Hello and Happy Monday,
 
It’s a new month! It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love the change of the seasons. And I just love March – Spring represents a time for renewal, new life is growing all around us, the birds are chirping, and the warmer weather is just around the corner. I am happy just thinking about it. I’m also very excited as this month as I lead a group of 21 amazing humans on a journey to disconnect in Peru.
 
We have spent the last 5 months diving into the yamas and now it’s time to dive into the niyamas. The yamas and niyamas are ethical principles, or guidelines. In short, the yamas are social retrainsts, or ethics and the niyamas are self-disciplines, or personal practices. Niyama means positive duties or observances. Just like the yamas, there are 5.
 
The first niyama is saucha means purity, clearness, or cleanliness. It refers to much more than mind and body. For today, I’m going to focus on saucha in regards to the mind and the removal of impure thoughts, like conceit, arrogance, malice, and so on. The issue is, we are human and these thoughts can and will arise from time to time. You might have heard, “Where the attention goes, energy flows” (T. Harv Eker) or “what you focus on, you give power to” (derived from Ralph Marston). Last week, I wrote about seeing the “I can’t” faces in class and how when we think something we make it true. And as I have said many times in class, our perspective creates our reality.
 
I googled “how many thoughts do we have a day” and there were lots of different answers. anywhere from 12,000 to 90,000 thoughts in one day. Most days I feel on the high end of that. What we have to remember is that not all these thoughts are conscious and most of the thoughts are repetitive. A lot of these thoughts are the “what if” thoughts. I know these fill my head all day long. Whenever something happens and I say “I knew it!”, Joe has a nice way of reminding me that it’s a small percentage of my “what if’s” that actually realize. Keep in mind, most of the “what if’s” I’m writing about are the negative ones, fear-based ones.
 
So how do we shift our thinking? I’d like to just say, slowly, day by day, and practice makes permanence. While that is true, it’s misleading. If you are anything like me, you want steps, a process, something that has some clear lines.
Here are some steps to take when wanting to create healthier thought patterns that have worked for me:

  1.  I AM statements. Wake up – look in the mirror – maybe tape some statements to your mirror – and recite empowering I AM statements. I am strong, I am creative – as many as you like.
  2. Don’t judge a book by its cover – leave judgment at the door and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  3. Move your body. Yoga, Pilates, Cycling, Running, Swimming, Walking – do something to get your heart rate up.
  4. Meditate. I like Insight Timer – it’s free and has thousands of meditations in lots of durations.
  5. Try something new, often. This year I decided to try 4 new things – So far, I’ve tried knitting. Trying something new reminds us to have a beginners mind and it can help us see the things we do all the time differently.

 
Let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you. Please share what has worked for you in shifting your thoughts.
 
Happy (Almost) Spring,
Much Love,
Jess