How to handle that voice in your head

How to handle that voice in your head

This morning I walked into yoga and immediately hated the teacher. The moment I clocked the dude wearing a woolen beanie in a 32 degree heated room, it was almost over. The moment he opened his mouth with a loud, overly friendly Venice Beach accent, my mind decided I definitely hated him.

It took me about 0.3 of a second to make this important decision.

5 minutes into the class I was already pre-empting the kind of teacher he’d be. He’d be fist-pumping and motivational, do lots of handstands allowing his unfeasibly large singlet to fall and show off his abs, and make lots of douche jokes and then laugh at them loudly.

Like the Tony Robbins of yoga teachers, but less insightful.

I felt sad, I had already mapped out the demise of my favourite studio as they brought in these loud, brash yoga teachers who take themselves so seriously you feel assaulted by their ego when you enter the room.

My mind was sure of all these predictions as we pressed back into our first downward dog.

He started the class off slow, which I hadn’t expected. There was some talk of chakras, but only mild and not too matter of fact, and he started to teach us some of the foundations of chaturanga, which very few teachers do.

It was hard, but incredibly helpful. And not at all in line with my predictions.

But my mind held firm. No, it said, I don’t like him. I will not like him.

What happened instead was I really liked him. It was one of the best classes I’ve had in a very long time, and, I concluded,

Americans are the best. I really should be less judgemental. Click To Tweet

The dude turned out to be Canadian.

And really rather down to earth despite the gold chain necklace – trendy beanie – hot room shenanigans.

Over-confidence, or underlying lack thereof has always triggered me, because I don’t fully understand what it’s like to feel that way.

I really enjoyed stepping back and watching my mind catastrophise and judge and get pissed off about hypothetical situations. I watched it with amusement and non-attachment, which meant that I didn’t feel too caught up in the drama of it.

The mind is judging machine. It’s designed to judge anyone and anything in a split second so that we know whether they’re friend or foe, valuable or dangerous.

Left to its own devices, it can leave you in a lot of pickles, because it is very frequently wrong, and by design, always assumes the worst.

My mind Neville is a judgemental prick. At times.

This is your weekly reminder to watch your mind. Like a hawk.

Give it a name.

Some of my favourite client-mind names are Merv, Helga, Bob Johnson, Gertrude, Roxanne, Nigel, Marg, Myrtle, Mario and Anneka Rice. You get the idea – a name you can’t take too seriously.

Listen to what the voice says, and then treat it like the advice of a friend. Is it helpful? Is it true?

And then go on with your day, safe in the knowledge that that voice in your head…

Is a total madman.

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Gidday, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness advisor and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, mediocrely happy overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.