Our disbelief in our own normality


I can’t help but think that we have gone so far in one direction that we are starting to go backwards. We have convinced ourselves that we cannot just be normal naturally so we need to find ways to be it. 

And is this because there is an awakening on just how abnormal our lives are that we believe to be so broken to the point where there is no turning back?

I don’t think there is anyone who has missed the alarming statistics on health these days.

Some 20, 30 years ago it would be reserved for those particularly interested but since the access to information has changed, more people now know simply more things. 

But it also creates confusion and obsession. The concept of “hacking” one’s life, body, mind and day in general has become a goal for many. 

It’s cutting this out of your diet or more drastically, eating just one thing. It’s restricting yourself to one meal a day and it’s exercising this way or the other, so many days of the week and in different ways. It’s having your caffeine and sugar at that time so that you will enhance your mental capacity. I have even had students in a mediation class asking how to “hack” their conscious state through meditation. 

If I’m very honest, it was worse than that : it was a girl who was trying to convince a guy how she had managed to use meditation as a hack. And I just couldn’t be asked to intervene with my thoughts. Because not only would the poor chap be even more confused but this woman was not open to hearing anyone else. So just through that observation, we can see that her meditation practice wasn’t really working out. 

I felt like I played a part in one of those zen stories where the master says to the student, you will need 20 years instead of 10 to be enlightened just because you’re trying too hard. 

It also goes under the “spiritual bypass” umbrella. Not really knowing what you are actually supposed to experience but too scared to just be so instead “fake it until you make it”.

Some of the things I have seen in consultation are people who never eat, claiming that they are not hungry yet they actually would need to lose a couple of kg. However, they gob 3 coffees before lunch time and don’t see the link of their ruined metabolism there. I have also seen excessive exercising that does not bring the results they were looking for, yet the person is too scared to slow down because they think it will have detrimental effects. 

Now, let me be the first to raise my hand : the reason I see this is also because I have definitely been there. And it is just so darn common because we are so disconnected from trusting our bodies. Listening to the signals. How come people overeat? Because they don’t know how to read the signals of empty vs full stomach. 

Unfortunately it still happens : Those vegetarians and vegans who still get asked where you get your protein, from carnivores-grain free people : perhaps mention next time that gluten happens to be a protein. 

Then I have the ones who want to negotiate with me :

I encounter this often through such a simple thing as daily rhythm. When I tell people to align with the circadian rhythm, they often try to negotiate with me. I’m sorry to say so but no, there are not two types of people, night owls and early birds. Even the expressions tell us the truth. There are species who are nocturnal and the ones that are diurnal. Human beings happen to be diurnal.

If you have a problem with getting to sleep early enough, start to look at what  you are doing in the evening and you will see the writing on the wall. Over the years, I have heard all kinds of stories of why going to bed early isn’t working. And actually, most of the time it’s due to anxiety. Feeling as if not having enough free time for yourself after work, feeling as if you are missing out of some fun. But let me clear this one out : the anxiety is there because you are not sleeping at the right time. There’s also the idea that you get more done after 10 pm with the second wind. I don’t even need to go into why this is but only tell you that before electricity, there was a possibility to get things done at that time. So what do you think it will do to you when that is your pattern?

I have tried myself the extreme exercising, the none exercising, the eating this or that, the restrictive eating and all these different things had me become more and more intense in what i was doing. There was no ease and play. And isn’t it funny how the state of ease and play really is what we seek deep down in all this? We might not call it like that. Or we might call it freedom. 

And all the while, it’s this “when I get there, then” or “when this finally happens, I will feel…” 

Now, if we weren’t so disconnected from what normal living would be, no one would need these extreme practices. Because there would not need to be versions of fasting if we actually lived with the circadian rhythm. You would fast 12 to 15 hours every day anyway. You would have problem getting up in the morning, feeling refreshed and awake when you do because you would have slept in the hours where your body told you to.   

The reason we seek is of course because we are not feeling free in the way we live. And I know that our modern lifestyle has pushed our systems out of balance. This is why we don’t know what to do anymore. Living with integrity means to let the body guide you to ease. We are so constricted that we don’t even know what that feels like and so we cannot really understand relaxation. But all you need is to start because you will pick up quite fast on what it feels like to not struggle. You will have a release of energy and you will feel free. 

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