I remember before I started yoga I was reading a book and it was talking about this concept of looking at the world differently-training your mind to see things from a different perspective can illuminate life in an exciting way. It seemed like bullshit, hokey, and fake. I thought, “the way I see things is REAListic, and this idea is ignorance”. The comical part is that I was the one who was ignorant. The book wasn’t saying dont look at all aspects of life, it was just suggesting to train my mind to good first. the fact of the matter is that I was simply ignoring or refusing to look at the good and using practicality as my excuse, as if only negativity can be practical and real. None the less I took on the challenges, and fought with my ego about it, read more books suggesting similar ideas, and in the yoga world came across teachers and students practicing these concepts, until one day I started realizing that celebration of others, myself and other things started coming first before judgement. I still have my triggers here and there where I will turn to judgement but I can see myself doing it…its no longer REAL, and its obvious to me that it is my own insecurities, and ego that brings out that point of view. So at the risk of sounding hokey, fake, and impractical, if you dont already practice it try seeing something good in someone or something before the judgement comes in. Just the effort alone will be powerful. Some days require more practice then others, and some days its just a state of living in non-judgement, and I am so grateful to have the practice, and even more grateful when its not a practice and just who I am.
In addition I think I should mention that I dont think looking at life this way negates challenges, in fact I think it brings them on. but it definitely changes your relationship with challenge because you start to identify a challenge with something that is going to help your grow, change and bring you a deeper sense of happiness.
I dont remember the book I was reading at the time- I didnt finish it, and probably didnt read much past those lines, but the lesson was all I needed that is for sure. Here are a couple of books I recommend.
A great book that a friend once lent me is called The Noticer by Andy Andrews – it is a quick fascinating novel about perpective-how we see the world. Highly recommend it.
The Book that changed my life: Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman – His approach was less about changing how you think and more about changing how you act regardless of your thoughts. As a result your thoughts begin to follow suit. This was a much more practical way to start because it changed my patterns and started getting me to act in the way that I knew inside represented the person I wanted to be.