wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

How yoga can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.’

A great quote. Yet for beginners, this may seem a bit confusing and mind boggling..

How on earth are you supposed to find out more about yourself through practising some postures and breathing?

Ever been to a yoga class determined to quieten the mind and be in a peaceful space.. then find the person practising next to you has really loud distracting breathing? You can’t really ask them to stop breathing so you have the choice of being agitated and annoyed for the next hour or to change your perspective and just accept it and let it be.

Similarly in life.. we may expect things to go in a certain way but then outside circumstances change it, we either accept them and adjust or we end up suffering and hurting because we resist and let our emotions get the better of us.

Being on the mat allows us to be. A time to come to the present moment, bring awareness to ourselves, watch the mind and listen to the body.

Attempting to be present in the now is something we all manage to do for only a short period of time before we get distracted.. let alone a 90minute class! By watching how present or how easily distracted we are on the mat, we can then see that this may reflect how present we are in the rest of our lives, spending time with loved ones but thinking of work? Spending time in work but thinking about what to cook for dinner? If this is the case then you may be present physically but not as you, this is how you let life slip by because you’re never really there if you’re not really present.

Being on the mat brings this new found awareness into your life.

Watching the mind can prove interesting in yoga, especially when you come to postures that appear difficult. The mind might say ‘I can’t do that’ before even trying. How many times does this then also reflect in your normal life? The mind might be too busy concentrating on how much more flexible your neighbours are compared to you leaving you feeling inferior ; could this also be true that you then spend a lot of time comparing your life with other peoples?

One of my favourite reasons I enjoy practising yoga or meditating is so I can see where my mind is at. Everyone’s state of mind changes from moment to moment depending on what’s happening. I can wake some mornings and be fully present and peaceful, other times my mind will be thinking of past, future, day dreaming and distracted and that then tells me that I need to put some extra work into achieving peace for myself and doing less.

It let’s you come to know yourself in a new way, listening and allowing you to help yourself.

How much do you listen to your body? Do you find that you will attempt the full posture instead of a variation because everyone else is doing that, even though your hamstrings might be yelling for you to stop pushing yourself. Or do you find that you could push yourself further into a posture but you like to relax and play it comfortable? Again, these things can all reflect in how you go about your daily life.

So.. Let the yoga mat be your place of learning, enter with an open-mind and child like curiosity. There is no need to judge any of these things that you may discover about yourself. Observation is simply watching, don’t take it too seriously and put a judgement of it being bad or good. See it as a game and say ‘thank you for that lesson, I can now be aware if I do something similar in daily life.’

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Namaste!

 

 

 

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Love

QUOTE - EVERYTHING IS LOVELove is the answer to the healing of ourselves, humanity and all living beings. Once we find the love within ourselves, then we can share it.

To see everyone’s actions as coming from love or a calling for love – We are all humans. perfectly imperfect. We slip up, we make mistakes, when this happens we need love, support, understanding.. there is no need to judge, criticize, compare one another. We are all the same beneath the surface, we have the same fears and the same deep earning for love & connection.

To live life only viewing yourself and others from the surface, is to miss out on a life of depth and meaning. Life has infinite depth, you have infinite depth. You have meaning, Life has meaning.

You are Love. Life is Love.

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The Many Benefits of Yoga

Why do I and many others try to  practise Yoga daily?

What is the purpose of it?

Yoga has many benefits in a variety of sectors; physical, mental, energetic & spiritual.

Physical Benefits – So practising yoga asanas (postures) with moving our physical bodies, helps stretch the muscles, create more flexibility and strength, improves blood circulation and is well known for easing back pain. Practising yoga daily therefore allows you to observe how you improve in different postures, push beyond previous limits and allow you to do things you never thought possible – giving a great self-esteem boost. It also allows you to practise acceptance for your body, we are all built differently and sometimes we physically cannot do something because our bones compress etc; that is ok. It also helps you keep a healthy and fit body to live a good life!

‘Look after your body or you won’t have anywhere to live’

Mental Benefits – Practising yoga can helps ease the mind as we use the tools of concentration. Focusing on being in the correct alignment/posture, focusing on a specific spot or concentrating on your breathing – these are all techniques to help still the mind as all the focus flows in one direction. This calm & stillness then allows you to think with clarity and make better choices in life. Also being aware of what you think about on the mat is a benefit – If you find yourself thinking about the past or future; realize you probably want to work on being in the present moment if you want a quieter mind. If you’re worrying about things you have to do; realize it’s better to get them out the way first! These are only examples, the yoga mat is a place of self-exploration and discovery.

