Internal Narrative: The little voice that has a tendency to shout!
When we listen to that internal narrative, we lose sight of the transition allowing us to be all consumed with a goal.
I’m going to admit it; there are some times that I don’t want to get on my mat and do my practice… SHOCK HORROR!!!! I have another confession. Although I’m a yoga teacher, I’m also human… GREAT SCOTT!!!!
The internal narrative. That thing can talk the hind legs off a donkey and more. Whoever coined it the little voice obviously had a kind and loving internal narrative (or they just used to drink theirs quiet!) as mine is all consuming and very loud if left unchecked.
When my alarm clock wakes me up at 5am to start my yoga practice and I’m not really feeling it, this is a sample convo I have with myself:
Mini evil me: close your eyes and go back to bed… Go on.
Me: But I should be on the mat.
Mini evil me: what’s one day for heavens sake woman! Just indulge and lay there where its warm
Me: BUT I WANT TO GET UP!
Mini evil me: no you don’t. You think you do, but you don’t…
This conversation has the capacity to go on, but I won’t bore you. There are mornings that, through totally exhausting myself with work, looking after a 15 month old and running a house (that’s life right ladies?), I actually deserve (when writing this, mini evil me piped up BIG HEAD! You don’t declare you deserve things!) an hour in bed. But if I do, I have this conversation.
Me: That was a nice lay in
Mini evil me: Useless. You’re not dedicated. You’re not a real yogi. You’ll never get it.
Me: But I’m so tired!
Mini evil me: And? What do you want, a medal?!
Me: No! I want you to SHUT UP!
Mini evil me: Get a grip.
I can’t say it’s all bad (you are alright really, ain’t ya pal?) as that booming voice has pushed me and got me to where I am today. I’m eternally grateful for the drive I’ve been given as when I’m screaming at myself to give up and stop, I just seem to keep on going. And it feels good, doesn’t it, when you’ve gone harder than you’ve gone before? To have succeeded when failure was near. Euphoric. Totally euphoric!
But what of those days that the little voice is soooooo loud, you can’t hear anything other than the put downs and scathing remarks?
A four letter word that in our modern age of technological communication seems a bit lost and uncool. When you talk, so many amazing things happen:
Opening and closing the mouth when talking can help release tension. Have you ever thought about something so much you end up clenching your jaw and giving yourself a headache? When you talk, it’s almost as if you’re ironing out your face. And when you have someone else to put things into perspective, that certain something you were thinking of doesn’t seem so bad.
When you talk, you tend to lengthen the breath. Deep breathing has a soothing effect on the nervous system allowing you to calm down and not react so fiercely.
And when you share something with your hubby, family or friends, the conversation usually consists of hugs, kisses, tears and laughter which all help alleviate the situation.
So what have I done to curtail the inner voice? Yoga and meditation…… And having a baby (whenever I listen too much to me, all I have to do is take a look at Rafferty and know it’s fine. Just one smile from him and my heart takes over)! I’ve realised that fear is what drives my internal narrative. The reason I don’t want to get on the mat sometimes? Because I’m scared I’m going to get it wrong or I wont be able to access a certain asana. It’s then all about a goal. The swirling pot that is my mind can seem vast and infinite, but when I’ve moved my body with yoga and taken time to reflect in meditation, nothing ever seems worth the agg. My teacher taught me to never sit in meditation when that internal voice is giving it large. MOVE! Dance, walk, run, skip…. Whatever, just move that notion out of your head and then sit in meditation to reflect on how you reacted. So many times I hear people declare they can’t do meditation as their mind just can’t sit still. The mind was made for thinking, to be on its guard and protect you. It’s your reaction to the thoughts that invade your mind, that’s what you need to work on. It’s as simple as remembering you need to go food shopping and finishing with needing a bikini wax. How did I get to that thought?! See how if left unchecked that voice just takes you off into unrelated but reaction inducing thoughts?! It takes practice and dedication (which lately has been converted to hard work. Really?) with yoga and meditation, but it’s just the same as pulling on your trainers and doing a run.
Time is always of the essence in our modern day lives, and when we are constantly thinking forward, the little voice of anxiety comes into play. For me, there is only one tried and tested way that works with my internal narrative and that’s yoga, meditation and the amazingly supportive community that comes with. Perhaps it’s time for you to finally get your Yogaleggs on and to the mat to find out?