Friend and writer Amanda Staley suggested an e-course for me (run by Amy Pearce-Hayden) near the end of last year. I clicked the link and it sounded good, so I signed up. The course started at the start of 2015, and looked at the 5 kleshas – obstacles – in yoga theory.
It was a task of mindfulness. Each day we had to notice when our thoughts reflected one of the kleshas. In simplified terms, these were worry, judgement, self-judgement, avoidance, and expectation. Each time we noticed a thought of that klesha, we were to switch bracelets.
We started with worry, and I found it easy because it was something I’d looked at with my counsellor. This was a really good day, because the worries or anxieties I noticed this year, were far fewer than the worries I’d noticed when I first went for counselling. Go me!
The klesha that made the most difference was that of avoidance, or pain. Just the fact that I noticed when I was avoiding doing something made me consider why I was avoiding that task. It was usually because I’d felt bad that I had put it off for so long, or (quite frankly) I was being lazy.
Once I recognised the reason, I’d think, “Well that’s a silly reason,” and found it hard to keep avoiding it, because I’m better than that. It was the same realisation I had when I started consciously noticing anxious thoughts with my counsellor – just noticing thoughts was enough to trigger action.
For the rest of the month, I’m challenging myself to be mindful of ‘avoidance’ thoughts. I’m not putting myself under the intensity of doing it for every waking minute, but I am aiming to be aware of avoidance thoughts at least half of the time. I’m not requiring myself to take action – just to notice.
It’s been an interesting month!