Oftentimes, in my classes, I encourage my students to forget what was before and surrender what comes next in order to be fully present on their mats.
I do this, but I know when I’m practicing yoga or meditation for myself, and I’m trying to be mindful and present in my practice, thoughts about things that happened before practice or that I need to do after creep into my mind and distract me.
It was with that in mind that I read this affirmation:
“My thoughts come and go freely and do not define me.”
I repeat this to myself whenever I get distracted to remind myself that those thoughts, I even the very act of being distracted in my thoughts, do not and does not define me or my practice.
My meditation practice or yoga practice is no less significant.
And knowing that thoughts come and go freely allows me to let go of the guilt and blame for having brought them on or invited disruption. It also relieves me of the responsibility of pushing them away, knowing that they go just as freely as they come.
Like a balance pose, whenever I fall out, I can just enter back in, and I can do so without shame, embarrassment, or frustration.
Because what defines this practice is me – my presence in it, the fact that I’m here. And I can rest assured that my heart, mind, body, and soul are all better for it.