Finding happiness one moment at a time.

Happiness is defined as a state of pleasure, satisfaction, or contentment.  It is a state of being.  It is not something that we are meant to achieve once and then have forever more.  We either are or we aren’t in the moment.  The more moments of joy we experience, the happier we feel.

For me, my happiness is largely related to me feeling good physically.  Getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and spending some time in nature helps me feel good.  I also take the time to connect with myself through yoga and mediation or simply take a few minutes to just breathe.  When you give yourself time to connect with the essence that is you, you give yourself a chance to feel the love that your inner being has for you.  Nobody else can give that to you.  I didn’t realize how powerful and deeply satisfying meditation was until I started practicing sitting and breathing for 10-15 minutes a day a few times a week (I wish I could say that I do it everyday, but I’m working on it!)  

When you breathe and slow your thoughts, you give yourself an opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and connect with your inner being or your higher self.  You feel more centered, more satisfied, and more whole.  This is where you will find happiness.  Feelings of frustration or fear or self-loathing will begin to dissipate, and the true essence that is within you will begin to flow to you and through you.  Your inner being adores you.  When you focus upon your failures or inadequacies or worry and project negative thoughts about your future or spend time regretting your past, your inner being does not agree with those thoughts so therefore you don’t feel good thinking them.  

Notice when you’re feeling good, and be willing to admit when you’re not.  It’s ok to feel down.  Without the lows, there wouldn’t be those highs.  If you were happy all the time, you wouldn’t feel that rush you feel in moments of elation.  Good days bring you joy, but bad days bring you wisdom and often clarity.  

I do not like it when I’m feeling down, but I know that I will feel better if I let myself acknowledge it.  When you are feeling negative emotion, ask yourself some questions like, “Why am I feeling this way?  What does this emotion feel like?  Where is it coming from?”  Try to give it a name such as sadness, fear, anger or regret.  When you give negative emotion a label, you aren’t as bothered by it because you can better separate yourself from it.  You will realize that the unhappy feeling is not who you are, it’s just how you’re feeling.  Everything is temporary and we are given a new opportunity in every moment.  

We can experience more moments of pleasure and contentment by remembering to look for things to appreciate.  Feelings of gratitude and appreciation boost dopamine and serotonin.  It’s not even the finding of things to be grateful for, just the process of searching for something triggers the release of these feel good brain chemicals.  Even the smallest things are worth appreciating if it makes you feel good to focus on them.  A pretty tree outside, the sky, or the fact that you have running water, electricity, and a warm bed to sleep in.  The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.  Like attracts like.  The more often you are in a state of appreciation. the more enjoyable things will flow into your experience.  

So to sum it up, remember to:

*Look for things to appreciate (just looking is enough to give you a boost).

*Take time to breathe and connect with your inner being or essence.

*Put a label to your negative emotion so you can separate from it a bit.

*Take care of yourself.  Do something that helps you feel good.

Love,

Sydney

Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have because it affects all of your other relationships.  How you feel in your body affects how you feel about yourself.  When we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin, it can be detrimental to our lives because it can be very hard to relate to others in a healthy way.  Instead of noticing and appreciating positive qualities in the people we meet and interact with, we often judge, criticize and compare ourselves to them.  This does not feel good, but we only do it because we don’t feel good about ourselves.  

The good news is that our bodies are like living works of art in that they are moldable and constantly changing.  They will take on the shape that we assign to them based upon our actions, beliefs and thoughts about ourselves.  Respect your body by nourishing it with healthy food, happy thoughts, and daily movement.  Take time to relax and connect with yourself even if it’s just for a few minutes.  

When you start caring for and appreciating your body, it becomes better.  Appreciate the things you do like about yourself and your body.  We all have things about our appearance that we don’t like or wish we could change, but focusing on them in a negative way just makes them worse.  Instead, focus on the things you do like.  Start using your imagination to create a mental image of the way you want to look and feel.  Then continue to do the actions that support your goals and focus on the benefits they’re bringing you.

