Yoga teaches me what Bob was talking about with that whole mental slavery thing. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind.” We all have internal chatter that can enslave us into believing something that simply is not true. Gary Kraftsow calls it “The story we tell ourselves about ourselves.”
I encountered such a story during an intense white tantric meditation in Florida 2010. The meditation asked us to extend our arms out, shoulder height, toward our partner and make circles around their extended arms then stop as they replicated the motion. We were to do this for 62 minutes.
I remember after about 10 minutes feeling extreme discomfort throughout my entire body and that’s when I began to hear a bit of criticism from within for considering taking a break “c’mon, it’s not that bad. Don’t be weak.” The volume, intensity, and tone of the inner critic increased as the meditation continued, “You always quit. You’re not good enough.” I felt like I was being terrorized by myself!
It got even worse toward the end when I realized that it wasn’t healthy for me to continue on. But, the internal chatter pushed one more final jab before I released my arms, “You’re a bad person.” The voice said. In the middle of the meditation, among 500 people, I released my arms and began sobbing like I’ve never cried before.
The whole tent thought that I was laughing, so everyone erupted in laughter. It was only after a while that the laughs subsided and my sobs sustained that someone said out loud “she’s crying, not laughing.”
At the end of the meditation, many people came over to hug me or catch a glimpse of the girl who cried so loud it was confused with laughter. I felt exhausted. In the following weeks and months, there was a processing period.
The internal chatter I experienced during the meditation was actually the story I had been telling myself up until that point, ending with the core belief that I didn’t feel like I was a good person. I don’t know why I formulated that idea about myself, maybe environmental conditioning or something I was mysteriously born with, but it was real for me and made so much sense that I would have that idea based on the way I treated myself and allowed other people to treat me.
Becoming aware of the story is the first step toward unraveling it and creating a new reality for myself that embraces my infinite nature. It doesn’t take an intense experience like tantric to learn that about oneself. Just the act of sitting quietly for a few minutes throughout the day to check in and listen to what the mind is saying can be enough to begin unraveling the story.
Hi! I'm Robin - Teacher, Singer, & Author. I love creativity & sharing what I love!