Today I want to talk about a few things: getting lost in comparison, ahimsa - non-violence (1st Yama in Yoga Sutras), harmony and self-love.
You have probably guessed what we are letting go today - the very common modern world disease called comparisonitis (the FREE WILL to compare yourself to others or others’ accomplishments, making a conclusion that you are not good enough and you need to improve and somehow fix yourself). I say free will on purpose because we are doing it by our own choice and will. We observe others around us, we scroll the Instagram feeds, flip magazine pages, watch adds on tv and can't help, but compare ourselves to others (the real people and the ones on the screen) and all of it makes us feel not good enough. So we have to lose weight, have more muscles, buy this bag or watch or coat or perfume, put on this much and this brand of makeup, have hair or beard done this way and so MUCH MORE, that you will never be good enough following all that, it will always be more and more to do and fix in you.
The comparison is an act of violence against ourselves and in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the Yamas (things what we shouldn’t do in order to live happily and peacefully), it’s called Ahimsa. In yoga practice and life, in general, accepting ourselves completely - no matter how strong or flexible, beautiful or cool we are and stopping that brutal war against ourselves is the key to peace with our minds. Letting go of all the negative thoughts about our body and our abilities. We are enough, we are awesome exactly the way we are. Wherever you are in your life and/or yoga practice is exactly where you need to be. I know it’s easier to say than do it right? But here’s an action plan I use if I start comparing myself to someone else:
1. Try and catch yourself comparing to someone else as often as you do it, as you probably don’t even realise once it’s happening, it became so natural.
2. Acknowledge and absorb what’s happening, become aware of the fact that you are competing yourself to another person, become aware of the feelings in your body and mind comparison causes.
3. Allow that feeling to be, without trying to change it, ignore it or suppress it. Just let it does not resist.
4. Ask yourself if you could let it go, just for a bit. Allow yourself to ease the feeling and it will start to melt down.
5. Ask yourself if the feeling is still here and if yes ask if you could let it go just a tiny bit more, allow any feelings in your body. Let it expand, grow, surrender to it, do not resist just allow.
6. Continue until that feeling dissolved.
7. Use it every time you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone else.
Comparing yourself to others generally speaking, has no sense whatsoever because there always be someone more beautiful, smarter, funnier, than you, because you will never ever reach the top of the 'life contest' and think: now I’m perfect, there’s no one else better than me. There are another 7.7 billion people on this planet. The competition is too high . YOU ARE UNIQUE, AUTHENTIC & AWESOME, in fact, YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE ON THIS PLANET, so why do you want to be like somebody else. Embrace your uniqueness, instead of trying to cover it up with what society tries to impose on you. If you will take one thing and only one thing from here, remember this: the fact that someone else is smart, good looking, creative, funny doesn’t make you less intelligent, less beautiful/handsome, less creative or less funny. We are all unique awesome being, there’s no competition when we are being ourselves.
This leads us to another part of this long post. Tuning in with the harmony with yourself and self love by understanding of what we are and what we want, appreciating what we have and accepting ourselves exactly how we are, not when we lose a bit of weight, not when we get this job, not when we have this amount in our bank account, not when we get fitter or fulfilling other condition. Accepting yourself and loving yourself right here and right now! It’s time to let the self love in! So as we have created some space within ourselves by letting go of all the comparisons, we can now allow love and compassion to replace that ugly bitter feeling.