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Cultivating Your Life

Posted January 18, 2014

Welcome to our new weekly blog series! Each month we will feature one of our amazing Bread and Yoga teachers sharing their thoughts or teachings from their class with you and our community! Today’s post below comes from Joseph Glaser. Check back every Saturday for a new post.

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yoga hands

If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you, only your attitude toward them does that.
-Sri Swami Satchidanana

Namaste Yogi’s! The last blog was such a success that Bread and Yoga has asked me back to write three more! (Actually, that was the plan all along and my failed attempt to comprehend my instructions led to this misunderstanding. Haha.)

We often allow the quality of our lives to be dictated by how things outside of us appear to be. We live from the outside in. Let’s replace the words bound and liberated because they can be lofty concepts for some of us and may not have context in our everyday lives. Let us instead use depressed and joyful. If I ___________ ( lose ten pounds, make more money, have more friends, get married, am more successful) then I will be joyful. If these requirements are not met then I will feel depressed. What Satchidananda is saying is that this belief is false. How it actually works is that what you choose to feel inside dictates the way you perceive the outside. If we feel depressed then that will be our experience whether we make more money or not. If we feel joyful then that will be our experience if we are single or married.

The reason it is so easy for many of us to brush off the idea that our thoughts are meaningful and that our mental attitude colors our life experience is due to a misconception on how this connection works. We think thoughts are like actions in that they often have an instant response. If you start walking then you will end up in a different place than when you started. Our thoughts don’t usually instantly shift our life experience. The effects come overtime based on developed mental habits, patterns, and attitudes.

You are in control of your momentum.
You are in control of your experience.

Imagine you are standing on top of a mountain surrounded by boulders. All these boulders are labeled with different attitudes. Joyful, grateful, self-loathing, depression etc… One for every attitude you have. As you begin to think thoughts that generate a particular attitude over a period of time it is as if you are pushing the boulder off the edge of the mountain. As it rolls down the hill it begins to gain momentum. The more momentum a particular attitude has the easier it is for you to fall into that habit, cultivate an attitude, and view your life through that lens. The more time you spend judging yourself the easier it is to judge yourself. The more time you spend claiming your worth the more worthy you feel.

The good news is that we have the power to move towards the life experience that we want. We don’t need to wait for things to happen in order to have the life we want to live. We start by taking up the practice of putting our energy into building the momentum we want.

Sometimes we have really bad days. No matter how hard we try we just feel crappy and we can’t switch the momentum. This is a great time to come to a Yoga class, meditate, or count your breath. One of the benefits of these practices is that it stops negative momentum. It clears the mind so that at the end of the practice it becomes much easier to change your momentum to the direction you want to go.

At this point in our lives we have all developed certain habits based on where we put our energy. Start to become aware of the patterns that show up the most for you. Confidence, low self-esteem, passion, anxiety etc… Are the attitudes you have cultivated supporting you in living the life you want to experience or are they holding you back?

You are in control of your momentum. You are in control of your experience.

Let’s cultivate a beautiful life together.

Namaste,
Joseph Glaser

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