My friend and I have decided that this week we’re going into a hardcore conscious practice of Sutra 2.33, the old thought switcheroo.
This is harder than you might imagine.
I live in NYC, and at any moment of the day a million people have the opportunity to piss me off. Commuters in the subway refusing to move to the middle of the subway car, tourists who find every opportunity to stand in the most inappropriate places, cab drivers who try to run me over, people on bikes who don’t obey traffic signals, insecure people who think everything is a competition, bitter and lonely people who take joy in pissing off others, and the Bridge and Tunnel crowd who specialize in annoying and horrendous qualities abound.
And yet among all of this, the Yogi is not allowed to wallow in negative thoughts or imagery. We get mad, sure, but we don’t covet the anger. We practice day after day letting go of the attachment to negativity.
Scenario: Someone spills a coffee on you in line at the Starbucks. You could react by cursing them out, demanding they pay your dry cleaning bill and proceed to bitch and complain about it all day, letting it dictate the next 24 hours OR you could say “Yo what up butter fingers?!” give them some shit, laugh about it, clean up, and go on with your day.
You read that last part? Go on with your day. Listen closely because I’m about to tell you a secret: Whether you decide to be a festering pile of bitterness or you decide to roll with the punches, life is going to go on with or without you. The hours will go by, the planet will continue to rotate, and it isn’t going to stop so that you can kick and scream and act like a selfish brat.
Practicing Sutra 2.33 is a challenge, but it’s a necessity for a Yogi. People slough negativity at us all day, inside and outside of the classroom. The only way to survive is to make a consistent effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
So get over yourself, get out of your own way, and let that shit go. There’s no need to hold on to resentment, anger, or any other emotion that doesn’t make you feel good. There is always going to be something or someone that can bring you down. The question is, will you let it?