Lately I have been thinking a lot about positivity and how we can recognise and shift our negative patterns.
This was in my mind anyway but I attended a much-anticipated event last night and, in a new environment with lots of people I didn’t know, I was suddenly swept inwards and back to a place in my teens where I felt ill at ease, nervous about being liked and on the outskirts of being accepted. I could feel myself sinking deeper into this, questioning my likeability, feeling really uncomfortable and wanting to leave. This sounds really lightweight, but my teens were difficult for various reasons and it has taken me a long time to shake off debilitating social awkwardness.
In my younger days, I would have dealt with this with a MASSIVE glass of something toxic (*which to be fair has its merits*) but I have realised over time that this is a counter productive solution for me personally. Considering escape wasn’t really an adult option, I decided to sit with my discomfort and question the feeling instead.
I realised it was fear and a primal survival instinct to run away. It was coming from within me alone and none of the people around me were thinking any of the things I was imagining. I was making it all up in my head and they would only think I was a complete twit if I sat there the whole evening in silence or ran away. I do not want to be a teenager again, I really don’t. I realised that the only thing for it was to change the ‘pattern’ and breath into the fear until it finally went away. Once I had realised that it was just a inbuilt and learned pattern from my past rather than the current reality, it was much easier to deal with.
I wanted to share this with you as an example of how we can ‘master’ our negative mental patterns by simply noticing how we are feeling, recognising our own familiar pattern and then enforcing a positive shift.
I believe I have reached this place now through practicing Yoga, asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath work) as well as the work I did during my teacher training course with Dylan Ayaloo at Hot Power Yoga. Practising the physical poses creates an awareness of how our body feels and practising breath work enhances the connection of our body with our mind. Meditation tops it all off with a big shiny positivity cherry, but I still really need to work on this bit!
In her book, Breathing Tree, which I highly recommend, Rebecca Dennis explains:
“Positive thinking sends messages to our brain via neurotransmitters to the neural pathways…neurons that learn together fire quicker and wire together. If we keep feeding our brain negative thoughts, the neural pathways for negative thinking become stimulated.”
So, in this week’s classes we are going to have a positivity boost to fire up and wire together our positive neural pathways!
Many of my new students say things like “I’m not flexible”, “ I have no core”, “my upper arm strength is zero!”
I would like to invite you to shift your focus during your practice away from the things you can’t do (yet!) and onto the things you can. And focus on what you would like to achieve.
I am strong
I am flexible.
Why? Because we bloody deserve it! And what is the alternative?
“We match our behaviour with our self-concept. Afraid of making mistakes, we dare not venture outward and keep ourselves small and limited, giving us just cause for our feelings of inferiority. Without the belief that we can succeed, we quit without really trying, and of course, in quitting, we prove to ourselves that we cannot succeed.” Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind
Limitations are simply the creations of our mind. Recognise this and there will be no stopping you.
So guys. From one mama to another.
You are doing great!