Respect your body by drinking lots of water and feeding it nutritious food.  Take the time to enjoy eating by giving it your full attention, and appreciate the people that grew your food and made it available to you.  Eat slowly and enjoy the way that it tastes and feels on your body.  We digest our food better when we enjoy eating it.  Tell yourself that you enjoy nourishing your body, and thank it for all that it does for you.

Take time to breathe, and slow down and rest when you are tired.  Some days we feel strong and energized and we can push ourselves more, and other times we feel exhausted and depleted.  When you feel like that, the best thing you can do is give yourself a break and take some time to breathe.  Our breath nourishes our bodies and calms our minds.  Don’t treat your body like an enemy, treat it like your best friend. 

Affirmations for cultivating a better relationship with yourself:

“I am loving and appreciating myself more and more.”

“I am becoming more attractive the more I love and appreciate myself."

“I am enjoying nourishing my body with nutritious food.”

“I am enjoying moving and strengthening my body, and I am strong and healthy.”

Love,

Sydney

My love affair with yoga.

I am completely in love and married to my yoga practice for the rest of my life.  Why?  Because yoga gives you what you need -balance, strength, flexibility, endurance, peace of mind, clarity, openness, awareness…And I feel euphoric after I practice.

It not only sculpts and reshapes and opens the body, but it also sculpts and reshapes and opens the mind.  It increases your ability to control your mind by increasing your ability to notice and choose your thoughts.  Yoga teaches us to bring our attention away from the constant chatter of our thoughts by bringing our awareness to our breath.  It gives our minds a rest.  It helps us to slow down our thoughts so that we can learn to recognize and choose which thoughts feel good and which don’t.  We gain more control over our bodies and our minds.

When I first started doing yoga, I was not strong.  Downward facing dog was hard for me to hold, and my arms used to shake like crazy in side plank.  Now I can easily support my body weight.  I’m strong, I’m flexible, and sometimes I feel like I’m flying through the poses.

I choose to teach because I know what yoga has done for me and what it continues to do for me.  Yoga transformed my body, and then it transformed my mind.  It changed my perspective.  It strengthened my belief in myself and my ability to create the life that I want.  I’m calmer and happier, and I’m not so scared anymore.  When you feel stronger physically, it can help you feel more confident and stronger mentally.   

When you practice yoga regularly, even if it’s just for 10 min or so, you start feeling so much better in your body -which impacts your mood and your relationships with others.  When you feel good in your body, you can focus your mind more in the present moment.  You’re able to appreciate more of your life because you feel better.  Life starts getting more fun because you start practicing spending just a little more time living in the moment.  A little more time checking in with yourself, your inner self, your higher self, the you that resides within you that is egoless and full of love.  That inner voice or divineness within you— whatever you want to call it or not call it— it’s an energy within each of us that is the same energy that creates the universe that we live in. 

Before I found yoga, I wasn’t really happy and I felt disconnected from myself.  Now, 13 years later, I love it just as much today as I ever have, even more so.  Yoga connected me with me.  The real me.  The inner me that is pure positive loving energy.  Yoga gives you what you need.  Yoga made me whole.  And I am so happy to have found it.

Affirmations for quieting the ego during yoga:

If you’re practicing yoga and your ego starts beating you up for not being able to do a pose or feeling tired or weak or not good enough, stop yourself and bring your attention to your breath.  When you draw your attention to your breath you draw it away from negative thoughts and you’re able to discard and release them.  Say to yourself, “I am focusing on my breath.  I am here in this moment.  Where I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be”.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  

Sleep it off.

Sleep is incredibly beneficial for not just our bodies but our minds.  Our minds need a rest from all of the constant internal chatter that we experience while we are awake.  A study by the the University of Rochester’s medical school finds that sleep may play a crucial role in our brain’s physiological maintenance.  As your body sleeps, your brain is acting like a mental janitor in that it’s clearing out all of the junk that has accumulated as a result of your daily thinking.

