watch yo'self!

so sunday i gave myself a little challenge- to only think positive thoughts for the entire day.  it was actually easier than i was expecting, and even more fun than i'd hoped!

the secret is, really to just watch yourself like you would your newborn child.  except your child is your mind, and you are the observer, the mother or father, of your mind's thoughts.  i know this is in no way a new concept, and meditation is thousands of years old; but once it is applied to your life, it really becomes a novel concept and a form of rebirth.

saturday night i gave myself a counseling session.  i wrote out my thoughts and fears in my journal, with my higher mind watching and questioning.  i questioned every little worry, each thought that frequents my head, writing down every question and answer.  i broke it down to see what thoughts really patronize me, and bring me into negativity.  and like most truths, it was painfully simple.  i'd allowed my brain to wire itself into habitual modes of thinking, without questioning if the thoughts were helping or hurting.

monitoring my thoughts is a new habit in itself that i need to cultivate.  habits don't have to be bad things.  i can use my habits, and addictions in a way, to be used for good.  i can become addicted to thinking positive, to dwelling on thoughts of promise and optimism.

on sunday  i caught myself at least 25X with a sinking feeling.  there were definitely more times than that i was negative, but those were the ones my observing brain witnessed.  it was quite easy to change the thought pattern once i recognized my feelings of discomfort.

for example, i'd be screen printing, doing yoga, or making breakfast, and suddenly feel sad and anxious.  stopping myself in my tracks right when the gloom came in, i saw that it stemmed from a single negative thought.  the thought would be typically this: worry about the future.  i don't have enough $ to make it, my business is not where i want it to be yet, i am afraid of the complications that may arise if i am successful, how will i act when such and such happens, what if someone i love dies again, i'm dreading cleaning the kitchen, i'm dreading this confrontation with whomever, etc, etc, etc.  why so much worry about something that hasn't happened??

'WHY NOT THINK POSITIVE?'  i wrote in large letters in my journal.  i've let the fear, the nothing, get the best of me.  like a virus, negativity thrives and replicates in an environment that supports it.  i don't buy junk food, why would i buy junk thoughts?????  i work so hard in my daily life to watch what i eat, how i exercise; all the while the gates to my mind were left completely open for any thoughts to enter.  i'm sad to see that these gates have been left open for most years of my life.  i've lived in fear because my brain has allowed itself to become wired to certain negative thoughts.

the amazing and heart breakingly beautiful truth is, we are all capable of changing these thoughts at any point in our lives.  once we decide to be diligent and discipline our brains, we can become whoever we want.  replace 'i am dreading dealing with talking to so and so', with 'i will figure it out when the time comes, and breathe and be calm for now' or 'the confrontation with him will go well and will be very constructive for my growth'.  life all of a sudden becomes easy and effortless.  no, not "good" and "happy" at all times of course, but without struggle and resistance.

during my therapy session with myself, i wondered why would i not want to be joyful, the result of thinking positive?  i found deep within myself, that i had built up a fear of enjoying my life to have my joy taken from me when something bad happens.  i told myself i would rather be melancholy, so that when the bad comes around again it won't hurt as much.  i'd hardwired this concept into my brain subconsciously since my older sister lucy died in 1997, i've been living with this fear for half of my life.  much of this fear also resulted from religion- from the guilt and shame i interpreted from it.

i am still uncovering this truth, and i know i will always be on the journey.  there is no final peak, only little look outs along the way amidst the valleys and the hills.  i'd much rather live with much joy and a little pain here and there than little pieces of joy overshadowed by large storm clouds of fear.

i knew when i challenged myself to only think positive for one day, that i would be hooked and want to think positive for a lifetime.  change is tough though, and you have to be ready for it, deciding for yourself that the time is now.  of course the simplest things sometimes are so difficult, but sometimes they are very easy.   i am going to keep moving with that ease, and never stop fighting for my mind.  i will never stop growing, i can feel the circuits in my mind changing as i write these words.

i don't want to return to the negative thoughts again, and the beautiful news is that i don't have to!  i can close the door in my mind to the fears, and instead open all the windows to the sunlight and fresh air that resides in my positive resolve.

i am taking back my mind!  won't you join me?!

'damn right i love the life i live, cause i went from negative to positive.'- notorious big


flying pigeon!

i just realized i can do a low flying pigeon pose today! kathryn budig explains how to do it with such ease and playfulness in this video: movement and mandala vinyasa .

i've been working on this asana for a while, it feels AMAZING to do it! like flying!!!!


the berkshires

last week i hiked around the mount washington state forest in sheffield and mount washington, massachusetts with my sister kate, my mom, liam, and hoochie. it's so beautiful and really quite close to my house!

all photos are compliments of my cute lil sis!

bash bish falls


me posing on the taconic trail :)

new perspective 

finding peace and satisfaction here

the walk back

the destination is sure nice, but the excitement is mostly in the journey.  i am trying to always keep this in mind throughout my struggle and setbacks.  always keep at it, and there will be many peaks on the way!


building screens

staple gun queen!

here i am at work in my kitchen, building 10 screens to burn today!


my tribe

some fall photos, taken by my lovely and talented sister kate, of me and my humble gang:

i love the life i have chosen. so blessed here!


