Tag Archives: negative

52 FEATS – NUMBER 51 (Not Complaining)

20 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

I’ve had two conversations recently during which I suddenly realized I was doing nothing but complain.  In both situations, someone had asked me the simple question, “How are you?”  Several minutes later, I noticed that I hadn’t talked about anything but how busy I am, how overworked, how hectic life is, etc.  Complain, complain, complain…  Do I hate my life that much?  No!  And who wants to listen to that??

Plus, it’s the holidays, for crying out loud – it’s a wonderful, fun time!  I suppose it’s just the pessimist in me that immediately spouts off the negative, when I truly have so much to be happy about.

For my penultimate Feat, I intend to work on not complaining.  I’m going to be very mindful about what I’m saying and try my hardest to steer away from negativity.  You should try it, too – and have a very happy holiday season!

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Inspirational Yoga

23 Nov

I am frequently inspired in yoga and this weekend was more of the same, only different.  There is an instructor at The Yoga Project that I have grown to love.  I say “grown” because I used to fear her and her Sunday morning class. I only continued to go, because it was literally the only class I could fit into my busy schedule.

To illustrate my point, her nickname among yogis has become “The Velvet Hammer”.  She works you on a physical as well as intellectual level.  She challenges you to go further, work harder, find more, never settle, all with ease, grace, and balance.  The kicker is that she does it all with a big smile on her face and a bubbly, friendly tone of voice.

While I feared her before, I love her now.  While I was sweating away this morning, focusing on the negative voice in my mind, telling me I should cry, I should just give up, I can’t do this; I heard a snicker.  I quickly realized the snicker was actually a giggle and it was coming from the woman practicing beside me.  In that moment, I shifted my perception.

In that moment, hearing the laugh, I felt gratitude; gratitude that I am able to practice yoga, gratitude for the opportunity to challenge myself, gratitude for some time to myself doing something I love, gratitude for the ability to shift my perception.

In every given moment, we have the ability to shift, to move, to change our perception.  We fight against ourselves when we allow those negative thoughts to control what we think about ourselves and our environment. The only thing required for peace and happiness is a shift in perception.

Transitions and shifts in awareness on the mat translate to change in real life.  This morning yoga helped me to realize that it was only my perception this morning that caused me to feel I wanted to cry.  Perception is not reality.  The moment I changed my perception, was the moment I could move forward with the class in joy and gratitude!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 40 (Breaking Through “Can’t”)

3 Oct

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

I learned something amazing recently – a true epiphany.

Last week, I was in a yoga class and the instructor called the pose Half Saddle.  I wasn’t familiar with it, so I waited for the directions: sit down with your legs straight out in front of you, bend one leg at the knee behind you, and lay backwards, all the way down.

Immediately, I thought to myself, “No way.  With my crappy knees?  Can’t do it.  Wouldn’t even dream of trying it.  I’ll just do a modification and get through it the best I can without tearing something.”

So I put my leg back and just sort of leaned backwards on my hands.  But then, somehow, something changed.  Instead of listening to my brain telling me “No, you can’t do this,” I listened to the instructor and his reminders about breathing.

I’ve been to lots of yoga classes, so I know the drill: just follow your breath.  When things get tough or you meet resistance, just come back to your breath and ride right through it.

So I did.  For once I just told my brain to shut up and get out of my way.

And boom, before you know it, I was completely in Half Saddle.  I was shocked and amazed with myself, and not in a bit of pain.

It’s like that scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry conjures his Patronus for the first time.  Remember that?  Because he had seen himself do it already, he knew that he could!  Well, of course that sort of gives you a headache to think about, but it certainly demonstrates the point.

To use another yoga analogy, a year or so ago I was finally able to do Crow pose, something that I thought looked completely, inhumanly impossible the first time I saw it.  And since then?  I can do Crow every time.  Every single time.  Why?  Because I know I can.  Before I even start it, I’ve already decided in my head that I can—and will—do it.  So it happens.

Sometimes we are capable of more than we realize, if we truly just believe it.  I think that applies to life in general, not just yoga.

So for this week, I’m going to try and identify all the things I automatically tell myself I can’t do…and just try them anyway.  I have nothing to lose, and who knows what I may be capable of, if I can just get out of my own way?

What are you telling yourself you CAN’T do?  Do you think maybe you CAN if you just get that negative voice out of your head?  As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”

Just for the Smudge of It

27 Oct

Do you ever feel bogged down with negativity, stuck in a rut, depressed, anxious, sick, or fearful?  Of course!  We all have experienced these draining emotions from time to time.  In the interest of coming up with something interesting, new, and perhaps a little mysterious as Halloween approaches, I wanted to focus on a ritual I find very helpful from time to time, in order to clear the space in my home, drive negative forces/energy out, revamp the positive energy, rejuvenate, and cleanse the environment.

Many of us appreciate the benefits of a soothing bath or a vigorous shower to cleanse and refresh our body.  Equally as effective, but on the psychic energetic level, is the practice of smudging.  Smudging is a powerful cleansing technique which Native Americans have used for centuries; however, the burning of herbs for emotional, psychic, and spiritual purification is common practice in many religious, healing, and spiritual traditions.

Smudging is a ritual way to cleanse a person, place or an object of negative energies or influences.  The theory behind smudging is that the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as it clears it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space to be regenerated.

There are many ways to smudge.  You can smudge any space, person, animal or thing, so long as they are receptive.  There is no wrong way to smudge.

The first time I smudged, I was experiencing some negative energy with my spouse.  We were going through several big transitions, including a pregnancy and a move.  I felt weighed down by all of the pressure and some perceived negativity.  One of my cousins told me I should smudge.  I researched it on the Internet and although slightly skeptical, I thought I’d give it a whirl, seeing as I certainly didn’t have anything to lose.

I purchased a sage smudge stick from Central Market.  I opened several of the windows and began at the front door.  When I lit the stick, it smelled a little like marijuana, and I became slightly paranoid the neighbors would smell it and call the police on me.  Fortunately, they didn’t and all was well!  I said a prayer of protection and proceeded to smudge the environment.  I like to work counter-clockwise.  As I enter each room, I wave the stick slowly throughout the entire space, top to bottom.  It is a good idea to do closets and open all cabinets and drawers too.  In each room, I say something aloud, along the lines of “Clear this space of everything that is not helpful to the home or the people living inside of it,” but really, you can say anything that comes to mind.

It is a good idea to carry a glass or ceramic plate or a bowl of water with you when performing the smudge ceremony to catch any falling embers.  It can also be helpful to turn any ceiling fans on as well.

When the cleansing is complete and all rooms have been cleared, some people like to extinguish the flame and bury the stick, cementing the idea that with that stick, all of the negativity will disappear.  I am a huge fan of recycling, so I save my stick to use again.

I have smudged my mom’s house, my children, myself, my mom, my mom’s dog, the girls’ playhouse, and our new house twice.  Once I have completed the ceremony I feel so much better, knowing that my home has been cleansed.  Initially, I think my husband thought I was a little crazy.  The last time I did it though, he came home from work and said, “I’m so glad you smudged!”

If you believe in ghosts or spirits, you can even use this exercise to drive them out of your home.

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