You know those times in your life that have been especially trying and it seems like there are NO options, NO possibilities, NO "easy way out," other than the path you see before you? And then time goes by, the bulk of the problem subsides, cooler heads prevail and you look back and suddenly you can see some other ways it could have gone? Those ways were always there. You were just so married to one perspective. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting it's EASY to just see things in a different way, especially those big, life-changing challenges. But if you start by tackling the little situations, it can make the big ones easier to handle. I've been practicing this a lot recently and it is a simple concept, though not easy at first. With my biggest influences in life being art, movement and science, I thought I'd share words of wisdom from my three favorite influencers from those areas that have shared this message of a changing perspective WAY before me. And then I expand upon those words with some simple, but not necessarily easy, methods to actively apply their lessons to your life.
ART: "As you think, so shall you become." -Bruce Lee
We all know that Bruce Lee's philosophy on life, art, zen, was just as impactful as his brilliant movement. He took concepts from many different philosophers and thinkers and applied them to form his own philosophy. This quote, probably a descendent of Buddha's words, “The mind is everything. What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create," share with us that concept of the power of the mind to create your reality. The words you use shape the life you lead.
TRY THIS: Take a couple days and literally write down on paper (like use your fingers, ink and paper; none of this digital stuff) the things that those limiting voices tell you. We all have them to some extent. Then look back at the list and rewrite them to be more positive and supportive. So that every time you hear these ego voices throwing limitations at you, you will have already created some loving, helpful words that you can listen to instead.
MOVEMENT: "How I perceive my world creates feelings within me. I choose to perceive with greater delicacy and details so that I may have more insight into myself and open doors into situations and my relationships in new ways." -Kristen Eykel
Kristen is a Master Yoga Teacher, among many other titles, who practices and teaches in Los Angeles. This affirmation that she shares is meant to be paired with a yoga technique that helps to open up the body to gain greater perspective.
TRY THIS: "Sit in child's pose (don't know what that is? Google it. I'll wait...) Put hands in prayer pose, left thumb locked over right for women and right locked over left for men. Put gentle pressure on your forehead as you rest it on the floor. Keep your awareness on the above affirmation and go within as you hold this pose for 5 minutes. Come back to this pose throughout the day to bring grounding and clarity to your mind whenever you feel upset or stressed. "
SCIENCE: "Those who see the cosmic perspective as a depressing outlook, they really need to reassess how they think about the world. Because when I look up in the universe, I know I'm small but I'm also big. I'm big because I'm connected to the universe, and the universe is connected to me." -Neil deGrasse Tyson
There's a lot there, folks! I l always love reading this man's connection between science and philosophy. He makes the point that we have defined "special" as different and apart, which in the end only isolates us. But by changing our perspective of "special" to meaning alike and connected, we can actually feel more important and more powerful.
TRY THIS: When the moon comes out at night, look up. Imagine your tiny self on this tiny planet among the vast expanse of space. Feel how small you really are. Then remind yourself that you are made of the same stuff that makes up all of space. You are "star stuff" (in Carl Sagan's words). The mystery, power and ever-changing material that makes our cosmos operate are within you and therefore you are mysterious, powerful and ever-changing.
Thanks for reading!
Train hard. Play nice!
Check out some links to these incredible thinkers:
-Bruce Lee; "Tao of Jeet Kune Do"
-Kristen Eykel: www.kristeneykel.com
-Neil deGrasse Tyson: "Big Think"
photo by: Jesse DeYoung- Check his work on instagram @jdy_photography
clothing by: Sweat With Soul- Shop them at www.sweatwithsoul.com