How do I stay so positive?

 
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I was asked a question via Instagram about how I stay so positive all the time. I sat and pondered this question for some time before replying.

I firstly thought to myself - wow, how awesome is it that the world sees me as a positive person. I know there have been times in my life where I would never have been considered a positive person, so there has certainly been some sort of fundamental shift over the years.

Upon reflection, I then agreed that I am a positive person. I do my very best to remain positive regardless of uncomfortable, dire and what can feel like hopeless situations which still appear in my life. So why is that? What have I tapped into that perhaps others have difficulty finding?

My immediate thought was “Gratitude”. I know gratitude has been key to feeling happy in life - for appreciating both the good and the bad - however the answer is deeper than just gratitude alone. So what was it?

My reply. Decisiveness.

Let me explain. Life is made up of a collection of choices. We can choose the career path we head down. We can choose the relationships we cultivate and those we let go. We can choose what food to put into our bodies. We can choose how we feel in any given moment, happy or sad.

For me, a positive and happy life has stemmed from being decisive. I’m choosing my path. I’m choosing every single step I make and I accept the consequences of those steps. I do not put blame onto others if things don’t turn out as I’d planned. Rather, I accept wholeheartedly and willingly that my life is mine and I am solely responsible for it.

Over the years (mostly pre-yoga career) I’ve worked with clients who were quite happy to blame the rest of the world for why things were not working out as they had hoped. It was rare to come across a client who actually took a step back to acknowledge their part in their life, their injury or illness, and take responsibility for the next steps to move forward. They waited for, and allowed, other people to make decisions for them. And let’s just say the decisions made were rarely what the client would have chosen had it been up to them. But they played the victim game and then this gave them another excuse to blame the world for their lives not turning out as they wanted. And so the cycle continues. This makes for a very negative, unhappy existence.

Just over three years ago Owen and I made a decision to pack up and leave Adelaide, moving to Melbourne. It hasn’t been an easy road. Let me assure you of that. In fact, coming here has been the toughest years of my life. But they have been the happiest too. Why? Because I’m following a path chosen by me. I make decisions about how I want to live my life and I go after that. It doesn’t always work. Sure. And I’ve been knocked back time and time again. But I choose to look at every knock back, every medical scare with little Lola, every challenge with clients, as a positive. As opportunities to learn on this path chosen by me. It doesn’t make the difficult experiences any less difficult, but it makes them valuable. Worth going through. Because at the end of the day, if we cannot look for the positive in every situation that presents itself to us, good or bad, then we end up living our lives on edge and unfulfilled.  We are always looking for an easy path which, frankly, doesn’t exist. It’s tough the whole way. But it’s because of the struggle, the challenge, that life becomes meaningful. And this is what makes every experience, good or bad, worth it. That is how I stay so positive.

Big hugs and so much love,

Jessica. xx

We are what we think

Presentations for our thesis’ have begun as of today. (I’m presenting tomorrow on migraines). Today’s topic, stroke, led onto many important discussions. Firstly, yoga can offer wonderful benefits to a stroke patient, helping them to regain motor movements etc. But bigger than that, is the person’s ability to challenge their mind and learn to believe in their own ability to become stronger - regardless of illness, disease, injury.

This is a fundamental problem, not only in yoga, but in life. When looking at yoga specifically,  people are often so fearful they will hurt themselves (myself included - don’t get me wrong). This fear stems from a lack of belief in ones own ability to do something, Chakrasana for example. But this fear stops people from reaching heights they never thought imaginable. “We are what we think.” This so important for people to remember. If we think we are ill, we are ill; if we think we are depressed or anxious, then we are depressed or anxious; if we think we have chronic back pain and will never be able to do Sirsasana - guess what, you never will and the pain will follow you everywhere you go. I’ve been there. Believe me. And it’s something I have to work on daily (in various areas). But it’s through a willingness to learn and trust the body that the monumental benefits of this practice can help people. When looking into illnesses or diseases, these are so many problems in the world which could be cured just from a more positive frame of mind (yoga aside).

My teacher was run over by a bus at age 19, with 36 passengers on it. He spent 44 days on his back in the hospital unable to move at all. He was told his yoga days were over. He was also told that if he didn’t agree to have surgery on his shattered left thigh (which had tyre marks on it for months later apparently) or shit shattered left ankle, then he would lose his legs. My teacher knew he could heal his own body - it’s ever changing. We have a completely new body every 200 days, and he knew this. He also knew he would return to yoga no matter what it took. Other than his legs and ankle, he had severe sciatica, slipped disc in his back, dislocated knee and also damaged left shoulder. Today, he experiences no pain. My teacher, Bharath, is now a world leading practitioner who travels all over to teach at international events. Here, I watch him fly into asanas which I dream to do one day. His strength, flexibility and stillness of the mind is inspirational, and this story is a fantastic example of what can be achieved if we want it enough. Remember - “we are what we think”

My commitment to myself is to always; challenge myself, think positively and let go of the fear. Infinite possibilities are on the otherside. For me, this is truly living.

Namaste xx


Life in Gokulam, Mysore