You know those people that exude a sense of easy calm, but also energy and possibility? I love those people. Don’t you? This weekend at our shower, I had a chance to chat with a friend who I haven’t seen in years. And, it was literally like there had never been a pause in our relationship. We talked about raising a family, we talked about starting businesses, we talked about all the “advice” out there, we talked about trusting and doing what’s right for you. All this easy-going, heartfelt connection in a matter of 20 minutes. I was completely uplifted.
Fast forward to getting back home from the weekend away (& we’ve had several away throughout the month of April), and my head is spinning with all the to-do’s for the studio, all the needs for the house and the nursery, all the "should's" I put on myself. Ugh. It was enough to have me completely overwhelmed and in internal panic...maybe there were tears...okay, fine there were. We talked about this last week, yes? The chitta vritti, the creeping monkey mind. And, in that moment of negative self-talk, I thought of my friend.
The conversation in my head was nothing like the conversation I had with her. Where there was positivity and curiosity and grace, the thoughts in my head were judgmental and frantic and definitely not supportive. So, I thought about it. What if we could be our own best friends, our own advocates? Why can't we create the positive, uplifting thoughts we need? Sounds simple, right?
You guys, yoga teaches us to be an observer of our thoughts and to notice how they are affecting our bodies, our well-being, even those around us. We can't possibly expect to feel content and grateful when we turn a critical or panicked or worried eye towards ourselves. Right? It's not a way of living. In fact, it just contributes to the stress. But, what if we slowed down and created the conversations we have with good friends...with our selves?
We can practice this idea of self-acceptance and approval, of being our own best friend, by reflecting on the concept of saucha. Saucha literally translates to purity (although, here it keeps getting autocorrected to sauces or sriracha). Yes, good personal hygiene is a component, but let’s take it to another level. Saucha is practicing purity of thought. It’s examining the expectations and pressure we put upon ourselves and noticing if we’re truly acting as our own best friend.
I love this nugget of our yoga practice. Saucha teaches us that the only one who can give you the acceptance, the love, the sense of calm you need for the long haul is you. And, guys, how beautiful and powerful and soul shaking is that? Take time today to watch your thoughts and to reflect. Notice when the conversation gets negative or disapproving, and instead think about what you’d say to good friend. How would you want them to feel? You can access that emotion, too, any time you'd like. What do you think?