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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Louise.L.Hay

‘We are Light. We are Spirit. We are wonderful, capable beings, all of us. And it is time for us to acknowledge that we create our own reality. We create our reality with our minds. If we want to change our reality, then it’s time for us to change our minds. We do this by choosing to think and speak in new and positive ways. I learned a long time ago that if I would change my thinking, I could change my life. Changing our thinking is really dropping our limitations. As we drop our limitations, we begin to be aware of the Infinity of life all around us. We begin to understand that we are already perfect, whole, and complete. Each day gets easier.’

Words by Louise.L.Hay (check her out, she’s amazeballs)

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Feel the fear and do it anyway

Fear and Denial. That’s what I’ve been working with this week.

Through observing my behaviour and patterns, I have come to recognize that I keep dismissing my desires. Any time an opportunity comes up to create something for myself that I am passionate about, I get excited but then dismiss it with the excuses like –

‘Its not the right time’, ‘ I don’t have the time or energy right now’ , ‘I should just focus on something smaller for now’,

I think the truth is that I am denying what I want because I am scared. Scared to admit to myself and ask for what I want because then I will want to go ahead and pursue it. If I try to pursue it, then I am vulnerable because I am out of my comfort zone in the unknown, which brings up fear.

Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of not being taken seriously.

I questioned why are these things important to me? I realized it’s only the ego they are important to.It is only my ego that will feel embarrassed, inferior or a failure. And essentially I’m trying to weaken the ego so what’s to hold me back?

If I know within that I have good intentions, that I will try my best and that’s all I can do. Then why let the ego create a false illusion of what might happen in the future because It is afraid of being damaged.

Does this scenario sound similar to you? Are you afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new for yourself? Are you afraid you will fail, look stupid or have people laugh at you?

Yet if we give in to these fears then we will never move forward, forever thinking ‘What If?’

Deep within ourselves we know what we want, sometimes we are just to scared to tell ourselves it and ask.

I think our purpose is to fulfill our passions and desires, otherwise why would they be there? They are god’s gift to us.

What we do with them is up to us. But fear.. fear is just an illusion, it is what prevents us from looking or searching for our desires, it is our excuse for acting small and inferior because we are afraid to risk things to become what we desire.

I am challenging myself to give up fear, knowing that it is only a limitation. I transform my energy to focusing on what I can do, what I can create, focusing only on the positive with affirmations and visualisation of what I want to create.

Like attracts like, its the Law of Attraction. Eliminate doubt, there is no space for that.

Great things come from the unknown..

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Recognizing the power behind your thoughts

Recognizing how your thoughts create an impact on your life is essential for everyone, especially if you find yourself suffering from unhappiness, discontentment, depression, anxiety and stress.

All of which are the outcome of negative thought patterns.

The good news.. we can change our thought patterns into positive ones, creating a positive life!

Our thoughts create our reality..

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, you may well ask.

THOUGHTS  =  EMOTION  =  SENSATION  =  ACTION/ IMPULSE/ BEHAVIOUR.

Let’s say for example,

The kid’s are fighting (scenario)

‘These kids never listen to me, I can’t cope with this right now’ (thought)

Overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety. (emotion)

tightness in the chest, shorter breath and muscle tension. (sensations)

shouting at the children, crying and perhaps smack them. (Action/Impulse/Behaviour)

Another example,

You’re with your partner and he’s talking to his really kind and beautiful friend. (scenario)

‘Why is he with me when he could do so much better, what if he leaves me because i’m not good enough.’ (thought)

Overwhelming feeling of panic, jealousy, anxiety. (emotion)

Heavy feeling in the stomach, adrenaline, fast heart beat (sensations)

Act needy and insecure with the partner, controlling and demand the partner not to see her again. (action/impulse/behaviour)

So, you see how easy it is for our thoughts to affect our reality? Creating and shaping our lives and the situations that arise.

Bring awareness to your thoughts and recognize the power behind them, this way you are taking control of your life and choosing what you bring into your reality and what you attract.

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Tuning in with your thoughts

Thoughts.. We have so many running in and out of our minds on auto-pilot that we aren’t even aware of most of them..

We have variations of thoughts, some pop up completely random, some we think regularly (like lists of things to do), some are memories from the past and some are illusions of the future.

Most of the time we don’t even know because we aren’t even aware of our thoughts, they’re running in and out without a pause to observe or contemplation.

With awareness and observation of your thoughts you get to know yourself better and can make significant changes to improve your life..

  • Taking notice of the voice/tone you speak to yourself in.

We all have a critique up there in the mind, bringing awareness to how we speak to ourselves can be shocking for some people. Also bringing awareness to the tone.Let’s say you’re answering a question in front of a class and getting the answer wrong, the critique within might pipe up and say ‘ well done stupid, you just made yourself look like a right idiot.’ Noticing how you speak to yourself is crucial as it can be really damaging for your self-esteem and confidence.

  • Noticing if you honour yourself and listen to yourself,

Bringing awareness to your thoughts can help you tune in and listen to yourself. Let’s say you’re really tired and run down, all you want is an early night in, then work calls and asks you to work a shift and before you even know it you’ve said yes. Inside you’re screaming no and can’t think of anything worse, but you felt compelled to say yes to please others, to make others happy even if that means you suffer. That is not giving yourself the love and care you deserve.

