I FORGIVE YOU

Hope you guys are creating an amazing week so far. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the gratitude challenge we did leading up to Thanksgiving. But, more than anything, what people seemed to appreciate and struggle with the most - was forgiveness. -- In that post, I talked about how so many of us were holding onto anger, pain, and hurt that was caused by someone else and encouraged you to let it go.

Here’s what holding onto anger does for the situation.. Nothing. It just hurts you. You’re the one who’s constantly thinking about it, talking about it, and letting it rule your mind day and night. When we hold onto anger and hatred towards others, it’s kind of like being trapped in a self-made prison. It literally does nothing but make you miserable and mess with the feel goods in your heart. You don’t have to act like it didn’t happen, but you do have to make peace with the fact that it did and try to move on from there.

10% of life is what happens to you, and 90% of life is how you respond. There are so many uncontrollables that you’re going to encounter throughout your life. Sometimes, we’re going to get screwed in the worst way but we have to learn to become more resilient to life's troubles. We have to bounce back faster and see things as a part of the journey - not as a roadblock.

When you can start to see that every single experience, no matter how bad it may seem, can be flipped into a blessing (ie: you learned something, someone toxic was removed from your life, it could have been you in an unfortunate situation down the line) - it becomes a lot easier to deal with the uncontrollables. Through practice, and a lot of gratitude, and prayer, I’ve found it easier to find the silver lining in hard times. You will find that it is really hard to be angry and grateful. You will also find that being grateful feels exponentially better than being angry and you will start focusing on doing whatever it takes to generate that good feeling.

Remember, It is NOT your responsibility how other people treat you, you’re only responsible for how you respond. Let your creator sort out their consequences while you focus on being the best version of yourself. When you’re good - you attract good. Being salty about life makes you seem unappreciative about everything ELSE that you’ve been blessed with.. & Why should your creator bless you with more if you can’t be grateful for what you have now? DO NOT allow anyone or anything to get in the way of you being grateful and showing your creator that you are ready to receive your blessings.

So, with the holidays and the new year approaching I’m going to challenge you (again) to let something go. I have two mindfulness exercises for you to do to start shedding some of that mental weight and anger you may be holding onto.

Take some time to first reflect on the situation and why it made you so angry, then, think about what you have learned from it. After you’ve found some good, write the good down (yes, pen to paper) and put it somewhere you can see quickly so when you start feeling angry about it you can quickly reflect on something positive to counter that emotion.

Tip: Take a picture of it, you know your phone is always in reach.

Overcoming anger and hatred is not easy, but, it is possible. There is a very powerful method that has been endorsed across all major religions and wisdom traditions; LOVE.

In Buddhism:

    “Hatred never puts an end to hatred; Love alone can end hatred.”

– Buddha

In Christianity:

“Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who persecute you.”

– Christ

In Islam:

"Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not love for Allah (God) to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

- Surah An-Nur 24:22

"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant."

Surah Al-A’raf 7:199

Check out this guided Loving-Kindness meditation that has been practiced across cultures for years. We’re extending forgiveness, which has to be done in love. We have all heard the saying, “you can’t love anyone else without loving yourself” - this is applicable here. So you will begin by extending a well-wish to yourself, repeating the following;

“May I be happy”

“May I be healthy”

“May my heart be filled with peace”

“May my heart be filled with love”

From here, you will gradually extend this wish to someone you care about like your loved ones or close family and friends. Repeating with them in mind;

“May you be happy”

“May you be healthy”

“May your heart be filled with peace”

“May your heart be filled with love”

Lastly, the hardest one, you will extend this to someone who you don’t care for so much. This is for someone who has hurt you, caused you harm, or who makes your blood boil just at the thought of them. Scientific studies have shown that compassion, kindness, and love are therapeutic, while anger and hatred have been proven detrimental to your physical and mental health. Take a deep breath and wish them well. Repeating the following:

“May you be happy”

“May you be healthy”

“May your heart be filled with peace”

“May your heart be filled with love”

Try this exercise for 5 minutes/day minimum but ideally 20 minutes/day for 21 days. You will notice a transition in the way you feel about yourself, others, and even someone who has hurt you. 

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If you would like more information and prefer for me to guide you through the meditation, sign up here to join my 21 Day Loving-Kindness Meditation Challenge. It's free and includes a Guided Loving-Kindness Meditation by yours truly as well as additional tools to help you make the most out of this exercise. 

Loving Kindness Challenge: AgainIf you’re really about this forgiveness life, sign up here and I’ll check in with you throughout the next few weeks and slide you some additional resources. Make a commitment to yourself to go into the new year feeling light. Drop this dead weight and create an amazing 2017. 

Gratitude to my company partnership with Off The Mat, Into The World. As an Off The Mat - Yoga In Action Circle Facilitator, we use the loving-kindness meditation as a method of healing past wounds to make room for finding and igniting your passion. For more information on forming a circle contact me at Amanda@APeaceOfYoga.com

Download your copy of my new eBook Mako Mindfulness: The Little Book of Prayers for a prayer on forgiveness, This eBook is a compilation of prayers that I say throughout my days.

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#MindfulMoment: Name 3 things you see, 3 things you hear, 3 things you feel, and 1 person you need to forgive. 

-Amanda