Addiction is a condition characterised by self-sabotage and self harm. One of the symptoms used to diagnose is persistence in the behaviour despite the adverse impact on life. This is true if the addiction is drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, social media, cigarettes, food and more.
The Yamas of Yoga teach us to rise above the unconscious behaviour and live in greater harmony with ourselves and the world.
Ahimsa refers not only to the idea of not harming others, but also to ourselves. We can harm in our actions, words and thoughts.
Ahimsa is a powerful guiding concept to help you in recovery. It gives a basis for reflection on how you treat others, and invites you to change how you interact with the world, to be more compassionate and considerate of others. I will explore how this affects relationships with others in future posts, but now I want to look at you.
How are you harming yourself?
What negative things are you telling yourself that are causing you pain?
How do your actions stop you from achieving the peace and happiness that is your birthright as a human being?
Can you start to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in the past instead of continuing to beat yourself up over them?
Can you let go of the resentment you are hanging onto about others, instead of allowing it to eat you up inside?
Bringing Ahimsa into your life and using it to aid your self reflection can open you up to recognising that you are, indeed, worthy of love and compassion, and that the best place to start looking for it is IN YOU!
How can you be kinder to yourself today?
Maybe you could start by expressing gratitude for one thing you have done that feels good?
Perhaps you could treat yourself to a really healthy lunch, or drink more water.
How about an early night to give you the rest you need?
A good way to feel better is to do that one thing you have been putting off. Do you have some paperwork to finish, a call to make, a room to tidy up? Is there a friend you have been meaning to reach out to?
What would change if you were to reflect on ‘How have I been kind to myself today?’ every day? Give it a try, what have you got to lose?