  • Noticing how you interact with others, are you judgemental/critical?

We all fear judgement from others, that is why we do what others expect from us. We care about what others think of us, whether they know us or not. Bring awareness to your thoughts and you will notice the judgements and labels you put on people just from their appearance or actions. You may decide you don’t like your mum’s new boyfriend because the first time you meet him he is very quiet and appears rude by not making an effort. This would be your judgement, probably without considering how he would be feeling, perhaps scared,nervous or overwhelmed. Usually through judging others we make assumptions which aren’t accurate and lose the chance of connection and new relationships.

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Taking responsibility instead of blaming others

We have control over ourselves, we have the power.

By blaming someone, we give that power away, we give it to them. We are saying, it is your fault that I feel like this – which is essentially saying, you have control over me and my feelings.

Saying someone else creates your suffering is not taking responsibility for yourself. You are in control of your own life.

I used to really struggle with this. I would get so frustrated and upset because other people would do things that annoyed me. I blamed other people for my unhappiness. But it was my perception. I let myself get annoyed at external things beyond my control, until I learned that I control how I  view things.

Last week I began to get stressed and frustrated looking after a child who is pretty demanding and craves attention. My mind was on auto-pilot thinking, ‘ she’s so demanding, ungrateful, needy and controlling. it’s her way or no way.’ This kind of thinking just led me to feel more and more annoyed every time she’d have a new injury or be demanding my attention without any patience.

When I became aware of my thoughts I realized the effect they where having on my body (stress,anxiety,muscle tension) and how I was acting colder, blunter with the child. Both things I didn’t want.

So as I stepped out of auto-pilot, I took responsibility because I know that it was only my perception at fault. The way I was viewing the situation was as if my thoughts and assumptions where the truth. Thoughts and assumptions are not truth.

Instead I decided to be curious, this child would never choose to be this unhappy with herself, she doesn’t choose to get stressed out,cry at little things, she doesn’t choose to be so needy and demanding of her mum. There must be more depth to it than I am currently viewing. I understood she has insecurities, she needs attention because she is missing something. With understanding, I began to grow compassion and empathy and realised theres a lot more depth to this little person than I know.

There’s a lot more depth to each and every person, more than we will ever know.

So I had that transformation with our relationship, by taking responsibility and deciding to change my views instead of just blaming her for my anxious state.

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we recognize our power and control. We recognize the freedom of choice.

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Freedom of thought, freedom from thought

You are not your thoughts. How many times have we heard this? But do we really understand it, most importantly do we understand the message it gives us.

That is that we have freedom from thought, if we are not our minds then we are free from it’s negative thinking.

My intention for this blog has always been to bring awareness to people, in hope that you become aware of your thoughts and how they create your reality.

We don’t choose what thoughts pop into our minds most of the time, but we do have a choice on how to perceive those thoughts. That choice only comes once you know and you are aware that you can differentiate yourself from the minds thinking.

For example –

Let’s say Lucy who struggles with self-esteem, wants to try for the dance team but doesn’t feel she can because her mind is in a negative spiral, it says things like ‘I’ll let the team-down, I’m not good enough, what if the others just laugh at me..I am a failure.’

Without awareness, Lucy accepts this as the truth. She thinks she is her mind, therefore her thoughts are facts.

If Lucy was to bring her awareness to this negative thinking by pausing the auto-pilot mode that she lives in, she would be able to challenge that thought and realize, its just a negative thought, it’s not the truth.

This is not true. We are not our thoughts, we do not choose them and they’re not the truth. Something negative happens in the past, we take it personally and hold on to that hurt instead of letting it go, then our minds remember and project it into the future and create our new thoughts based on the past experiences, creating more negativity in our lives.

Try body scanning, or a stillness meditation, observe what thoughts come up or what feelings and sensations that you experience in your body.. then recognize that you are the observer. You are not the thought, you are the one watching it.

‘What a liberation to realize that “the voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.’  – Eckhart.Tolle

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Our thoughts – Foreground and Background

This week I began a mindfulness training and something the teacher said really stuck with me.

My last post was about accepting ourselves on a whole, without rejecting the uncomfortable or shameful parts. Accepting ourselves for all that arises within us, that including the negative.

Resisting or fighting negativity only focuses on it and creates more – as we know what we focus on grows.

And so, my teacher said whilst we began a meditation – notice you will have background noise, but bring your attention to whatever you want to focus on, let that be in the foreground.

So for example, we had bin lorries beeping in the background of our minds but our attention was to focus on the leg (in a body scan mediation). Therefore the leg being in the foreground of the mind.

Occasionally during meditation, our attention will wonder and the main focus will drift into the background and something else will replace in the foreground (focus).. until we become aware that we have drifted and we pull it back.

This is what struck me. Isn’t it the same with everything in life? Sometimes we are focused on the positive but the negative is just in the background and sometimes negativity will arise and become the focus, yet positivty remains in the background, it’s just waiting for us to pull it back to the foreground again to be our main focus.