Sleeping is a great way to reset your emotional state and adopt a more positive state of mind.  Much like meditation, sleeping allows your mind to rest because it stops thought.  While you sleep, whatever resistant or negative thoughts you may have been thinking fade away and their momentum ceases.  When you awaken, you are naturally in a good good feeling emotional state.  It’s the thoughts we start thinking again right after we wake up that bring us back down to a less blissful state.  If you will make an effort to reach for positive thoughts immediately upon awakening, you will alter your mindset.  So if you’re feeling upset, take a nap.  You’ll feel better because you’ll stop the momentum of negative thoughts, and when you wake up it’ll be easier to choose different thoughts.

Start you day in a positive way by appreciating your life.  Say, “Thank you for this day.  Thank you for this comfortable bed.  I am happy to be alive.  Thank you for my life”.  Remind yourself that each day is a gift.   If you tell yourself, you will believe it.  We often take our lives for granted and forget to appreciate what we do have because we’ve become accustomed to it.  But what if you didn’t have a home or a warm bed or safe place to sleep?  Reminding ourselves of the things that really matter creates a more positive state of mind that stays with us throughout our day and affects what we attract into our experience.

Lack of sleep not only deprives us of the chance to reset our emotional state, but it also causes our health to become compromised because our immune system doesn’t function as well when our bodies are tired.  Sleep allows the cells of our bodies to renew themselves, and when we don’t get enough of it our nervous system and digestive system can get out of whack.  Without enough sleep, the two hormones that control appetite (leptin and gherkin) can become imbalanced causing us to overeat.  It’s generally believed that we need 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but everyone’s body is different.  Sometimes you need more sleep and sometimes you can function on less.  It’s important to pay attention to your body. 

Before you drift off to sleep, tell yourself a bedtime story.  Take a few moments to reflect on the day and think of some positive things that happened.  Now tell yourself about the wonderful restful night’s sleep that you’re going to get.  Maybe even ask for a dream to clarify a question you may have.  Tell yourself how you are going to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready for your day.  

Say to yourself, "As I lie here and breathe, I'm allowing my body to restore itself to its natural state of balance and perfect health and alignment. I am allowing my cells to receive the well being they have been asking for.  I release anything from my mind and body that I no longer need. I see myself and my life in perfect harmony”.

In love and light,

Sydney

Get healthy by getting happy.

“Your beliefs act like filters on a camera, changing how you see the world.  And your biology adapts to those beliefs.  You can change your beliefs.  You can choose what to see and how to see it.  You can filter your world through rose colored lenses and positive beliefs that will help your body grow and stay healthy or you can use a dark filter that turns everything black and negative and makes your body more susceptible to disease.  You can live a life of fear or a life of love.  A rose colored outlook is necessary for your cells to function properly and your body to thrive. Positive thoughts are a biological mandate for a healthy body.” —Bruce Lipton

Your physical body is composed of trillions of cells that need a safe environment in order to thrive.  In his book, The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton, Ph.D, explains that our physical health is directly related to our emotional health.  He states that it isn’t our genes but our beliefs that control our lives and determine our physical state.  Lipton says that our thoughts and beliefs have a direct effect on our biology because our thoughts create an environment that is either beneficial or detrimental to our health.  

Our bodies need continuous growth and cell turnover to survive.  The entire lining of your gut is replaced every 72 hours.  When you are stressed, your body shuts down and goes into protective mode which inhibits growth.  Almost every major illness that people acquire has been linked to stress.  Chronic stress leads to breaking down of the body and disease can manifest.  Urban Remedy author Neka Pasquale says that negative emotions coupled with an unhealthy diet may play a role in triggering diseases such as cancer.  She writes, "Our negative emotions put us in a state of imbalance which allows for disease to flourish because our cells are not able to perform.  We come to accept that being anxious, irritable, bloated, and exhausted is a way of life".  

Life doesn’t have to be that way, and we shouldn’t settle for living unhappily in our bodies.  Our bodies are amazingly resilient and can recover when we take care of our emotional and physical health.  Your nervous system is responsible for deciding whether your body can expand energy for growth or if it needs to shut down for protection mode due to high levels of stress or negative emotion.  Yoga and meditation are so important because they involve deep breathing which calms your nervous system and allows your cells to receive the well-being they need to enjoy continuous growth.  Your body is highly intelligent and your cells know what to do.  Disease exists because your cells are not receiving the well-being that they need in order to function properly.  When you allow that well-being to flow to them through the relaxing of your mind and body, well-being will return.  

