Inhibitors of Clear Mind and Positive Action: Doubt, fear, insecurity, misinterpretation, the sense of being overwhelmed that leads to passivity or even apathy… a few major emotions that obstruct our ability to have confidence in ourselves and in our ability to promote positive change in the world. I’m sure there are all days when we look at/hear the morning headlines and feel dumbfounded, even depressed, and think, “How can I even begin to make an impact?!”
Today, remind yourself of the invaluable fact that you that you can make a difference… day by day, step by step. Great change requires vision, persistence, and the acknowledgment of the cumulative power of even the smallest positive actions. It also necessitates embracing the behaviors that inhibit our confidence. Don’t deny or deplore them. Befriend them; understand where they’re coming from. Only by doing so can we begin conquer and even invite them to become positive informers. And, inward transformation fuels our outward compassion.
You might be thinking, “This sounds like a lofty task!” Remember… slowly, slowly, for there is no such thing as overnight metamorphoses of mind.
Today, I invite you to do a powerful, daily exercise:
Create a positive tangible intention. Just one per day. Let it be something realistic.
Write it down… recall it throughout the day. Your intention could be as simple as resolving to smile more, to listen more skillfully, to reinforce a gratitude practice, or to meditate for 5 to 10 minutes. Bit, by bit, chip away at the old block of habits and obstructions in your path; or commit to trying something new. By doing so, you are, in fact, changing the world, for you’re a part of it.
Journals are excellent places to record your intentions. Another wonderful resource that I recently came across is Mallika Chopra’s www.Intent.com. Members join for free and more or less tweet their intents. You can choose to support other’s intents, and you’ll find that people support yours. Every time 10 more people support your entry, Intent.com sends an email. I find the reception of this note is a really nice reminder of what I set out to do!
To wrap up this post, I wanted to share 2 quotes that I find inspirational.
When I feel overwhelmed, this quote of His Holiness the Dalai Lama encourages me:
“I believe that every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes alone are not enough; we have to assume responsibility. Large human movements spring from individual human initiatives. If you feel that you cannot have much of an effect, the next person may also become discouraged and a great opportunity will have been lost. On the other hand, each of us can inspire others simply by working to develop our own altruistic motivation.”
When my doubt begins to consume me, I try to remember this quote of Rainer Maria Rilke:
"And your doubt may become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing. It must become critical. Ask it whenever it wants to spoil something for you, Why something is ugly. Demand proofs from it. Test it. And you will find it perplexed and embarrassed, or perhaps rebellious. But don't give in, insist on arguments and act this way. Watchful and consistent, every single time. And the day will arrive from a destroyer it will become one of your best workers -- perhaps the cleverest of all that are building at your life."
Sophie Herbert is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student), a singer-songwriter, and a visual artist. She has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India; teaches yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan; and recently released her first full-length album, "Take a Clear Look." Please visit her website at SophieHerbert.com.