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Energetic Benefits – This can be seen in various ways: please go by whatever resonates with you. Practising any physical activity creates a difference in our energetic system and usually a form of physical exercise as some people view yoga as; can produce happy hormones. We can also feel much more relaxed from slow breathing, slow movement..just in general slowing down from our regular day life! It can also go the opposite way (depending on your class) and you may leave feeling full of energy and life, rearing to go.

Another aspect of energetic benefits is the sublimation of energy within the Chakras. The Chakras are Energetic centres corresponding with specific glands, organs and facets of your being. There are 7 main  energy centres running from the bottom of the spine, along to the crown of the head. Usually we have imbalances or blockages from things we supress, general phenomenon’s in life and emotional blockages of  experiences that we have held on to. Imbalances in our chakras have a huge impact on our overall energetic system as energy cannot flow from one chakra to the other.. this can affect us through physical disease, behaviour, overall energy and health. Practising yoga postures often can help to balance these through the working on specific postures known to help grounding, opening the heart etc.

‘Energy flows where attention goes’

Spiritual Benefits – I put this last for a reason, because many of us begin yoga for a physical or mental benefit. We get told we’ll become flexy and strong, be able to do cool postures and it will make us calm and relaxed – Perfect activity or what?

I say this  from experience.. perhaps not for everyone, but yoga is so much more than that. If you decide to explore the traditional Indian philosophy behind it and practise what ancient yogis wrote down in texts, you will find a lot of wisdom. Yoga is traditionally seen as a spiritual practise (I had no idea until I got interested in researching), although I was never religious or had faith in anything in particular, my heart just found resonance in the yogic teachings. There is no right and wrong, there is only guidance. Practising things such as truthfulness, non-harming to yourself and others, self-discipline, contentment.. try it for a week and see the difference it makes. Living a life through guidance of enlightened sages that share their wisdom and knowledge to be free from the mind and its limitations. To control the mind instead of having it control us. It helped me realize that I am so much more than my physical body, that everyone is, to have kindness and compassion for myself and others. So practising yoga also gives you the opportunity to explore bringing spirituality into your life through following guidance of spiritual texts, following daily self enquiry to reconnect with your soul and your true self, beyond the mind.

These are brief examples on the benefits of yoga and I hope you will have a further insight to what yoga can bring to your life. Go to a class with an open mind, with curiosity and see what feels right for you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To change our lives, we must be open and willing to change

 

   

   

Here is a great affirmation from Louise.l.hay

If you are struggling with changes in you’re Life repeat this affirmation daily 🙂 

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Lose yourself to find yourself 

many people struggle with the feeling of losing themselves, not knowing who they are or finding who they are. If you consider yourself as one of these people, see it in a positive light. How can you find yourself if you weren’t to lose yourself in the first place? 

Here’s a paragraph from eckhart tolle’s book, A new earth: 

‘To the ego it will seem as if you were losing yourself, but the opposite is the case. Your ego is a form-identity, as your ego becomes less, you become more. If you are alert enough, you may be able to detect some of these unconscious patterns within yourself; 

Demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don’t get it. Trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene. Giving your opinion when nobody asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation. Trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks etc. Taking things personally, feeling offended, making yourself right and others wrong. 

Once you have detected such a pattern within yourself, I suggest you conduct an experiment. Find out what it feels like and what happens if you let go of that pattern. Just drop it and see what happens. 

De-emphasising who you are on the level of form is another way of generating consciousness. Discover the enormous power that flows through you into the world when you stop emphasising your ego, your form identity. ‘

I think this is a great paragraph for us all as I’m sure we can all find some truth within ourselves and those behavious. For some, reading that might make you feel angry, or your ego angry I should say. There’s so much truth in those words, it take guts to accept that truth within yourself. By becoming aware of that truth, you have the awareness to change and grow. 

We can only change things we don’t like once we become aware and accept our ego’s behaviour. Only when your ego feels small will you be able to grow as your true self. 

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Our words and actions affect each other

In the previous post I touched up on the ripple effect that we create when we unconsciously act negatively towards another person, and how it can impact their thoughts and beliefs about themselves or others.

