Peeling Back the Voices

by Angela Clark

The other day I finally got a new phone with a new service provider and everything. After a few days with my new phone, I began to wonder if my phone was broken because I hadn’t received any phone calls. Then, a voice from out of nowhere (inside my head, of course) said, “Well, maybe no one wants to talk to you.” Which turned into, “You’re such a loser, you have no friends.” Which turned into a dharma talk and this post about peeling back the layers of voices.

Have you ever been practicing and come across a pose that looks pretty challenging, but your body finds incredibly easy to do? And rather than staying with the breath count, or feeling what’s going on in your body, you look up at the teacher and say, “Am I doing this wrong because it feels so easy?”

Are you doing it “wrong?” Or, do you “struggle” through most of the other poses so you feel you should be “struggling” through this one too? Does your mind overrule you and say, “Well, if it looks ‘hard’ then how will I be able to do it?”

It could any of those voices, all of those voices, or even a completely different voice.

If we pull back the first voice, what will we find? Perhaps, this guy who always says, “There you go again, putting up your barrier.” Or this lady whose default is, “Stop struggling and breathe like the teacher told you.” Or, what about this one – “I don’t care what the teacher just said. I must be doing this wrong.” Or, again, it could be another set of voices all together.

Now we’re starting to cultivate a type of awareness.  An awareness that is apprise of the situation at hand, but still riddled with commentary, judgment, and/or expectations.

So we peel back another voice.

And perhaps we come across the one that says, “Oh, look at that. Yeah, I’m labeling the situation right/wrong/good/bad – huh – yeah, okay. I see what I’m doing here – ” Now, we’ve got some insight, but we’re still commenting on the situation at hand so guess what?

We peel back another voice.

This could go on forever, we could peel back voices for a very long time until we finally here the silence. Yes, of course we need to think. We need to process. We need to learn how to be discerning with our thoughts. But, we also need silence.

Do you make wiser choices when you’re in a rush and under stress or do you make wiser choices when you are centered and confident? We need to be able to create the container within ourselves for our own creativity to arise, and our wisdom to shine forth.


About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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