Last week I found myself in a bit of a funk and had a pretty hard time finding my way out of it. Instead of using my negative emotions as guidance to make a shift in my behavior, I began beating myself up for feeling badly. I would walk outside, stare at the ocean and berate myself for not being grateful to be surrounded by so much beauty. I searched for excuses as to why I felt so bad; maybe I was getting my period so I was feeling moody, perhaps my anger stemming from a past situation was coming up again, or maybe I just deserved to wallow. It took me a few days of journaling, tears, and some misplaced anger before I finally realized the true issue. I had fallen out of alignment with my Authentic Self, my Inner Being. Sure I can come up with all sorts of reasons about why I deserve to feel badly, most of us humans can. But no matter how many justifications I offered myself, or how much I brought myself back to past situations, I just felt worse. My goal in life is to be an uplifter, to heal others with my words that resonate and actions that radiate positivity. If I choose to be stuck in the past and wallow, am I getting any closer to these goals? No, in fact I was getting farther from them as I was not tuned in to my Emotional Guidance Scale.
One of the awesome parts of our human experience is that we get to experience a range of emotions. From joy, gratitude, love, and appreciation, to despair, grief, anger and jealousy. It is important that we don’t disregard the negative emotions, but rather hold gratitude for them, as they help us grow, learn, and bend. The more we are able to bend the less likely we are to break. I have come back into alignment with my Inner Being by recognizing my negative emotions, feeling them, and then releasing them. Previously I have tried to brush my negative emotions under an imaginary rug so I could continue to be a beacon of positive light for those in my life. This response wasn’t fair to me or to the people I was trying to uplift, because I was being inauthentic and often ended up lashing out on those who did not deserve it. After listening to many Abraham Hicks recordings and receiving valuable insights I have been able to see the good in the negative emotions. Not only in the whole, “Without rain there are no rainbows” sense (although this is true), but because these negative emotions are working to guide us back into alignment with our Inner Being. After I accept these negative emotions and work through them, I feel more connected to those around me. Sometimes I feel like people think they can’t talk to me about their negative emotions because I do come across as such a light, positively focused individual. By being vulnerable and real with others I am opening the door to so many more meaningful connections and conversations.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned this past week is to treat myself and my growth with compassion. Becoming frustrated or angry with myself will only slow the process, and I have found this to be true on my mat as well. For a couple of months now I have been working on transitioning from crow to tripod headstand, and then back to crow. I found myself falling out, a lot, and often become frustrated. I would try to laugh it off in class but inside I would be asking my body how it wasn’t strong enough yet. That was my first mistake. While most in the Western world view yoga as a form of exercise through stretching, yoga also refers to union or oneness. To be fully practicing yoga one must find the balance and connection of their body, mind, spirit, and breath. During one practice, after I had a near face plant a thought floated into my head- yoga is not about forcing your body into a pose, but rather breathing into it, coming into alignment and allowing ease to guide your movements. As I came down from my headstand, I brought my knees to my triceps and paused, activating my lower abs through Uddiyana-bandha (an abdominal lock achieved by pulling your lower abs in and up as if they were moving back towards your spine) and allowed my breath to flow through me as I lifted my hips. A ginormous smile broke out on my face as I flew back to chaturanga dandasana (low plank). By replacing my criticism with compassion and ease I created space for myself to grow!
I love how breakthroughs on my mat so often relate to what I am going through off the mat. These breakthroughs offer me a different way to view my current situation and illuminate a new path, a path of ease and little resistance. When I start to feel frustrated with a person or situation I can step back and ask how I can change my perspective and actions to allow optimum growth. I’m sure as hell not perfect at this yet, but I’m proud of myself for developing this awareness, and I’m very content knowing that I will only continue to grow from here.
I’m including a video in this week’s post, because I’m super stoked about how much progress I’ve made, and even more excited about what’s to come.
Love and light,
∞ Noelle ॐ