Mauvaise foi / Bad faith

I remember the time when I first discovered existential philosophy, and the accompanying, immense relief I felt when I read about existential anxiety. Suddenly, all of the feelings I’d been experiencing since I was around 11 years old, since the moment I decided religion wasn’t for me and the notion of god just wasn’t going to work for me, were all written on paper in black and white in my very hands. Suddenly so much of my world made sense. Suddenly my shoulders felt lighter and I had a new and much clearer way of being in the world. I spent the next few months dreaming about sitting in Parisian cafes, drinking black coffee, smoking cigarettes and discussing existential philosophy all day with bohemian types. Then I’d wake up, smell the coffee, and realise my next rent payment was due.

The process of using theory to catalyse change is one we have harnessed in our work at our charity, Foundation for Change, teaching psychology and philosophy to people to help them make sense of their pasts and the impact of these on their current behaviours. Once someone can get past the feeling of being so predictably ‘text-book’, and perhaps not being as special and unique as they thought they were, there is a process of normalising that takes place. Events, behaviours, thoughts, feelings, all begin to make sense. Pennies drop, dots connect, tectonic shifts take place. It’s an incredible thing to witness and be a part of.

I’m particularly proud of our approach at the charity and so much of what we cover applies to yoga, and many other disciplines I’m sure. We have a Facebook page that we often post bits of interesting psychological theory or philosophy on to which is worth checking out if you’re into that kind of thing. Here’s a video I posted recently to give you a taste. See if you can relate it your yoga practice…