How To Be Free

Alright, guys, I have a confession.  It might be hard to believe, but even I have days where I don’t feel like being a ray of sunshine. I know, I know.  It seems like I literally spew rainbows everywhere I go. And as much as I love being positive, sometimes it takes work.

Positivity for me is a way of expressing my freedom.  A lot of people tell me that I have a great smile.  I don’t think it has anything to do with my teeth. (Let’s be real, they’re a little crooked.)  I like to think it has to do with the fact that it’s a positive, authentic smile showing I’m free. 

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But, like I said, sometimes that positivity takes work.  There are days when I wake up and I feel off.  Friday was one of those days.  My mind was clouded by questions.  I was unsure of myself and second guessing my decisions. I didn’t feel like me.

I decided that my heart (and my hamstrings) could use some love. So I went to Asheville Community Yoga and took a class led by my absolute favorite instructor in the world, Michael.  I typically attend one of Michael’s Warm Vinyasa Flows.  This time, though, I attended his Gentle Flow class.  It was exactly what my body and mind needed.

Incase you aren’t aware, I’m obsessed with Michael’s classes.  And I know, I know, I’ve said multiple times in my posts before that obsessions in any shape or form are not good.  But literally anytime I have something on my mind, I swear Michael knows it.  Whatever he’s preaching in class that day directly relates to the thoughts clouding my head.  And this class was no different.

First, the topic of relationships came up.  Relationships are life.  Any and everything we do has to do with relationships, whether it’s with other people or with ourselves. When we are in relationship with others, we are so eager to give them what they want. Instead, we need to think about how we can serve that person.  Instantly, I realized that in order to serve others, I need to first serve myself. Because, if I’m not in relationship with myself, I cannot provide an authentic relationship to others.

As I stood on one foot in tree pose, I thought to myself, well how do I serve myself? And then just like that Michael said “Let it be.” I cannot control the past nor the future.  I can only be present.  I must let everything else be.  Then, I will be free. And just like that, I was.

Freedom doesn’t always come that easy.  And I won’t always be able to go to a yoga class to clear my mind.  The ability is within myself, and it’s within you, too.

Here’s five things you can do to free yourself on those off days:

1. Set An Intention: at the beginning of the yoga class, Michael told us to set an intention.  Mine was to commit to being in relationship with myself, since at the moment, this relationship seemed fuzzy.  Throughout the class, he reminded us to revisit our intention and focus on it.  Set an intention for yourself every day.  Put post it notes up to remind yourself of it, or put a reminder in your phone.  Whatever you have to do to keep that intention on your mind.  It’ll give a purpose to your day.  If you need help in setting intentions, you can check out Positive Life Tips. You can sign up to receive an email daily.  It’s definitely not a bad way to start your day.

2. Clear Your Mind: what I love about yoga and meditation is it provides you with a space to clear your mind.  In this class, Michael told us to let it be.  Release that emotion from your heart and your head.  If it’s not serving you, its distracting you.  It’s taking up space that could (and should) be filled with love.

3. Replace Negative Feelings: after you clear your heart and mind of your distraction, you must replace that emotion.  For me, I cleared confusion and self doubt during class, and replaced it with trust and self love. I released the feelings of confusion and self doubt.  Trust and self love took their place.

4. Commit To It: once you clear and replace those feelings, you must commit to allowing their presence.  This may not always come easy, but setting an intention around these emotions can help.  Let their presence guide you through your day.

5. Serve Yourself: if you want to serve those around you, you have to first serve yourself.  Provide yourself the means to a happy, loving heart and mind. How you serve yourself is up to you.  Do what clears your mind, what provides you the space to create that freedom. 

For me, it’s physical activity.  It’s yoga, CrossFit and running.  It’s my way of meditating.  They provide me the space to feel gratitude and self love.  When I am grateful and filled with love, I’m positive.

When I’m positive, I’m free.

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