I just wanted to explain a little more in depth of how this works. You may think a negative comment might not affect someone for the rest of their life and this may be true, but either way it will affect them. Do you want to be responsible for making people suffer?

We all have a great impact on each other when we are in contact. This being The general public, friends, acquaintances, partners, people we have relationship with, our family and parents.

I will give a few examples..

The general public, we may not have a life standing impact on these people who we brush past once in a blue moon, nonetheless we have impact. For example, working in a coffee shop it truly makes a difference when you have a customer come in with a happy, positive attitude and conversation, it has a positive impact on my day and I’m bound to have a much happier day just from the lift of that one persons positive energy.
Whereas if someone is rude and unkind towards me, I am less likely to be jumping for joy and this might affect me for the rest of the day
– which ripple effects onto other customers. The same can happen vice versa, if i was horrible to a customer it could ruin their day and they may never return after their bad experience.

As people we have an unhealthy habit of holding onto people’s words and actions and taking them personally.

However the most serious cases and more harmful are in our close relationships – with people we think highly of, people we care for or people we love. Being our partners, friends, lovers or family members.

A negative action or words will hurt deeper if it’s by someone you’re close to.

An example is flirting with other people whilst in a relationship and perhaps even cheating. The words and actions you use affect the partner, perhaps for life. It can knock self confidence and esteem, they may grow insecure about themselves. Many people have trust issues and find it difficult to let go and carry this to their next relationship. Did you ever consider that cheating on someone could affect that persons relationships for the rest of their lives? Or how they think of themselves? I have been guilty of doing this in the past, luckily I was young and completely unaware of how my actions affect others, it’s in the past and I forgive myself and let it teach me
for the future. If you have also treated someone this way, don’t beat yourself up but learn from it and it’s effects.

If you are a parent, be conscious of how you bring up your child, be aware of what you teach them of what you say to them and how you say it. Children already have so many pressures, they don’t need to be threatened by fear of not being good enough. I see so many children forced into doing things they don’t enjoy, living their parents dreams. Think of how this will affect your child growing up – does it show you support them to be themselves, giving them a foundation to being confident, to be who they want to be?

On the opposite hand, be aware of how you speak to your parents. It’s easy to take it out on our folks after a bad day. In my teenage years I used to say I hate you to their faces, I cant imagine how that felt for them. When we disrespect our parents, do something against them or let them down, imagine how that affects them. They may start believing they’re terrible parents, blame themselves, blame each other – causing friction in marriage. It can spiral in many directions.

Many things can add up more and more if you carry past memories into the future. I have also felt insecure, doubted myself and tried to change myself from being deeply unhappy with the feeling of not being good enough. This stemmed from people’s unconscious actions and words, people That I forgive because they were unaware to the affects they had on me.
It only came to my awareness through therapy how much we all affect each other. some large and some small things stuck with me for years, i am a sensitive soul who doesn’t take things lightly and I held onto many things from the past.

We all tend to hold onto hurt from the past from people’s unconscious actions, this is why it’s important to dig them out become aware of them and let them go. Forgive the people who acted unkindly towards you as they did without awareness from a hurt inside themselves. I also hope anyone I hurt in the past who is reading this, can forgive me for my unconscious actions or words.

I hope this long (sorry!) post helps you realise the different levels of impact we have on each other’s lives. Perhaps it will make you think twice before acting or speaking negatively.

Let go of the past and learn from it – bring awareness to your thoughts, words and actions 🙂

Where the sun is always shining x

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The ripple effect, how our actions affect other people.

We are all the same, underneath the outer layers we all have feelings, emotions. The things that block us from viewing it is that were driven by fear.

People who judge and criticise behave unconsciously, they’re unaware of the damage. This is why becoming conscious and aware of our thoughts, words and actions is so important. Everything we do has a ripple affect on other people.

Have you ever said something horrible to someone? I’m guessing so. Did you ever notice how it made you feel? I’m guessing not good. When we say something horrible to someone it’s not us, it’s our ego taking over and usually coming from a place of fear, anger or sadness.

For example in high school I remember a girl who loved drama, confrontation and starting arguements. She enjoyed picking on me and I never understood why. One day I was so fed up and in the end I called her fat. She didn’t actually respond to me and so I felt like I’d won. My ego felt superior, I’d had the last word. Yet inside I knew that’s not how I wanted to behave, I didn’t enjoy calling people names – nobody does. That name calling came from a place of anger. Yet I will never know how it affected that person, I will never know wether that name calling still rings in her memory. The same as she will never know how I remember her shouting and name calling rings in my mind. We both let our egos take over and rip chunks into each other with name calling and arguing.

