I had an interesting conversation with my client recently that I wanted to share. I was teaching and asked her to think of a positive affirmation to keep her grounded through the practice: as this is something that I am trying to do in my own self-practice rather than solely setting an intention, it feels stronger to me. She said to me “why do I always HAVE to be positive, you know today I’m not, I’m not negative but I’m just not feeling it” mind. blown. She is right. Are we now in danger of putting so much pressure on people to always be positive, that it is having the detrimental effect and making people feel insignificant and isolated from this PMA movement. As a Yoga Teacher, we have a huge responsibility to be mindful of how we communicate and what language or queues we use, as just like that I could have put her in a negative mood for the whole hour.
I got the thinking about this off the mat too. Is it sustainable or realistic to think in a one dimensional way? I am not suggesting to be negative, but I think it’s an incredibly interesting topic. Despite trying to encourage people to think positively, we are still telling them how to think, and pushing them into a trap of feeling guilt and disappointment if they are not living up to that. Does this also lead to us suppressing emotions, or feeling like we cannot show if we are upset or in need of talking to someone. Ultimately you will end up isolated in secret while putting a smile on your face to fit in with a cultural expectation. What worries me about this is how this might affect teenagers who are already dealing with so much change and turbulence and although we are trying to direct them down a path full of prosperity and opportunity are we putting the expectation so high they can never reach it?
As humans, to become truly rounded I feel that we need to be able to feel all of our emotions and that perhaps it comes more down to acceptance. Acknowledging that it is ok to feel upset, anxious, depressed, grief or even hormonal and that this is part of human nature and completely natural. I always like to think I am a really positive person, but the truth is I am not, yet I am positive towards other people. I am a Pisces, a yogi, an emotional human and I feel all of them: I embrace them, and I have developed an understanding of what they mean for me that day – and accept them. Does that mean I am weak? does it mean I don’t practice what I preach? absolutely not, it means I am normal. Remember you are not bad, you just might feel bad that day – and it is ok to not feel ok. If you are reading this and completely relate to what I am saying please reach out to me. I feel this way of thinking needs to be our future.