Over the years, I have come to realize the power of our thoughts on how we feel and how we live our lives. Positive thoughts get us in an upward spiral of positive energy. This is a state when we are truly sparkling. We all know those people who are in the upward spiral: They radiate life and joy from the inside out. Negative thoughts do the exact opposite. We can get in a downward spiral and it can become difficult (but definitely not impossible) to get ourselves back on the upward spiraling track. On a daily basis, I practice 1. noticing when I’m having negative thoughts (and yes I do have them!) 2. letting go of those thoughts (sometimes this is easier than others) and 3. replacing them with positive ones. It does take practice and a retraining of the brain~literally.
Keep in mind, many of our thoughts (especially negative & fearful ones) are simply NOT true. The problem becomes the fact that quite often we actually believe them. And, our bodies always believe them. Our feelings, the sensations in our bodies, come directly from our thoughts. If we want to feel better, we have to start thinking better. It’s not easy, but it is simple.
When we have negative feelings that come up (that stem from negative thoughts), we can’t just stuff them down, ignore them, and then try to think differently. It doesn’t work. The feeling was already there (momentarily at least), it was already absorbed in our bodies, and it still exists.
We must learn to feel what we are feeling~fully. We must acknowledge the feeling. We must embrace the feeling. We must welcome the feeling. Then, we must release it in a timely manner. We must let it go. Once we’ve felt and released, we can start the work again of thinking more positive thoughts and getting back into an upward flow on that positive energy spiral.
If letting the feeling go isn’t going so well, perhaps you haven’t really welcomed it, embraced it, and felt it. Sometimes you can work through these feelings on your own. Sometimes you may need the help of a good confidant or even a counselor. Sometimes the feelings may also be stuck in your body. This is where body work such as a yoga practice or massage can help tremendously.
The power is always in your hands. You can choose to continue to stuff and ignore the feeling. Or you can even choose to feel it fully, but then remain stuck there in that negative feeling. It’s up to you. It takes a lot of courage to feel fully (especially in a society where we are taught to stuff them), but the courage is inside of each one of us. It is there~part of that bright spark we all have inside!
As we do this work, we must practice radical self-compassion and self-love. This is key and can be very challenging~especially if we’re caught in the negative spiral. But this kind of work is SO important to do (and model to children). Always be your own best friend. Feel fully. Release completely. Start to rewire and change the thought patterns in your brain.
There is no greater work than this to ignite your inner spark and truly shine in your life. When you shine, you give others permission to do the same!
Here’s to feeling fully and releasing completely.
Leslie ~Sparkling Yogini
p.s. If this subject interests you and you enjoy poetry, check out “The Guest House” by Rumi.