This is all too common. If I would’ve listened to my soul, and been mindful I would have dealt with the situation very differently. I would see that the girl had much pain, something troubling her in life that she seemed drama and attention. She obviously felt she needed reaction, good or bad. If I would’ve seen this at the time I would have responded differently instead of reacting.

Hence why we build up guards around ourselves, become closed off to other humans, afraid to show who we truly are.

If we are open, we are vulnerable and risk being hurt by others who are unconscious. Yet if we are aware that their hurtful words or actions are exactly that – unconscious. Then we have a chance of putting a stop to reaction and ego taking over.

Hurtful actions and comments stay in our memories for years, hence why it’s imperative that we bring awareness to ourselves. Everything we do and say to people has an effect on them, we never know to some extent. We must stop acting unconsciously towards others, causing harm because of we let our ego take over just in a fleeting moment you can’t undo those horrible words or horrible actions. We can only apologise.

The other side to being aware and conscious of your thoughts and actions is that when you are personally attacked by someone – you can choose to diminish their comment or action. You can become aware that they are suffering and that is the only reason why they’re behaving this way toward you. No happy person who is conscious goes around verbally abusing people.

We are all divine souls, only our ego separates us.

For example a woman once had a go at me, I was in the wrong slightly but she made it a big drama and was so angry, the tone of voice etc was not very nice. I used my awareness and could see she was troubled with something so I didn’t react or argue back. I apologised and instead talked with her as a friend would.

In a different situation someone would feel personally attacked and get angry, the ego doesn’t like to be blamed and so you would react and shout back. This would only lead to hurtful comments and cause harm to each other.. No resolving.

Then hurtful comments stay with people and they carry them for the rest of their lives.

Next time think when you’re going to criticise someone, comment on their looks or the way they are. It’s all too easy to judge and criticise when we don’t know what someone’s going through.

The only reason we can know what someone’s going through is if they’re open and honest with us – the only way we can achieve that is through less judgment and criticism in the world so people don’t let fear keep them closed up and guarded.

We are not robots, we are alive and we have feelings. We are all divine souls deep down, sometime we unconsciously let the ego take over us and that’s ok, don’t beat yourself up, become aware of it and observe how it makes you feel. The other day I made fun of someone being different and called her weird behind her back, who am I to do that? It doesn’t make me a better person, it made me feel horrible, I don’t know what she’s going through in life, my quick judgement will only prevent me from getting to know her and she is probably a lovely person. Judgment and criticism only separates us, prevents us from bonding and sharing.

Next time you find yourself judging someone or criticising them, have a think. Become aware. Be conscious to your words and actions to yourself and others. Be open and honest and expect the same in return. Try to respond instead of react to other people’s egos.

Be the change you want to see in the world 🙂

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Awareness of pretending to be someone you are not.

This week I’ve struggled to be my true self. I have been in an unfamiliar environment and fell into a trap of acting to others expectations.

This has led to several things

– low moods
– sore throat
– general unease
– agreeing with things I don’t agree with
– acting unconsciously and contributing in gossip and drama.

The great thing is because I practise mind observation, I am fully aware of how I have acted and how it affects me, physically and mentally.

Mind observation is key to bringing awareness, when things don’t feel right we can question our thoughts and behaviours and get to the root of the problem.

So I’ve been staying with a family this week and I’ve wanted to fit in. The family are different to me or so my ego thinks. My ego feels threatened as they don’t understand me, yet I haven’t really given them a proper chance. I have been afraid to voice my opinions because I fear judgment or criticism. Yes, these people may think differently from me and mock my ways, yet if I don’t voice my opinions how will I ever know? I will simply list them and misunderstanding me without really giving them a chance.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re lovely and welcoming. I am wary of how they easily judge and have many opinions. This has resulted in me hiding behind fear and simply acting, being someone I’m not, acting how others would expect me to act. Letting the ego take over.

