one woman's quest to live the life she's imagined all while daring you to do the same

Did she just say don’t be so damn positive? Say what?

I love love love this woman. If you are not familiar with Pema Chodron’s work, get to it. No matter your creed, her teachings are authentically universal and super yummy.

I chose this video out of several on Youtube because of the juxtaposition to The Secret. As some of you may have already gathered, I’m a huge proponent of Law of Attraction, but, like many critics, was not a fan of the way it was portrayed in The Secret with such heavy focus on monetary things/gain.

In related news, I am reading Kelly McGonigal’s book The Willpower Instinct, which I will write more on as I read, I’m sure. She is a professor at Stanford and calls her work “a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern science.” (Just found out today, as a matter of fact, that she is a big fan of Pema’s as well.) The reason I bring up McGonigal though has less to do with our shared groupie status and more to do with her research on the power of positive thinking.

She reports, contrary to what you or I may think, that all those hunky dory positive people might not be on the fastest road to success as we may have gathered. In her work, she found those who resisted failure as having a more difficult time reaching their goals than those who had factored failure in somehow. As she suggests, we should think up the obstacles that may arise in order to be better equipped for setbacks if/when they show up.

I have to admit, that didn’t sit well with me at first. It seemed to butt up against what I believe and preach even. But then I realized, as I read more, that she was merely suggesting we be more flexible.

Phew!

I have a strict rule that I do the best I can, and then I leave the rest up to the universe. Lord knows, I have enough evidence looking at my past that someone/something has a much better perspective on things from wherever it/him/her is perched. Trust.

Sure disappointment may come, but from what I’ve learned “disappointment” is a perception that something hasn’t gone “right” or my way. Ego.

Beyond meditation, I practice steadily in the realm of mindfulness. I am constantly aware (although Elisa might argue that statement) of how I respond to events in my life. I am forever working on labeling things right or wrong, good or bad, black or white; it is a daily practice.

My point, beyond that I’m nowhere near perfect, is that I’ve been doing this work for over six years now. I’ve gotten to the point where I almost like to “sit” with the pain, unveil the ugly, get cozy with the negative because I’ve come to know the freedom on the other side. Peace.

So after viewing this Pema piece and reading more of McGonigal, I wanted to share the insight that they bring to our year of magic.

Flexibility, patience and compassion are always the best virtues to react from.

I leave you with this: In the next 48 hours, notice what situations or emotions you’re quick to run from. See if you can sit with the feelings of the situation for longer than you would normally allow yourself. How long can you go? Perhaps say to yourself one of my favorite quotes, “This too shall pass.”

Acceptance is a beautiful thing. Embrace it. Wash and repeat.

#Onward

Much Love,

kat

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