Also about accepting it as a whole, accepting that our mind’s do drift from thought to thought instead of being constantly focused on the meditation.. and that’s perfectly ok.

Let’s be kind to ourselves and smile whenever the background shifts to the foreground or we lose focus. Let’s smile and accept that it happens. Lets remind ourselves, We are human and doing our best 🙂

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The Secret – by Rhonda Byrnes – REVIEW

So after reading the secret by Rhonda Byrnes, I thought I have to write a review and let you all in on ‘the secret’. I have read many books that have opened my mind and changed my life through my way of thinking – this is a life altering book and I am truly grateful for finding it.

‘The Secret’ is based on sharing the secret to a fantastic life, a life of abundance and positivity. It is a book that is written by many people; With quotes, true story examples and information on how the secret works. It has scientific research evidence and information. Most of all if you practise what you read you won’t need any of that because you will see things in your life change in front of your eyes – like magic.

Vocabulary wise it’s a good read, not a story but more documented and very simple to follow in short paragraphs and each chapter explains quite easily what it stands for.

the secret works on improving your life – your relationships with people, finances, work/career, health and most importantly your thoughts.

I would suggest you read it over a month or two, not rushing so you can absorb the information and incorporate it into your life.

my experience with the secret –

i began reading the secret in January and I really wasn’t feeling it, it felt forced and I wasn’t open to what it was saying. So, I left it. In May I began again and this time it felt right so I continued. What i first found was that it was based a lot of materialistic things and finances, which made me realize I think of money as a bad thing when really it’s greed that I disagree with. I realised that we attract things through our thoughts in ‘the law of attraction’.

I can’t tell you what the secret and the law of attraction is through this blog but I highly suggest you read it if it interests you.

all I can say is that almost daily occurrences have happened – at first I thought they were coincidences and then there’s just no way when it happens almost daily. Every day I would think of an item of food I needed and every day I would find it in the free box of the hostel I was staying in. So precise it would be mind blowing. Then it started happening with bringing all the kind of people I needed to meet into my life. Then opportunities and experience.

basically if you’re clear in what you want in life all you need to do is ask and believe but most importantly you need gratitude for everything you already have. It truly makes you realise anything is possible, we are able to create anything we want – most of the time we just don’t know what we want because we think so much is impossible – it isn’t!

Show love and gratitude daily for everything – this will change your life in so many ways.

If you’re intrigued – read the secret!

and let me know how you go 🙂

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Are we bikini body ready? … WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

Are you bikini body ready?… WHO CARES. What does that even mean? I know what it’s supposed to mean, it’s the media pressurizing everyone to look a certain way, feeling guilty or insecure if they don’t conform once again to the expectations.

Everywhere in the world, during the run up to Summer especially, there is a ridiculous amount of pressure on people to look good. Are you bikini body ready is just the latest example.

I remember years ago before a holiday I would exercise more, eat less cake etc to try to achieve a ‘bikini body’.

And what for exactly? That was something I never questioned myself.

Are we any better for having less fat, more muscle, toned butts and no jiggly bits.. Nope.

Isn’t it all a part of what society expects from us? We do a bikini body challenge not to make ourselves feel better, most of the time it’s to look better for the people that will see us. We can’t be the fattest one in the group of friends.. yet that only leads to work of the ego. Feeling superior or inferior to another is only the ego talking.

Our ego works on form. Our soul is the space within. Everything in the world is form and space so why is it that we only concentrate on form? The physical body, our appearances. Why should we be bikini body ready, does it make us any better than those who don’t prepare for bikini weather, does it make us kinder, nicer?

The truth is our physical form is an important part of who we are, it identifies us and makes us unique, another reason why we shouldn’t conform to society’s expectations to all look the same.

Note I say the physical form is an important PART of who we are, that’s exactly it.. its only a part. We are so much more than just what we look like on the outside. When we can connect with the space that’s within us, then we can relate and understand who we truly are and what’s important to us.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take care of ourselves and care about what we look like, but we should do it only for ourselves. We should look like exactly what we want to, that’s to say if you want a 6 pack then go make it happen, If however you feel like you don’t want to spend your time in the gym working for a 6 pack then accept that it’s not a priority for you and shouldn’t have to be.

I have met many people in bikinies over the last few months whilst travelling.. the ones with toned, fit bodies are no better or worse than the ones with a bit more fat. The fit ones are no worse people for spending time working out and being careful about what they eat if that is a personal choice of what they want to look like etc, and the curvier ones are no worse for not working out excessively to fit into a tinsy bikini.

The truth is we are born bikini ready. We have bodies, so lets slip them into bikinies whatever we look like. Lets be grateful to have working, functioning, healthy beautiful bodies. Let’s celebrate that we are all unique, we are all different and beautiful in each and every way. Let’s be proud that there is no other being on this earth like us, celebrating everything that we are, the good bits and the better bits (because really there are no bad bits, its all an illusion created by the media).

I would one day like to live in a world that concentrates more on the space within instead of just our physical form, over and over again. Why not preach for people to show gratitude, love and kindness instead?

LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE 🙂

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