You are the one controlling your destiny.  Embrace change and let go of fear and worry.  Our bodies are in a constant state of change and growth and the best growth promoter is love.  When we are in a state of love or appreciation or happiness, we allow our cells access to the well-being they need to flourish.  Our positive and loving thoughts provide a safe environment for our bodies to rejuvenate and thrive.  It doesn’t matter whether you are loving yourself, someone else, the sky, the ocean, or a new pair of shoes.  As long as you’re feeling positive emotion, your cells are receiving the healing benefit of your emotional state.

Affirmations for allowing well-being:  

“I am allowing my cells to receive the well-being that they need to thrive.

“I am aware that my body is highly intelligent and my cells know what to do.”

“I am choosing to see myself and my life in a more positive light. 

“I am creating a healthy, harmonious environment through my positive thoughts and loving emotions."

Lots of love,

Sydney

Coming back to wellness.

I am a firm believer in our emotions affecting our health.  When we are thinking thoughts that cause us to feel negative emotion, we do not feel good physically.  When I get upset, I always end up with a stomach ache.  When we're stressed or upset, our bodies suffer.  Negative thoughts don’t just make you feel bad emotionally, they hurt you physically.  Emotional turmoil affects your immune system by stressing out your body and causing your nervous system to work overtime.  Our bodies cannot function as well when we are under chronic stress.  

Your thoughts and words about yourself, your life, and other people affect your health.  When you say “I am sick of this or that”, you can literally make yourself sick from the negative emotion that you feel.   Negative words bring negative energy into our vibration and affect us on a physical level.  When you are thinking thoughts that do not feel good, you are cutting yourself off from the stream of well-being or source energy that is flowing to you.  When you feel positive emotion you are allowing source energy to flow freely to you and through you.  Happy thoughts = better health.  More joy = longer life.  People who are depressed do not live as long.  

Your body is showing you how your thoughts and emotions are affecting you.  When you feel pain or sickness in your body, it’s a sign that you need to give yourself more kind and loving thoughts.  Instead of feeling like you have to get rid of your cold or get over your condition, think of sending more light, energy, and breath to that area of discomfort.  Know that it’s your cells asking you to allow more well-being to flow to them.

Allow your body to heal itself and let your cells receive the well-being they’ve been asking for by finding a way to feel good and not focusing on feeling sick or in pain.  Your mind plays a big role in your healing process.  The placebo effect shows us how our mind can heal our body.  When you believe something will heal you, it has a much greater chance of healing than if you don’t believe.  It’s all your state of mind and your willingness to care about your emotional state and choose thoughts that make you feel good.  

Tell yourself yourself that there is no sickness, only a stream of wellness that you are either allowing to flow to you or cutting yourself off from.  Allow it to flow to you again.  See all of your relationships in perfect harmony.  Imagine well-being flowing into every cell of your body.  Exhale out any stuck energy or anything you don’t need to be holding onto.  Breathe into wherever you feel pain or discomfort and see light filling that area and it then filling your whole body.  Imagine yourself healed and in perfect health.  See yourself feeling and looking the way that you want, laughing and living life fully and joyfully.  

You might not feel better immediately, but continue to imagine that you are well and that light is surrounding you and flowing through you.  Do not take score immediately of how you’re feeling to tell you if you are healing.  Just continue to see yourself as completely healed, healthy and happy, and full of life.

Affirmations for healing:

“I am a fast healer.  I am in perfect health.”

“I am allowing source energy to flow to me and through me.”

“I am sending love and light to all areas of my body and allowing my cells to receive what they’ve been asking for.”

“I am feeling better and better.  As I feel better emotionally, I feel better physically."

"I love feeling the energy of well-being flow to me." 

In love and light,

Sydney