So many articles I read about yoga and meditation in these current times talk about using these practices to gain a deeper connection with oneself. To some, this is good news, to others not so much. The world is a noisy place right now – conspiracy theories about COVID, a government with a left-hand which doesn’t appear to be up to the shenanigans of the right-hand, changes to COVID restrictions, nonsensical green lists, the list goes on. The idea of getting quiet to build a deeper connection with oneself can look less favourable right now than a very large glass of wine or the rest of that cake.
When we begin to aim for this connection, we may wish to quit before too long, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of internal chatter swirling around inside about these external forces. That’s before we start to look at our own circumstances, about which there is bound to be heaps of mental noise e.g. What if I or my friends or family get sick? Will I lose my job? Will I go bankrupt? How much more of this? And for so many who came to live and work here, when will I see my family again?
Getting quiet means bearing the discomfort of all of this noise for a time. We learn the art of noticing what is swirling around and then completely dis-identifying ourselves from it. It takes patience and real commitment to get into full observer mode. In my own experience right now, the desire must really be there, as, without it I can unconsciously live the noisy, clanging story of troubling thoughts and others around me can feel that too.
It doesn’t help that every second inspo on social media is telling us to be grateful or positive, which for me is overly simplistic. Of course, we look for the silver linings when we can, but when faced with possible danger, as we are now, the body automatically goes to fight, flight and fright mode, our natural mechanism for survival.
If you find yourself too demotivated or fed up to look at another post about mindfulness or hop into another zoom yoga class, instead why not simply commit to noticing your thoughts. You can pop them on a piece of paper as you walk around and then smile at your own humanity and let them go. Alternatively, take a quiet five minutes in comfort in a separate room, observing which thoughts are running around up there and just watch. Silence will come in time and that deeper connection with your true self that evolves will give you a refreshing boost to face whatever lies ahead.