Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!
Good evening, Yogis!
What a difficult lesson to learn. This is something I’m still struggling with in my life. I’ve never been a judgmental or cruel person, so when I encounter someone who treats others this way it strongly affects me. It’s hard to relate to why some seem intent on putting others down. For me, being around that negative, destructive energy is suffocating. When experiencing a person like this, my greatest advice would be to remove yourself from that particular environment and to only surround yourself with those who uphold the same nurturing values and behaviors as you do. This, unfortunately, isn't always possible whether the person be a coworker, or relative.
This is where yoga comes in. Not necessarily the physical practice, but the mental and emotional practice. Switch your focus to parts of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. My dear friend Lara has been sharing her love and words of wisdom to help me through my personal situation and I thought it would be a great thing to share.
Practice Ahimsa (non-harming):
This involves being kind to yourself and others. It’s so easy to close off your heart, and change who you are when you are placed in a negative environment. The natural reaction is to respond to that negativity with more negativity. It’s difficult, but try not to let their darkness turn off your light. Continue to give only love to combat the hate. Those who are hurtful to others clearly have issues of their own. Therefore they need more love. Stay true to your nature and treat cruelty with kindness.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Practice svadhyaya (self study):
Ask yourself, why does this have such an effect on me? Why do I let words make a dent on my soul? Digging deep to find out what about yourself is allowing these things to hurt you can help you discover more about yourself, as well as heal whatever it is you find. Practicing self awareness is crucial to learning how to fit into society. Learn more about yourself, and then love every part.
"As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is love of oneself."
- Charlie Chaplin
Practice Santosha (contentment):
We've all heard this by now, but happiness is not an external thing. We cannot pick it up, hold it in our hands, or find it somewhere along our path. Happiness is something we have inside of us always. We are the only ones who can bring this joyful feeling to our lives. We can create it, or we can do the exact opposite. So why not just be happy?! All of the time! Be so incredibly happy that others see your happiness and feel the same way. Find contentment in the little things, the big things, and everything in between. It is possible to change the way we feel as long as we set our intentions to do so. Once you cultivate satosha, any negative energy around you won't be able to affect your soul.
"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."
That’s it, Warriors. Be who you are. Share your loving heart with everyone around you. And choose to be happy. It won't be long before your life is everything you want it to be. It won't be long until you carry that happiness around with you everywhere. Never mind any weeds in your garden. The flowers are far more beautiful.
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It's yours.”
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Health and lots of love,