Today I was looking through the notebook I used for my 200-hour yoga teacher training. One of the many things it reminded me of was what one of my teachers, Sudha, aptly called the “itty bitty shitty committee”.
We were talking about the koshas, or different layers of being, which I’ll briefly summarize as:
- Physical / food
- Energetic / breath
- Mental / thought
- Witnessing / observer
- Connected / blissful
I fondly recall an exercise where 6 of us wanna-be instructors were each assigned to “be” a layer, with the one extra person assigned to do yoga postures. (Since at the time I was uncertain about what the others would be asked to do, I volunteered to do the poses.) While I put myself into different shapes, my 5 peers talked at me (continuously). It was an incredible experiment! My physical body complained about aching or tightness, my breath body was struggling to inhale deeply. My observer was busy being abstract about the experience from a short distance away, while my bliss body was thoroughly wrapped up in a feeling of peace. But that mental body–the one comprised of SO many judgmental and critical committee members, was telling me I wasn’t good enough, comparing me to other students in the class, planning my next meal, worrying about what was happening back home, and so on. It was a madhouse in my mind!
Ordinarily I wouldn’t realize how ridiculous some of the things I say to myself are, but in these moments, I couldn’t stop laughing. “Is this what really happens?” I thought? Yes, it is. But the difference between this exercise and real life is that WE LISTEN TO THESE VOICES, rather than see them for what they really are.
So, what is your itty bitty shitty committee saying to you today? Is it something to listen to? Is it worth the energy to talk back to them? Or, can you just close the door on that meeting room and walk away with a smile on your face, knowing you don’t have to buy what they’re selling?