My Favorite Personal Growth Tool: The Work of Byron Katie

I come from a family of very strong women. They’ve always inspired me to grow and to push myself to ever greater heights of self-actualization.

My mother in particular is a pillar of strength of character. She sets audacious goals for herself and blows everyone away with how she is able to not only achieve those goals, but keep reaching to greater ones. If there is one mantra that she dished out when I was growing up, and to be honest, still to this day, it’s this:
“Anything you put your mind to you can do.”

The problem for me, though was that, for much of my life, it felt like my thoughts were ruling my mind, not me. I for one, was never able to turn a switch and get my mind to stop thinking. It’s like if I tell you not to imagine a blue horse, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have a blue furry friend braying his way across your mind’s eye. It always seemed that an innumerable number of thoughts were racing through my head. Many of them, to be honest, made me quite miserable. My favorites are “I’m a failure” and “I’m unlovable.” I’ve noticed I’m not alone there. Those thoughts are among humanity’s top 10 all time hits.

So I’d either succumb to the misery my thoughts created or go into fight or flight trying to run away from them. I was either in prison or an escaped convict. And neither of those positions puts you in the driver’s seat of your life, in a state of calm, mindful control over yourself and your actions. So, the question is, how do you gain control over what you put your mind to?

How a Pair of Tightwads are Going Yogi

Most people who meet me assume that, as part of my full on crunchy-granola healthy living package, I’ve been doing yoga for, like, ever. But the reality is that except for a quick class in college and a few months in the neighborhood, I’ve never made friends with a yoga mat.

That was… until a few months ago. I’d been carrying around the “should” of doing yoga and the desire to quiet my mind and become more flexible for ages. But I never acted upon it. Then a friend told me that she’s been doing Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and not only loves it, but has her kids doing it too! “She’s so cute. You just want to be friends with her,” she told me. I sort of nodded and quickly forgot about it. But somehow, way down deep, my friend had planted a seed.