Gardening Your Stories

Every time I do a yoga class I look forward to the final pose – Shavasana. Shavasana is also known as Corpse Pose. The essence of this pose is being in a state of relaxation and attention. Being alert and at ease.

For many years I resisted Shavasana. I have even been guilty of sneaking out of a yoga class five minutes before it finished to avoid it.

I now understand that this resistance came from my ‘Little Miss Achiever’ part, She believed it was a waste of time. She used to be able to convince me that I was far too busy to just ‘lay around’ for 5 minutes.

This story was not serving me. This story was robbing me of the much-needed space to be still and to reconnect with my inner wisdom. They say that sometimes we resist the things we need the most – this was most definitely the case for me and Shavasana for many years.

Thanks to the inner-work I have done over the last decade, I have can now soothe and quiet the ‘Little Miss Achiever’ part of me. And so, I am now able to really ‘be’ in Shavasana at the end of a yoga class.

I often experience new insights in this final pose, particularly after a physically demanding yoga class. I have learnt that I have to move my way to stillness.

At a class I recently attended, our yoga teacher read the following passage written by Dr Jaiya Johns during Shavasana:

“Child asked Grandmother, what does it mean to reweave your life? Grandmother answered, unlearn your old harmful ways. Learn your new healing ways. Garden the stories you tell yourself. Allow beauty to run like a river through your soul again. Permit peace to graze your heart. Drink the rain. Savor the sun. Love like Love Loves.”

I was captivated by the line Garden the stories you tell yourself .

I love the idea of pulling the weeds, planting flowers and nourishing the soil of our ‘inner gardens’. Of course we can’t ‘garden our stories’ unless we first have awareness of what the are – and whether they are weeds or flowers. Whether they diminish us, or empower us.

Here are some of the weeds I am trying to gently remove from my inner garden at the moment:

  • I should say yes to all the work that comes my way
  • I should work on the weekends to stay ‘on top’ of everything
  • Everything on my ‘to do’ list is both urgent and important

Here are some of the flowers I am tending to:

  • I choose to focus my time and energy on work that lights me up
  • I choose to set realistic expectations for what I can achieve each week
  • On weekends, I choose to nourish myself and my connections with those I care about

The more energy we expend tending to the weeds (being diminished by our old, limiting stories) the less energy we have to plant flowers (cultivating inspiration through new, uplifting and empowering stories).

Self-Fidelity Practice To Play With This Week

This week I invite you to bring more awareness to the stories you are telling yourself and to reflect on these simple questions:

What is the story I am telling myself right now?

Is this story a flower or a weed?

What is one new uplifting, empowering story I can plant and begin to nurture?

Imagine that your mind is like a garden. You could simply be with it, looking at its weeds and flowers without judging or changing anything. Second, you could pull weeds by decreasing what’s negative in your mind. Third, you could grow flowers by increasing the positive in your mind. In essence, you can manage your mind in three primary ways: let be, let go, let in.

Dr Rick Hanson

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