I was recently asked by a counselling client of things I do each day to make a positive difference to how I view the world and that help me live according to my values and personal truths. While my yoga and meditation practise serve as a solid foundation to my days and ground me; I reflected that there are some key things that I use each day which have now become mostly automatic and through challenging times really help me be more resilient, happier and more at peace within.
It’s said that in yoga asana practise we can die and be born again each time anew on our mat and in the same way I believe we can meet ourselves everyday with freshness and give love into our dreams, goals and inspirations and to the world around us.
There are many ways of bringing more authentic living, joy and peace into our lives and here I have shared some of my Daily Keys for Positive Living:
I love the quote that “it isn’t the happy person that is grateful – it is the grateful person that is happy”. To me this beautifully sums up the amazing art of gratitude that I believe makes a huge difference when practised every day. Daily gratitude can be done formally such as in a journal each morning or in the evening before bed or it might simply be a mental list such as 5 things you can be grateful of in any moment or at any time when the mind starts to journey on a less than helpful thought spiral. Not only does this bring us to an emotional state of peace and joy but also show us of all the abundance that surrounds us. Practising gratitude brings us right back into the present moment and connects us to our Higher Self and then gives us momentum to take that grace and love to share with others and the world around us.
To truly love ourselves can give us true freedom. Freedom from old past hurts and guilts that may have been holding us back or feeding insecurities and unconditional limits that we can put on ourselves before we may allow ourselves self-love. When we can love ourselves right now, just as we are, we connect to profound inner peace and can expand our potential as limitations can seem less binding. Our self love can expand to others by helping them to see themselves with more appreciation. This conscious practise of loving oneself can be confronting and bring many challenges and old barriers to the surface and may not happen overnight but with compassion, commitment and insight it can become a practise of love inwards and to the Divinity within us. In our day to day lives we can become our best friends, our own cheerleaders, that give our back to ourselves unconditional support, encouragment and the acknowledgment that we are perfect just as we are.
Yoga and Meditation
Just as we know how important it is what we feed our bodies and how we care for ourselves physically and mentally; how we connect into ourselves spiritually is equally important. Stepping onto our yoga mats for our favourite expression of yoga is such a gift to all parts of ourselves and makes us feel alive, vibrant and flowing with prana and able to connect back to our Higher Self. Regular meditation also can give us time to rest the busy mind and body and go within where our true source of joy, truth and peace resides and illuminates us from within. There are many different ways to meditate and many different styles of yoga that may resonate with you so take the time to explore and stay listening to your inner wisdom which can help guide you to what will serve you as well and if needed seek a teacher for direction.
The Art of Discrimination
One of my favourite teachings from my teacher Akash is the Art of Discrimination which shows us the power of choosing what brings us closer to spirit, while learning to discriminate and let go of things that take us away from spirit (or closer to the ego). We can learn the art of Discrimination to help us be more wise in our choices and more discerning in all things we do in our lives such as what we eat, what we speak of with others, what we choose to focus our mind on, what we read or watch and even the type of yoga we might chose on any given day. It can be insightful to consider when you walk away from an experience, person or situation – do you feel better? – filled up and energised and peaceful OR instead do you feel depleted, drained or maybe neutral? It can be powerful to reflect more upon how these things really make us feel -in heart, body, mind and spirit and ask if they are really serving us. When we become more discerning in our choices we are able to give more love and nurturing to ourselves even if that may mean not always saying yes to others, but instead saying yes to a deeper part of ourselves and in the process inviting more peace, calm and recharge into our lives supporting us and our visions that serve our highest spirit selves.
Support on our Path
While one could say that we are all ultimately alone on our own journey of growth and life lessons; we also grow and flourish with the support, love and care from others. We do not need to always struggle on our own and talking and sharing with others or seeking the help of a support professional in the form we need can help us take greater leaps in progress and of faith in ourselves. It can take great courage and personal insight to seek help and support when we need it and to be brave enough to find support for healing like the spiritual warrior we all need to be at times.
This yogic principle described by Patanjali is the essence of surrendering to the Divine. We do our best then we surrender it up to something much greater then ourselves. Put another way Ishvara Pranidhana can be said as “Let go and Let God” (or your spiritual principle as you feel it). We do our best in life and our efforts then we surrender it to the grace of the universe and trust that everything is as it is meant to be. Ishvara Pranidhana reminds us that we are divine beings already perfect, supported in life, loved and full of grace in this world and within. Ishvara Pranidhana reminds us to be guided from Spirit in all our actions and flows back to everything on this list of suggestions that directs us to inner clarity and wisdom of the Self needed to tap into this extraordinary source of Divine support and deep joy.
To finish I would love to share some words by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras:
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be”.