I watched parts of the Olympics–swimming and gymnastics, in particular.
And I started imagining what must go through the brain of the individual who is training at that level–how incredible must that be?
It can only consist of the most focused, laser-like streams of relentless concentration–-everyday. For years and years.
Michael Phelps, on the advice of his coach, supposedly played out his victory every night before the culmination of his winning in the Olympics. He “saw” in detail the precision of his movements and the feeling of final elation when his hand would make contact with the wall.
But for us mere mortals? Well, thankfully, we don’t have to put out that much mind exertion in our own daily lives. That sounds exhausting, and hey, that’s why they’re in the Olympics and we’re at home watching.
But is mind-training just for the competitors? Or can we all use some of that?
What if you knew how much your own life could vastly improve, the plateaus you could reach, if you did decide to train the brain as consciously as this?
In yoga philosophy, there are centuries old paths laid out for self-realization, or for achieving a higher state of consciousness— if you want it, of course–and the physical poses of yoga is just one path.
Another path is called brahmacharya,
or the self-discipline that comes from turning towards and understanding our own Divine nature–and it’s this kind of understanding of our connection which leads us to our own Olympic Gold.
We strengthen this higher state of consciousness when we direct our focus to the “inner fire” than exists in all of us, rather than sapping our energies on relentless worry, fear, or whatever holds us back from truly being our best selves.
But it takes the courage of stillness to start looking within, and to make the choice over and over again to re-focus and change the way we engage with life. To wake up.
And that takes courage and Olympic focus, but without the finish line, or even the chance to earn a medal in front of billions of people.
Just health, good healing, and liberation from the old tired mindsets.
Marianne Williamson’s poem is a perfect after Olympics’ closing to consider.
And I think it speaks to the Olympian in all of us:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us. “
Feed your mind with a positive vision, focus on courage, and close the door on any other choice. Everyday.
(A workshop on transforming mindsets starts September 16th at Go Yoga studios. Stay tuned for more info!)