Today I was reminded of the power of positive thinking. With just 8 weeks until I begin my intensive yoga teacher training diploma, I am acutely aware of just how much time and energy I need to be giving to Yoga right now.
It’s not just about attending classes and getting stronger, it’s about applying the principles of Yoga into my everyday life. I don’t think I realised the changes and shifts that will need to happen for me to achieve my goal of becoming a fully qualified Yoga instructor.
As the footsteps of my youngest daughter got closer to my bedroom door, I rolled over, stretched and took a few deep breaths. The morning routine was about to begin, and today I was heading to a 9am Yoga class straight after the school drop off. It was going to be tight and I would need the military precision that is often involved when catching the 9.04am train into London.
The morning started positively. Both girls got themselves dressed and made their beds without my usual nagging. Breakfast was a relatively pain free experience, followed by homework and books being returned to the right school bags ready to be handed in on time. It was at this point that things started spiralling. The power of positive thinking was starting to fade. The girls started arguing and the meltdowns of ‘she did this’ and ‘she did that’ began. Breathing deeply as I unloaded the dishwasher and tidied the kitchen, I asked them both to move away from each other so not to annoy one another anymore than they were already. More tears and shouting followed. A feeling of disappointment washed over me as I heard myself going into default mode ‘come on, hurry up, get your shoes on, brush your teeth, we’re going to be late’.
As the morning disappeared and the clock reached 8.25am we rushed out the door. Frost on the windscreen meant a further few minutes of delay. Grabbing my water bottle I jumped into the car telling both girls to get their seatbelts on. More shouting at one another until I told them both to be quiet. I suddenly heard my Mum as I said the words ‘ If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all’.
Stuck behind a tractor, no parking spaces at the school and two grumpy little people delivered.
‘Bye darlings, I love you, have a good day’ I took a deep breath and ran back to the car up against the clock to get to Yoga on time. Relaxed? Not at chance!
I ran through the door at 8.59am smiling to myself that I had made it. It was then that I realised I had forgotten my beloved yoga mat. My inner dialogue totally changed as I began a whole tirade of negative chat. How was I going to have a connected and focused session without my yoga mat? My yoga mat, my comfort blanket, my anchor.
The Power of Positive Thinking
I struggled through the next hour with a completely inadequate small exercise mat that the gym provides. It was pointless using it and I grew more and more frustrated. It was at this point that I reminded myself that I had a choice in how I behaved and what I said to myself. I focused inwards, closed my eyes and chose to release the negative feelings and frustration, smiled to myself at the my totally uncalled for reaction and set a more beneficial intention of being present and enjoying the rest of the yoga class.
Can we really be so reliant on external objects such a yoga mat in order to have a positive experience? And if we are, how does that really serve us? I showed a very low level of flexibility in that moment which ultimately meant I wasn’t going to gain a thing. If we take a step back and look at the situation in front of us as objectively as possible in that moment, we may find that by choosing a different thought process and/or behaviour we get a more effective outcome. How amazing is the power of positive thinking.