I am a work in progress. I'm extremely analytical and self-critical, so I'm always working on ways to improve myself.
However, sometimes my thoughts can get the best of me. Thank goodness I can turn to my daily mindfulness practices, like yoga and meditation, to help me manage my thoughts and the emotions that spin-off from my thoughts.
As a yoga and mindfulness teacher, I educate others on this very thing. Yet, I can easily fall into a pattern where thought loops hijack my brain, triggering unwanted emotions that interfere with my life. I can't sleep, I can't focus on my work, I feel stressed, fearful, and unhappy.
I reduce the pressure on myself through my various mindfulness practices, which gives me relief. But then something crops up that triggers the thought loop all over again. In fact, I might even find myself unknowingly sabotaging a peaceful moment with thoughts of feelings that hurt me.
One technique to help build my Strong Mind is I repeat a personal affirmation at the end of my meditation practice to remind myself of the traits I have and continue to strive for. It goes like this:
I am Strong
I am Wise
I am Brave
I am Capable
I am Loved and Loveable
I am Perfect just as I am
But I discovered something today as I lay in bed in the wee morning hours just after I woke up from a decent night's sleep. Well, out of the blue, I started saying my affirmations the way Yoda (from Star Wars) would say them, and something powerful shifted in me. (By the way, I am not even a Star Wars fan, so how this came to me I'll never know)
I said to myself:
Strong, I am
Wise, I am
Brave, I am
Capable, I am
Loved and Loveable, I am
Perfect, I am
The words suddenly had more power. I felt them on a much deeper level than I did when I recited them the other way around. When I think about it, saying, "I am Strong," is as if I'm trying to convince myself that I'm strong, because I don't really believe it. Yoda's way seems to make the declaration that I already am.
In a recent blog by one of our Live Free Yoga partners, Charlotte Rose, called, " The Power of Words and Well-Being," she talked about the power that words can have over us. They can hurt and they can heal.
Standing strong and declaring who we are activates the "Force" within us, so we can have the power to heal ourselves and others.
Learn to go deeper into your own mindfulness practices for yourself and for the youth you serve. Join us at our upcoming "Mindfulness for Youth" training on February 25-27th. Click below to learn more and register.
*TEA certified CPE Providers - CEU's available
Author, Phyllis Smith, is the Co-founder of Live Free Yoga, which provides yoga and mindfulness programs for youth and adults who serve them. She is also the co-creator of Lighter Being, a transformative mindfulness video series to help you find more balance, self-love, and a lighter state of being.
Photo by Kathy Tran