We are very fortunate to live in the land of free. Many military men and women sacrificed to serve and protect our county so that we may live each day with freedom of speech, assembly and religion—just to name a few.
But sometimes we forget that freedom comes in various forms, such as freedom to love whomever you wish or the freedom for self-expression, and we take it for granted. As a yoga practitioner and life coach, I support students in finding emotional freedom, such as the freedom from negative thoughts, self-doubt and anger.
As the Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.” I believe this applies to all negative feelings, not just anger. Negativity hurts you by breeding dissatisfaction in every aspect of your life.
In order to find inner peace, you must forgive yourself. Yes, I said the “F” word: FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is a powerful healing tool. By choosing forgiveness, you are freeing yourself from the disturbing emotions of anger, resentment, and misery. These negative thoughts and emotions can be controlled through self-discipline and self-reflection. Usually, they come about because you choose to be your biggest critic or you choose to be unforgiving of the world when it presents a setback. However, if you choose to forgive and accept whatever comes your way, you will find inner peace and positivity.
Try this: Place your right hand on your heart as a way to open the chakra, or the flow of energy within you, and ask yourself: when was the last time I felt angry or depressed? Allow whatever thought to come to your mind. Now, take a deep breath in. Hold this thought. As you exhale, say “I forgive and let go.” And do exactly that—let the negative thought go. Again, inhale deeply, but now focus on the beating of your heart. Exhale and say “I forgive and let go.” Deeply inhale one third and final time. As you exhale, repeat, “I forgive and let go.” As you keep breathing, you may begin to notice a feeling of relief, almost as if a weight has been lifted. Allow this feeling of being lightweight fill your whole being. This is a temporary state of inner peace. Try this exercise every time you feel overwhelmed by a negative emotion. Remember, freedom from negativity begins with you making the choice to forgive.