I sometimes catch myself silently saying that I’m a ‘bad yogi’. Behind this statement is a feeling of fraudulence based on what my ego has defined as a ‘good yogi’.
Most recently it happened as I finished eating 4, or maybe it was 5, chocolate mint cookies for breakfast at my desk. Sugar is detrimental to one’s health, I know. It feeds cancer and creates an environment for all things unwell, but my recent two week stint with a painful sinus infection has left me less than loving bland foods and catching up on all the crap I didn’t eat when I was severely congested. In fact, I’ve been craving all types of sweet and decadent delights like warm ghee smeared toast with organic strawberry jam, a sleeve or two of Toblerone while lazily snuggling into bed to watch Schitt’s Creek with my husband, Oreo-esque sleeves of cookies fresh from the freezer, bags of mouth-warming ginger chewies, practically orgasmic organic vanilla bean ice cream, even Sambucus elderberry gummies sweetened by tapioca syrup, cane sugar, and pectin, and, finally, organic clementines. Score 1 for the actually healthy options!
Back to the judging. Now, I know that binging on cookies and sweets won’t do my health any favors or lessen the time I spend feeling sick. However, while feeding my cravings, and in turn my judgmental ego, I’ve also been working on self-compassion. A current audio book kick has had me filling my mind with empowering spiritual and self-growth titles that have reinforced the concept of awareness. I’ve even become more focused on being aware through a leadership training course I’m enrolled in through the company I work for. Every other week, we discuss the work of John C. Maxwell, who teaches that self improvement starts with... you guessed it, awareness.
While my dietary choices may not be an idealistic representation of perfect nutrition, my awareness of the judging voice in my head has gotten better. In fact, I stopped the voice short to explore what it can teach me and what I can, in turn, reflect upon and learn about myself. I’m a work in progress, as we all are, and there are no rules or commandments everyone must follow in eating. Truth be told, the cookies are gluten free, and when I take a moment to step back, I realize I have been cooking more healthy dinners to counter the sweet tooth cravings. Not to mention, categorizing myself as a good or bad yogi is counter to the entire practice of yoga.
Beginning to shift my awareness to pick up on that judgmental voice is a victory for me. Even if I listened to it for a second, I am granted the peace of mind of hearing it, noticing it, and recognizing that my ego is alive and well. ‘Hey, Judgey! Long time no talk.’
Do the cookies make me a ‘bad yogi’? Hell to the NO! But they did help me harness a little perspective on my ego. That is the sweetest, and most indulgent, part of all.