This week we are working on the Third Chakra, the origin of our LIFE SOURCE ENERGY, confidence and PERSONAL POWER. I've been thinking a lot about self-empowerment, and all the subtle ways we give away our power and disconnect with our Invincible Spirit. There is a fantastic book by Mark Manson, called "The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck", which has some tips on how to stop wasting your energy on things that don't matter and don't make you happy. It is so refreshing to read a Self Help book that strips back all the spiritual concepts and bullshit, to get down to what really matters. This is a bug bear of mine in the spiritual world: so often yoga and other spiritual practices, are marketed to appeal to our sense of needing to be better, happier, fitter, more beautiful and more prosperous. As a society, we are addicted to this idea that we need to be MORE of everything all the time, and social media has made this even more extreme. We want our life to be exceptional in every way, when the reality is, the more we are able to accept the ordinary, unexceptional, everyday up and downs of life, the happier we actually are. Having more stuff does not make you happy. Striving to be perfect does not make you happy. Having a thousand followers on Instagram does not make you happy.
They have done studies of people on their death beds and their most common regrets. Nobody says that they wish they had made more money, or worked harder. The most common regrets are that people wished they spent more time with their children, had relaxed and enjoyed life more, or allowed themselves to experience more love in their lives. Chasing a dream of the perfect life only makes you feel worse about yourself. It is so LIBERATING and EMPOWERING to let go of these ridiculous standards we hold ourselves to, to say YES to the present moment, and actually LIVE life as it is happening.
In class on Thursday, I talked a bit about one of the sections of the book- the "shitty values" that we often hold that drain our energy and our confidence;
When we prioritise our life around feeling pleasure, we are always chasing the next good emotion or sensation, and likely to end up feeling miserable, and like our life has no meaning. As Manson points out, "Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed".
2. Material Success
There is so much emphasis on wealth as a measure of success in our society, it is hard not to use this metric against ourselves. But the reality is that money does not make us happy, and we can really disempower ourselves by making it mean too much. We all know this, and yet it is such an easy trap to fall into. We measure ourselves by our material wealth, and use it to feel bad about ourselves.
3. Always Being Right
When we are attached to being right, we put up a wall around ourselves and close off our empathy and compassion to others. Feeling right might give the ego a buzz in the moment, but it is short lived and the cost of 'being right' is huge: basically, connection, love and joy. And worst of all, we lose our sense of humour!
4. Staying Positive
Ooh, this one is my favourite. It is very popular these days to always try and see the positive side of things. If you lose out on a job, your friend says "it happened for a reason" or "it just means there is something better coming along"... this drives me crazy!! Looking on the bright side is a beautiful intention to have, but it is also really important to process and feel the uncomfortable and so-called 'negative' emotions. We need to feel down sometimes, it's just part of life. If you are always sweeping bad feelings under the rug, they will fester and grow and end up coming out in some other way, like chronic depression or cancer (and no, I'm not saying that if you get cancer it's because of repressed emotions, but sometimes it seems like we do make ourselves sick). Let's let ourselves feel ALL our feelings!
Anyway, that's my rant for the week. I hope you can join me next Thursday for a class on the HEART CHAKRA, featuring the beautiful Olivia on Crystal Bowls.
The Bay Room
45 Bay st, Double Bay
Lots of love, Maya xx