simple and hateful words to pass the message of the same Yoga sutra (1.2). Why? Because the mind IS the lazy one.

Even though I use (and sometimes even depend on) technology, consume social media and now I blog, I have manifested my critics towards this modern world more than once. Today is no exception. Why? Because I feel that it aids the mind into being more and more lazy. It makes things easy, it consumes time and energy. So when I feel like “doing something” it’s too late because I’m tired. And a pregnant woman understands what tired means, it happens quite often and there’s no reserve to get energy because it’s all going towards growing another human being inside. Yet there’s a big race by the end of pregnancy called labor, and Mamma needs to train and be ready for it.

Truth is that one must tame the mind and make it work towards a balanced human life. Stop the monkey chattering in one’s head and understand what the mind is: LAZY. The voice that says to stay longer in bed, not to cook, not to practice physical work, not to meditate, not to work, is the mind. Which is why one is frozen to act. It’s so easy to be “glued” to a device nowadays, everything else seems SO hard. Truth is that it’s not. It’s about beating all the acknowledged obstacles and having a clear goal. Understanding that the mind does this by nature, in my opinion, makes it in a way easier. Because now I know that there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s the mind doing its thing. And if one has goals that matter in the long term, values that must be worked on, and habits that need to be developed, then overcoming the obstacles of the mind should be considered part of the efforts to be done.

My altar how it looks this week, next to a DIY shelf made out of boxes. That's my corner that works as a reminder of what I have done and what still remains to be done. And it's all up to nobody but me.

My altar how it looks this week, next to a DIY shelf made out of boxes. That’s my corner that works as a reminder of what I have done and what still remains to be done. And it’s all up to nobody but me.

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