Why I don´t practice Positive Affirmations

published 8 months ago by Dr. Melissa West - Yoga Teacher - Namaste Yoga

No Positive Affirmations? Positive Affirmations are incredibly popular. Millions of people practice positive affirmations in the morning, to help them sleep, for success, for abundance, for self love, for manifestation, for anxiety, for work. There are positive affirmations for women, for men, and for children. There are daily affirmations, mantras and meditations for an abundance mindset. However, I am not a fan of positive affirmations. If you are new here, welcome, my name is Melissa, I teach yin yoga, restorative yoga, hatha yoga and yoga nidra. I am a student of Tibetan Buddhism in the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa with Dharma Ocean. I tend to agree with Pema Chodron that: “Affirmations are like screaming that you're okay in order to overcome this whisper that you're not... maybe you're not okay. Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine.” To me, affirmations are a way to fight against our reality. They are a desire to escape our current situation. When we push the agenda of positive affirmations we may be judging ourselves or our circumstances as some way inadequate. Positive affirmations often start from a place of judgement, resistance and striving for some kind of ego ideal that is currently not happening in our lives. I believe that kind of judging and pushing to live up to some kind of ego-ideal is a kind of self-harm that alienates you and disconnects you from the expression of your True Self. It is a kind of inner violence that we inflict on ourselves to say, this shouldn't be happening in my life, I shouldn't be feeling this way, nobody else feels this way, I should get over this. It causes us distress emotionally, energetically and physically in our bodies. I am much more inclined to turn towards myself and offer myself tenderness and compassion if I am feeling poverty and failure and ask myself: Where do I feel failure in my body? How does poverty feel in my body? I try to remind myself that millions of other people in the world experience poverty and failure. Not only do they experience poverty and failure but they also experience feelings of poverty and feelings of failure several times a day! That is when I start to feel connection rather than isolation. No longer am ¨I¨ the only one experiencing these feelings and trying to push past them to success and abundance. Then I can ask myself, ¨What do I need right now? What generosity can I offer myself in this moment?¨ Maybe a short walk in a nearby park reminds me of the lush resources available in our beautiful city and I reconnect with the feeling of blessing for living here. Maybe going back and reading some of the thank you notes I have received reminds me that I am not a failure. Maybe reaching out to others and thanking them for how they have contributed to my life and that gives me a sense of connection and expansion and opens my heart to connect others with a sense of abundant success. Being a spiritual person doesn´t mean that all your experiences are only positive. This is what I call being a spiritual zombie or a spiritual pancake. In my experience, the more my spiritual life has expanded, the greater the range of emotional and energetic experiences I have opened to. It is not always comfortable, but there is definitely a greater range of experience. Positivity, happiness, calmness, peacefulness, groundedness and bliss are not the only barometers for spiritual presence. What happens when these states are not present? We tend to judge ourselves harshly and resist our emotional and energetic experience. We tend to feel as though we have failed. There is both yin and yang in our lives. Sometimes our lives will be expanding and sometimes they will be contracting. Day turns into night. The tide comes in and it goes out. To insist that: ¨Wealth constantly flows into my life,¨ goes against the natural flow and rhythm of yin and yang. We always have the opportunity to take a step back and ...

more episodes from Yoga Lifestyle with Dr Melissa West