When we are not ourselves, when we agree with things that we actually disagree with – we’re going against ourselves. Hence why many people feel lost and are trying to find who they really are. We are most of the time unaware that were acting, we do it once and we do it again, acting to other people’s expectations to avoid friction or confrontation. You can imagine if you are constantly acting and pretending to be someone you are not, simply to get along with everyone and be liked, then you can quickly become unbalanced and lose who you are. You’re suddenly agreeing with everyone else, doing what others want you to do, saying what will please others. It gets pretty hard to find yourself and your inner voice amidst all of that?!

So the solution – be true, be you.

It sounds simple and it is. I was afraid to tell the people that I didn’t want to join them on a day out, I did it and guess what – they didn’t hate me. Perhaps they took it personally but that would be their problem. I explained I wanted to do some walking. I had originally without awareness agreed to go but I really didn’t want to, I was upsetting myself in order to not upset them, where’s the sense in that?

We are in control of making ourselves happy, the same as others are in control of making themselves happy.

It would be madness to create anxiety and misery to ourselves just to make someone else happy. Usually they get over it anyway and are responsible for creating their own happiness.

We can’t depend on others to create our happiness. It starts from within.

I have struggled this week and I have actually found it difficult to focus on writing this post – therefore another sign I need to recharge my energy and focus on myself.

Whenever you become aware of feeling out of balance and drained from acting, not being yourself try these few things –

Meditation, balancing postures, yoga, walking, writing to yourself.

The start of the week I found myself drawn to social media, television – all a sign of trying to zone out from reality but in a unhealthy way.

Practise mind observation, be brave and be yourself.

Lots of love

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Surrender to the now

This morning I was reading about surrender. As humans we relate surrender to giving up, although that’s our ego that feels like it’s giving up. Our egos don’t like surrendering because it makes the ego feel small, weak. This is why we end up arguing, reacting and defending our’self’ (ego). The ego wants to be right and doesn’t want to give up.

What happens when we surrender?

It feels uncomfortable perhaps to start with. Then with no reaction and simply a feeling of release, we are able to realise that yes the ego has had a knock down, leaving more room for our true self to come through.

Next time you get blamed for something, try to resist your natural instinct of reacting, defending or arguing to be right. The ego doesn’t care about truth, it just wants to protect itself. Instead do nothing, it doesn’t make you any less of a person if you know the truth inside. In fact it makes your ego smaller and your soul shows up more and more.

Reaction only fuels more reaction and drama. The opposite of peace. If we want peace in our lives then we have to practise it instead of letting the ego react to every situation. We surrender.

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Everything that irritates us in others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves

Everything that irritates us in others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

What do you think this means?

Do you ever think about why you get annoyed with people? Why that habit they have irritates you or the way they act or behave.

I read this quote a while ago and always tried figuring out where I could be behaving in the same way as the behaviour of others annoyed me.

I had a huge revelation whilst writing in my journal the other day. I was thinking about how I thought a guy I met had been special, yet I was open to meeting more special people in the future. However I didn’t like the thought of this one special guy wanting to go on and meet other special girls – I liked the thought of me being the only special girl, otherwise My mind said I wasn’t special at all.

You can imagine the confusion in my mind because to me I could meet several special people, all different and special to me. Yet if the tables where turned and the special guy met new special girls, my mind would say that I wasn’t special to him at all. It didn’t count the same for him that he could meet several special girls all different and special in each way to him. It woke me up to the fact that sometimes I think a situation is different before I even consider how I would act if I was in the other persons shoes?

Have you ever been the victim to someone treating you badly in a relationship or friendship? Perhaps your friend bailed on you to hang out with her new boyfriend, perhaps your boyfriend flirted with his ex.. Things that are bound to annoy you, things that make you question your relationship/friendship. Yet you may never question your love for your friend/partner of you where to bail on them or flirt with your ex. You don’t see it as anything wrong because you know you love your friend/ partner.. Yet they see your behaviour and feel unloved.

Usually we find it hard to recognize our own faults, me very much included. Sometimes others help us become aware of them , yet other time a good factor is to just look at what annoys us.. We will usually find we’re behaving exactly the same way to the same person or another.

Sometimes we need to think outside our bubble and take a step to look at our actions, how would we feel in the other persons shoes. Usually we can resolve whatever annoys us because we find it within ourselves too.

Have a think, write down people/things/behaviours/actions that annoy you and see if you can recognize yourself jn any of them. Be true, honest and open, that’s how you will break through the problem.

Good luck and remember writing a journal is great for figuring stuff out 🙂

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