First off. I want this to be a collaborative piece. I want to hear your experiences, thoughts, opinions, etc. Friends, please comment below and let’s get a community conversation going!
Time for some real talk.
I tend to be a negative and cynical person. I have always been inclined to pick out the bad in something over the good, and overthink EVERYTHING.
Recent example: I hosted a dinner party with friends, we all enjoyed our time together and shared great laughs. However, after they left I thought it was a failure because I didn’t have fancy salad tongs. Instead of seeing all the great things that happened, I chose to let that negative energy consume me and assume all my best friends left thinking “Wow, Heather didn’t have salad tongs! This dinner sucked!” That’s the old me. Something changed for me recently and I want to share my experiences with you, friends!
Let me preface this next part by saying I am not knocking what works for you. I think if you have a tool that makes you happy that is great! These are just my honest experiences.
My mom in my adult years has become very spiritual, she is into reiki and she meditates a lot. She would give advice like “say 3 positive affirmations to yourself each morning.” I would roll my eyes and think ‘that sounds out there and dumb.’ (Sorry mom!) She would tell me to let the negative stuff go, that I worry too much, etc etc, and I would say “yeah Mom, I know” but deep down I knew that I was saying these things to pacify her.
Next person who has tried to help me throughout my life is me dear friend Andrew. He is a master of personality traits, how they interact together, their tendencies, and pros and cons. He is a Myers Briggs guru, we have challenging and interesting conversations all the time. He suggested (or I mentioned and he approved) writing a few positive things that happened that day in a journal at night before I go to sleep. I thought this was a great idea and I did do it for awhile. But, it never made me feel more positive. I was just going through the motions, and actually nitpicking and finding the negative in the event, even when writing the positive thing that happened.
When I reflect there are two monumental things that have changed the way I think completely. The first thing was a Women’s Day meditation that was led by Sutra Studios owner Rebecca Fritz. I had never done a meditation before, let alone a group meditation, and I was really REALLY scared to go. This event was happening right after a class I took, I was already at the studio and didn’t have a good excuse not to go. I put my fear of looking dumb or not doing it the right way aside and confidently walked right into the room. Yikes!
I can’t remember exactly what was said but one thing really stuck out. Rebecca said ‘think of a young person you love, and if there was one thing you could tell them what would you say’ (She said this a HELL of a lot more eloquent, beautiful, and thought provoking. But, I can’t remember verbatim the words that she said.) She told us to dig deep in our soul and take that one pearl of advice and give it to this young girl. I immediately decided my one piece of wisdom or advice was ‘it’s ok to be happy.’ Rebecca then said “now instead of looking at that young girl and giving her advice, you are now looking at yourself.” Bam that one realization helped change my life! Thanks Rebecca if you are reading this ;).
The next thing was setting an intent at my yoga practice. I didn’t used to do this and I thought it was a little woo woo and silly. When the yoga instructor was suggest an intent, they never really connected for me.
One random day I decided to start setting an intent for my practice, and my intent has stayed the same since I started. Strength. That’s it. Just that one word. Strength can mean so many different things. Sometimes to me it means ‘Autumn didn’t sleep, I am fucking tired, and I need the strength to just power through this practice.’ Or other days ‘I have the inner strength to be brave and put myself out there for a job. Without making judgements on myself that they won’t like me.’ Or even ‘Things are not going great in my relationship with my husband right now, but I have the strength to stand strong for myself and my daughter. And be happy outside of those issues.’ There are so many more things strength can mean, those are just a few things that have come to my mind at practice throughout the months.
I have always been a cold turkey, rip the bandaid off type of gal. So in reflection, I think the things that were suggested to me by others didn’t work before because they were not ‘all in’ enough. The spark that took me to a different state of mind was realizing ‘that it’s ok to be happy’ and leaping in without looking back.
So that is my journey. What’s yours?