Our thoughts govern our reality.
And, let’s face it—most of us are a little jaded with negative thoughts plaguing our minds.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a spiritual guide to living a happier life, gives us one of the most powerful tools for remedying our sarcasm, cynicism, and negativity of mind that keeps us stuck and suffering. It’s found as a reoccurring theme in the yoga sutras but especially in verse below.
Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam.
When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite ones should be thought of.
This is pratipaksha bhavana.
(Yoga Sutra 2.33)
This is the “Fake it till you make it sutra.” This sutra helps us get rid of our inauthentic personalities, ironically, by suggesting (more or less) to fake it. To think the opposite of. It’s a way for us to recondition our negative beliefs and thought patterns that we’ve accumulated from our teachers, relatives, friends and the media.
This is a powerful remedy that I use as a yoga therapist, working with people with cancer. Pratipaksha bhavana is taking a different perspective and undoing some of our old mental patterns and conditionings, while replacing them with peaceful loving thoughts. This is extremely powerful during a time when people on the cancer journey feel like their bodies have betrayed them. I’ve been blessed to witness this “state of mind” as one of the most important catalysts for the healing process to begin.
What begins as “faking it”—or simply taking another perspective—soon becomes an embodiment of who we really are. Rather than faking anything it is an unpacking of our shit! And who doesn’t need to do that regularly? Just like we have toxins build in our body, we have toxic thoughts that build up and create a life full of fear and anxiety and general dis-ease.
I began thinking, if this works so well in our lives, why don’t we take this sutra a step further.
Why don’t we all fake our spirituality? Many of us in the yoga world already are.
All days aren’t create equal for me, that is for sure. The moment I step into the classroom to teach, however, and make the decision to offer myself as a vessel, I can’t help but become one.
What if for one day the whole world decided to fake being spiritual!
To put down all our weapons, embrace someone we would never consider embracing and see God in them. What if we faked forgiving ourselves and everyone else that has ever crossed us and instead love them unconditionally. What if we chose to do everything for one day as a devotional practice to God?
We could fake ourselves right into a 2012 spiritual awakening!
And if not.. At least we would have planted the seed for greater healing the world. Who’s with me? Let’s give this a shot.
Ed: Lynn Hasselberger