Pema's Pearls 50 for 50 #18

Pema's Pearls 50 for 50 #18

A quote from The Pocket Pema Chödrön

In 50 for 50 #11 (here), I wrote about the Mindfulness Meditation class I was taking and what I was learning about over-thinking. I have been a tenacious over-thinker for forever, and because this was my habit I believed that thinking harder and longer would solve my over-thinking problems.

Many of my thoughts revolved around the theme of not being good enough. I tried to force, cajole, and demand my way to changing this negative belief. If I achieved even a modicum of success it was short lived, and then the negative belief would roar back with a vengence. It took 49 years, but I finally figured out I needed a new approach. The class and reading material taught me that trying to solve negative thought patterns with more thinking begets more negative thoughts not relief.  

To break this cycle, we practiced meditation. In particular, I focused on one called Soham Mantra Meditation. Soham is Sanskrit for “I am that.” The meditation reminds me that I already am peace. I already am love. I already am enough. Just the way I am. Pema’s quote echoes the lesson in Soham Meditation, a lesson I share here because I strove for a long time to find the intangible thing “out there” that would make me feel better. The truth turned out to be simpler. “In here” I’ve been enough all along. Instead of futilely berating myself I meditate, plant the seed, water it with more meditation, and allow nature to takes its course.

When I stopped looking at myself as a massive self-improvement project, the tenor of my self-care journey changed. Inside my "enoughness" was the peace and love I'd been seeking. It is still a work in progress--to believe, I mean--but being kinder and gentler with myself is one tangible result of my new approach, one that feels sustainable. Progress!          

  • 7 May 2018
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 633
  • Comments: 4
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4 comments on article "Pema's Pearls 50 for 50 #18"

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Jeni

5/10/2018 4:26 PM

What you said really resonates with me... knowing that I already am peace, love, and enough. Such an important reminder! Thank you Tracey!


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Tracey Yokas

5/16/2018 10:50 AM

Thank you Jeni!


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Sue Schwartz

5/11/2018 9:03 PM

I am so happy that meditation has helped you realize how wonderful you are, Tracey! Your story resonates with me, as I, too, was an over-thinker. I've overcome that, though not through meditation. Not that it really matters how, as long as we find a way to enjoy life more without overthinking everything.

The height of my overthinking was during my college years. Being in my head so much took away precious time when I could have just tried to "enjoy the moment". My fear was that I would say something stupid or embarassing. So I thought a lot without being present when I could have just tried to have fun. I didn't realize then that if I could let myself be me, I would wind up with friends who loved me for being me. I need not have worried about what everyone else thought of me.

All these mind-trips we pull to feel accepted! Good thing we have learned it's easier and more fun to be true to ourselves.


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Tracey Yokas

5/16/2018 10:52 AM

You are so right, Sue..it's important to think deeply about things..but over-thinking doesn't end up helping. There's an important distinction between the two though I'm not sure I could articulate what it is exactly. And you got that right...your friends love you exactly the way you are. Thanks for reading and commenting xo

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