listen to your body

balance- in my opinion is the key to happiness in my life. moderation, finding that middle ground where there isn't too much or too little, sounds simple but it can be quite elusive sometimes.

yesterday i had a dull headache, and this feeling like something was missing, like i wasn't at home in my body. this feeling happens to me from time to time, but i haven't felt it in a while so i guess i thought i wouldn't feel it again!

this feeling of unease and dissatisfaction is unsettling, and it's hard for me not to judge it. i wonder, what's wrong with me? what did i do wrong, why am i feeling so unbalanced? how can i get back to the way i felt yesterday when i had energy to spare and sunshine in my heart?!

i stayed up late last night biting my nails, eating mint chip gelato, trying to ignore what my body was trying to cry out to me. the moment i feel dissatisfied with something in my life, i overindulge in lazy and scared activities. suddenly i don't want to be good to myself, i feel paralyzed to help myself in the usual ways i find peace and happiness.

the fact that i forget when i am feeling down for apparently no reason at all, is dissatisfaction and unhappiness don't have to be negative!!! i am learning how to be happy with my life by doing what i love, but i still have much to learn about finding peace in unhappiness. just because it doesn't come up that often doesn't mean it won't. it actually will always come up i think, throughout my entire life.

it's all how i view my current imbalance really, the feeling i actually don't like about discomfort is my response to it. i judge it, try to ignore it, and go on business as usual. this is not the way i should handle these feelings. this is the time to respect my mind body awareness, and use it to my benefit. i can pick up on these moments of fear, aversion, and imbalance by just paying attention to the cues my body is giving me. i feel tired, bored, lazy, and almost a bit ill; like i'm living in someone else's body.

what i'm coming to see is, this is a fine feeling to have. this means i need a change! my body and mind are intelligent and worth listening to. there's nothing wrong with feeling less than ok, but i must do something about it!

this is the time when hayley needs a little extra TLC. unhappiness can actually be a good thing, as my body is asking me to care for it above and beyond what i'm currently doing. my body wants to be healed, it wants me to realize that changes are in need. today i am listening to my body and taking things very slowly. i slept in later than usual and i don't feel guilty for it. i'm going to massage myself today, do some restorative yoga, drink lots of juices and tea, run somewhere i've never been before, take a bath, and do something creative that has nothing to do with purusha.

i need more time for myself to do more than my day to day activities. a routine is a good thing, but when my body is asking for more, i will listen. i feel peace in knowing i can trust my body to tell me when something's wrong. change is here with me now; and the sooner the change comes, the sooner i can move into an even higher level of joy and peace.

we are always evolving and changing, and really the sky is the limit. perhaps in a few weeks after some changes have been made in my life, i'll have moved on up to a whole new level of bliss and calm. i'll find more rooms in my heart i didn't even know were there, all because my body cried out and i listened.


rainy days are the best yoga and crafting days!

in a yoga class on saturday i tried a pose i didn't think i could do. this, to me, is when yoga gets really fun and truly makes me feel like a kid again! trying something that seems a bit daring, and then realizing you have built up the strength and flexibility for it, well that's just one of the many surprises i have found in my practice.

here's me in my purusha pants in birds of paradise pose! so fun!

it's still raining pretty much everyday; and it appears a bit dreary until i decide to work with the rain, rather than against it. i tend to forget in the summer time that autumn and winter runs are some of my absolute favorite and most memorable outings. my dog liam keeps me very active, i call him my coach! he makes me go on runs with him most days of the week, all year round. so we run in the rain and in the snow, and i have to say it feels incredible to brave the elements.

though it is definitely hard getting out there. my runs start out cold and a bit sad, but i find solace in knowing they finish up strong, warm, and very joyous. that is the challenge of winter for me, to make the choice to stick with it, to stick by nature's side and bare the cold for just a little while. it's always a good decision, i've found, to just throw myself in it, and let the earth hold me in it's frigid, yet nurturing arms.

the real reward is after my run, when i can come inside, practice yoga and work on purusha! i don't know how much i would appreciate the coziness of my warm home if i didn't force myself out into the rain. coming indoors and continuing the endorphinfest i just created from my run, this is how i find happiness in dark cold days. i practice much more yoga in the winter, as i have this longing to go within myself and create more compassion and space.

i also really let my creative juices flow when i have all this time inside. i look forward to knitting, sewing, screen printing, home fixing upping, painting, etc. i feel very lucky that i have these crafts and hobbies to turn to, i am never bored. and they bring me so much pleasure and satisfaction. to imagine an idea in my mind and then manifest it physically is one of the greatest perks of being a human being. it's almost like i am the god of myself!

i will be running outside today in the drizzle, building up heat inside of myself like a small star shedding a little light on a cloudy night sky.

i'll be heading to my mom's house later, where we will be sewing my first pair of yoga pants from scratch!!!! this is very very exciting, as i have been using only ready made pants from american wholesalers for purusha. recently i've been yearning for higher quality, and for products that are fully created within purusha. i also treasure the mentality of quality over quantity, and i'm thinking purusha customers will feel the same. one pair of beautiful, high quality, organic cotton, handmade yoga pants is better than a few mid-quality, sprayed cotton, factory made yoga pants.

i will be sure to take many photos of the process and share them with you this week! happy rainy day!

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