"I can't be bothered"
Who else gets this feeling regularly? "I can't be bothered to wash up/go for a walk/do my yoga practice/get out of bed" etc. Who else finds themselves thinking "I SHOULD wash up/go for a walk/do my yoga practice/get out of bed and I'm such a bad person because I can't be bothered".
What if we didn't judge ourselves for not being bothered? What if we could have the thought "I can't be bothered", but choose to act differently? What if instead we said "OK, I can't be bothered, but I'm going to anyway, not because I'm bad or wrong or not good enough, but because I know I always feel better afterwards". Or maybe "I can't be bothered, and the reason for that is I'm exhausted and I need to rest, and that's ok".
Just because our mind says something, it doesn't mean we have to act on it. But usually what we do when we are trying not to act on it is to ignore or stuff it down, label it as wrong, tell ourselves we aren't good enough, or compare ourselves to others who don't appear to have these thoughts (they do). None of this is helpful - we just end up feeling worse.
What is much more helpful is to do what I describe above - acknowledge the thought with kindness (which simply means without judgement) and then choose the most fulfilling action.
It sounds simple, yet I know it is difficult. But this is another thought - "its difficult". And I choose to follow it with "but I'm going to keep practicing, because it works and I feel better when I don't judge myself. And when I catch myself making judgments, I won't judge myself for it but accept that I am human". Little by little, the judgement, the not feeling good enough - it begins to fade. And not just towards myself, but towards everyone around me. This means truly accepting others for who they are, suffering less resistance and being less critical, all of which leads to better connection and more fulfilling relationships.
In yoga, there is a whole philosophy around how to live life in a way that reduces suffering. There are ethical, moral and societal guidelines for yogis that aren't there to make us feel guilty, but to help us live happier, more fulfilled lives. One of these guidelines is ahimsa, or non-harming. It means not causing harm to ourselves or others. I plan to write another blog post on this, but for now I just want to highlight the connection between learning not to judge and ahimsa. Judging ourselves and others can cause a great deal of harm and suffering through disconnection. What we want most as human beings is connection, but we often stand in our own way. Yoga itself means "union", which can also be understood as connection.
To learn more about all of this, I'm embarking on a one year online course, starting on 19th June, called "Compassionate Communication". It is taught by a guy called Thom Bond, who has developed this training as a result of his own journey into Non-Violent Communication (NVC). If you are interested in joining me or finding out more information, go to https://www.compassioncourse.org/