Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. How many times have I started a post with this word. This beautiful, beautiful word. How much yoga has changed my life, I cannot put into words. I went to Reno’s Monday night backbend class tonight, which I look forward to all week. To my surprise, instead of Reno’s smiling face, it was one of his teachers, Tina James – a glowing yogi with a profound sense of ease and calmness. From Whistler. I loved her already. Something attracted me so much to her, to this inner calmness. To her light. I knew I was there for a reason tonight. I just knew.
This yoga class was the most powerful and transformative class I’ve ever had the honour of practicing. I can’t exactly explain why, but something seemed to be awakened within me. Some sort of intuition. A light went off. A grounding, calm, KNOWING, light. Fearless. I had to make Kits beach my office tonight, to ensure that the words came out right. Leaning on this tree, watching this beautiful sunset, drinking this delicious tea (thank you Steph!) – I feel in-spired. A good place to start. So much to say…. here goes.
Fear. This is what we were told we were going to face when we sat on our mats tonight in breathing meditation. We were going to face our fears. To get deep into the uncomfortable. Into the unknown. I thought: okay, this can’t be that bad. I don’t feel scared of much right now, it just feels good to breath – I like this. This is good. But then, something so simple. We were in Warrior III, which is pretty much a powerful standing airplane with your back foot poking out past behind you, close to a neighbouring face. Tina asked, “What are you afraid of RIGHT NOW?”. My initial thought? Hmmm: I hope my feet aren’t too dirty because the person behind me probably will think that is grosse! After this thought, my mind started to wander and I started worrying about having dirty feet. And then, how bad would it be if they smelled?! (laughing as writing this – but it went through my mind!) Seriously – what a weird, distracting thought! Instantly, a small sense of insecurity. My focus shifted from powerful pose to worrying, insecure dirty/smelly feet girl. AH-HA moment! Without even thinking about it, I already was scared of something. So this means, that in every moment of every day, there is a chance that I am subconsciously telling myself things I am afraid of – without even being aware of it. That’s crazy! Hmmmm.
We create our own fears. We let ourselves believe what our mind tries to convince us. Our negative thoughts, over and over, hinder us from becoming great. We somehow begin to believe what the mind tries to fool us with. Fear. Notice these thoughts. In Chapter One of The Artists Way this week, the author helps bring us awareness around these negative affirmations. To allow them to come to the surface, recognize them and then let them help us move forward. She encourages us to write them all down, to help us understand what is holding us back. Where this fear is actually stemming from. I didn’t realize how many I actually had until I started writing them down (ahem – smelly feet? lol). And some of them seem so silly to even have that thought pass through my mind – but we do it. We don’t allow our true selves to shine through because of these shadowing thoughts. (What a waste of creative talent!)
“Affirmations are like prescriptions for certain aspects of yourself you want to change” – Jerry Frankhauser.
So where do we start? With our thoughts. Positive affirmations. Thoughts become feelings which then become actions. For example: a negative thought (I’m not good enough) becomes a feeling (I am worthless) which becomes an action (I won’t apply for this job because I probably won’t get it anyways) – who knows the opportunities lost all because of an initial, fearful thought. Now try turning it around: I am a confident, smart, hard working, AWESOME chica! (positive thought) which turns into a feeling of confidence and knowing that I deserve the VERY best (positive, powerful feeling), which then ultimately leads to bold and daring risks, such as applying for that dream job of yours (positive action!). What do you have to lose?! Notice the difference?! Even better, this person beaming with confidence attracts even greater things their way. Positive people, positive environments, positive experiences – a ripple effect. Prior to this exercise, I didn’t realize how many of those unpleasant thoughts try to sneak their way in to my mind without me being at all aware of it – those bastards! Well now I know – positive affirmations. A fearless warrior. We can become fearless whilst letting our inner light shine just with a shift in our thoughts. Our powerful, transformative thoughts.
We each have a divine light inside of us waiting to be unleashed. Waiting to be ignited. That’s what I feel happened to me in a way tonight. Something so simple, that I can’t put my finger on, yet so profound. I felt that something unknown was whispered to inside of me. A light. Letting me know that out of the ordinary is a good thing. To not be afraid. To take the risk. To just flow. Listen to my intuition. Follow THIS. This is good.
Notice your thoughts. What are you afraid of in this exact moment? Got one? Now change it around, and imagine your life in this very same exact moment without that fear. Got it now? Your positive affirmation? Picture it? Make THAT your life. Make that your moment. All it is, is a change in your thoughts. That’s where it all begins. Here’s one of my favourite quotes from Marianne Williamson (which she just so happened to read at the end of class as well, wow):
Don’t let your mind convince you to be afraid of your greatest potential. Take that leap of faith. Get out of the ordinary. This is a must if you want to shine through. Elevating ourselves to elevate each other. It all starts with you – your thoughts. Be the change you want to see in the world – Gandhi. I get it now!
May you always be fearless. May your light always shine through.
Smile with your heart.
P.S. Some new goals of mine I want to share, which are already happening! Yoga Teacher Training in the Spring. Official Yoga Instructor at BC Bike Race in July (already in the works!). And yes, I’m going to teach a yoga class next summer in Whistler, on a lake on SUP’s! Wanna come? I’ll keep you posted – definitely making this one happen!