Warning: Naughty language ahead!
We have those days…you know, the ones where we feel like every single odd is stacked against us.
At least I know I still have them, regardless of how much growth I achieve, or how high my self-esteem and self-worth is.
Despite tons of accomplishments or accolades, my head can still pipe up and start waving the white flag of defeat.
Some days I feel like life is a challenge I just can’t conquer, yet on others I feel like I can conquer the world. The difference is, now when this occurs I don’t actually have to admit defeat like I once did.
Through meditation and yoga, I have become an observer of my thoughts, rather than allowing them to own me and dictate my behavior. So, when my inner defeatist starts talking, I no longer have to engage with her. This was not always the case, as in the past I’ve given up on many endeavors because I listened to the lazy little ego voice who whispers, “this is too hard, give up.” You know, the one who believes everything in life is supposed to be easy, and turn out the way we think it should (with the least work possible)?
It took time, and a disciplined practice, but I now see the falsehoods my ego voice used to whisper to me. And I no longer listen to them. I have zero interest in engaging with self-limiting talk. Because now I know my full potential. I know I am capable of whatever my mind can fathom. How do I know this? By continuously stepping outside my comfort zone. Way outside. And by continuing to work for my dreams, especially when I want to quit.
Through meditation, I’ve discovered a discrepancy between what my mind whispers and reality as it is. And when I choose to participate in the present reality and not my mind, the rewards are endless. Anything is possible and dreams come true—but we must work for them.
One of the tools I started using early in in my meditation practice was affirmations. We use affirmations to form new belief patterns in the mind. At first, they sound ridiculous to us because we don’t necessarily believe what we are saying. However, if we stick with the practice, one day we realize we now believe the words. We retrain our brains. And when we stop engaging with those self limiting words, those beliefs weaken. Just like our muscles, we must exercise to keep them strong or they atrophy. The trick is consistency, discipline, and dedication.
Meditation combined with affirmations reaps amazing results.
I do still have those days when my mind is louder than usual. These are my adult affirmations for the really challenging days. And, they make me laugh so I can stop taking myself so seriously.
>> Fuck it, I’ll just try anyway. Yoda says, “there is no try.” And I’m a Jedi, so let’s do this.
>> In the greater scheme of things who even gives a shit, anyway? I’m making a really big deal out of nothing.
>> Am I being just a little fucking dramatic over here? Nobody ever said life was easy.
>> Bring it on Universe! What are you waiting for? (Channel your inner Jennifer Love Hewitt in “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”)
>> It could always be worse. And I’m a motherfucking ninja. Ninjas don’t quit.
>> (Cue Rocky music in your head) Adrian! Drago! I can do this and I will!
>> Fuck this, I got this. I’m a gangsta’ and a warrior. Nobody can stop me.
>> I may feel useless right now, but at least I’m not an asshole!
>> I can do this. What is this shit? I believe I can fly… (R.Kelly?)
>> Imagine if Thich Nhât Hańh had quit? He’s Zen as fuck, and look what he’s been through. I can’t quit now.
These words work wonders for me on the rough days, and I hope they are of benefit to you.
You see, affirmations and meditation don’t always have to be heavy, serious work. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is remember how to laugh and approach ourselves with love and humor. Try it, imagine yourself as a ninja when you want to quit. Laugh and lighten your mood. Pema Chödrön said it best:
“It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. We end up never satisfied.”
When we stop needing to be someone and we just be, we find that nothing is so serious as we make it. We can laugh at our seriousness instead, as we put on our ninja suit and whoop some ass!
Occasionally nothing works, and I have to resort to crawling in bed with a hot tea and Harry Potter. And you know what, that’s okay too.
How do you handle the days when you just want to quit? Whats your go to coping mechanism? I would love to hear in the comments below!
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Image: Jonathan Powell/Flickr
Editors: Emily Bartran; Catherine Monkman