Action Step: Talk to yourself, very very nicely, ridiculously so…
For today, try being that crazy person that talks to themselves. You should say things like, “Gee wiz! I look lovely today!” and “Wow, I am just so happy and nice!” “I feel so healthy and joyous and free!”… Be dramatic… Fake it. I know that no one is going to say these things to them selves and instantly feel it, but give it a try. I guarantee there will be a micro-shift somewhere in your being by a few simple nice words to yourself.
Peter Clifford, my amazing guru that I had the opportunity to study with in Bali at Santosha’s Yoga Teacher Training, would consistently say that we must speak to our bodies positively and tell them what we want. He claimed that this energy will change our cells at an intrinsic level. This is something I think about all the time. Our negative thoughts? The body hears them and responds in kind. Our positive thoughts have more power and our bodies follow suit. If we say we are happy, the body begins to believe it and make changes to correspond with the thought.
WHY!? Ahimsa, non-violence. Time to stop trash talking yourself and treat yourself like the goddess, god that your are (no you are not a god but a part of you is!) Ahimsa is the first Yama of Patanjalis 8 limb path found in the yoga sutras.
Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras nearly 2000 years ago. He isn’t the author as such but he compiled the ancient traditions of his fellow brothers into a format that everyone could use. It is from these sutras that modern day yogic philosophy has branched. To get right to the point, the 8 fold path, or Ashtanga yoga, it is the means by which a person takes steps to reach Nirvana, or Samadhi. * Note that this Ashtanga is different then the Vinyassa Flow Ashtanga started by Patabi Jois within the last 60 years.
The first step towards mastering the mind is to master the Yamas. The Yamas are all about mastering ones social conduct. Many believe this to be first limb because as Socrates so vigilantly believed, we are all social beings and as such we must behave according to human law in order to live harmoniously. Thus the yamas are a guide to what principles should be obeyed in public in order to begin the journey toward liberation from the mind.
The Yamas are broken down into 5 parts.
Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharia, Aparigraha. More to come on them later.
Ahimsa, non-violence is a key guiding principle in Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. This is where the vegetarianism in these religions comes from. Don’t hurt other living beings. Period. I have also been taught that it means, don’t hurt yourself, as you are ALSO a living being.
I believe that people most often hurt themselves by the negative talk. It has become such a sneaky soft voice that perhaps you don’t notice it, but if it’s there… it’s time to try something different. We will gently push the negative voice out by speaking to ourselves in a positive way. Drama. Like I said, I know this isn’t easy. So first, we will make a list of the things we like about ourselves, or that we know others like in us.
I am a beautiful young woman.
I am soft spoken and wonderful.
I am aging so gracefully and beautifully.
I am a fantastic cook.
I love my family deeply.
I have amazing daughters who love me very much.
I have a job where I can help people everyday.
I strive to learn more.
I am going deeper spiritually.
I look fabulous in these jeans.
I am a careful and alert driver.
I am a creative and artistic soul.
Get a pen and paper and make the list. Make the list as long as you can. The statements should be positive affirmations about who you are or who you want to be. This list is your first attempt at being nice to yourself. Throughout the day… simply continue to speak kindly to yourself. Give yourself a hug occasionally. Again, in the end of all this life business, it’s all about you learning to love yourself. If anything I have learned so far is that often, we have to pretend we are who we want to be before we actually become that person. It’s ok. The age old saying goes, “Fake it till you make it.” So fake it up, have fun with it. Be cheesy and if you have the heart, attempt to be genuine and authentic. You gorgeous, happy, sweet, loving, creative, magical, being you.