There I was, lying facedown on my Eastern medicine doctor's table, waiting for my treatment to begin.
I let out a huge sigh. It was the first quiet moment I had gotten all week, and the first hour I had been able to carve out for others to help me heal in a long while. It felt almost luxurious.
Until I heard: “Wow! Has your backside gotten big!”
Talk about an abrupt end to anything nice.
I spent the next hour mentally analyzing my body, which—since I was facedown on the table—I couldn't even see. For the next several days, I stared at myself in every window I passed as I walked down the street, every public bathroom mirror and every non-zoomable Instagram photo in between, assessing if he was right. Was I really fat or just crazy?
The conclusion? Crazy.
I let one comment by one person takeover my mind for days. I would convince myself that I was fat, then, that my butt was normal. Then, I would decide that it was large again. This continued, my brain caught in forward and backward loops, until a client (who reminds me of Sofia Vergara) came up to me after class one day, slapped that same backside and said, "Mammasita, I have never seen your culo look so amazing."
Thanks to that comment, delivered in a beautiful Colombian accent, I realized that what I need to do back that ass up to my philosophical yogic roots: The muscle of the mind is the single most powerful element to your body, life and world. My mind took the doctor’s statement—his perception—as fact. I proceeded to beat myself up about it all until I firmly not only believed, but felt, I was fat. Yet my client’s impression was totally different and forced me to remember that existence is only made up of an amalgamation of perceptions.
Your perceptions create your reality. It's up to you to use the muscle of your mind to healthfully manage and form these perceptions, which I promptly did by throwing on some short cutoffs and going for a slice.
Ignorant perceptions, as they are called in Tibetan yoga philosophy, I.AM.YOU. and my upcoming book, Retox, impact all of us. The important thing is being cognizant of the process through which you create a reality that is managed by you and only you.