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Opposites: Finding the Power in Polarity

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There are opposites in our thoughts (Success – Failure) and our emotions (Happy – Sad). We often think of them as antonyms and independent and contrary to each other. However, they are actually connected because the way in which they are relative to each other is essential to our understanding and experience of each pole. This relationship also means that each one is not definitively good or bad.

This is often represented by the concepts of Ying and Yang ☯️. According to this ancient Chinese philosophy opposite forces are seen as interconnected and counterbalancing. 

In opposites, each is partially defined by the other, which means you get a greater sense of meaning from considering them together. Doing so is also motivating and empowering.

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The 8 Limbs of Yoga

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The 8 Limbs of Yoga that comprise today’s branch of Ashtanga Yoga are taken from the Yoga Sutras. Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras around 400 CE as a synthesis and organization of yoga from older traditions.

The 196 sutras (some say 195) are made up of short simple verses compartmentalized into four topical books:

Samadhi pada (What yoga is)
Sadhana pada (How to gain a yogic state)
Vibhuti pada (Benefits of practicing yoga regularly)
Kaivalya pada (Liberation or freedom from suffering)

Ashtanga yoga is distinct from the Ashtanga Vinyasa style developed by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century. This is also derived from the 8 Limbs of Yoga but synchronizes breath with movement as a flow (vinyasa).

The 8 Limbs of Yoga described in the sutras are Yama (abstinences), Niyama (observances), Asana (yoga postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption).

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It’s a Gift: Gratitude Brings Awareness to the Love in Your Life

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Many people have a regular gratitude practice. It could be a daily meditative check-in, journal entry, or exchange with family/friends.

Gratitude is an emotion that connects you to your essential being. Vibrationally it is the receiving aspect of love. This means you can use thankfulness to experience more loving energy in your life.

“The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne is a great resource that applies this aspect of the Law of Attraction. The exercises in this workbook direct your attention to all the experiences, things, and qualities for which you are thankful.

You can be grateful for every aspect of life. This includes your thoughts, feelings, actions, responsibilities and property, and even the things that you dislike. When you are appreciative “I’ve got to” switches to “I get to” and you switch from identifying with lack to claiming abundance.

What are the five ways to leverage the gift of gratitude?

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Efficiency: Touch Once or Chunk

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Greater efficiency and productivity occur when you can handle tasks through to completion. This principle means you move tasks directly from your inbox to your outbox.

Occasionally, the task returns to the inbox multiple times. This means you repeatedly have to reestablish the point of continuance often resulting in lost productivity.

Tasks do not get completed when something necessary for completion is unavailable. You also have to revisit tasks when there is not enough motivation or time. When pieces are lacking our contribution is temporarily paused. If motivation is the issue we might be procrastinating or distracted and fundamentally are not fully committed to completion. When there is a shortage of time, it makes sense to chunk a project into distinct steps. This shifts the focus to completing each individual step.

What can we do in each of these cases? A good analogy is Tetris where you are working to create a shape that allows you to get to the outbox (drop off the screen).

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Making Anger a Blessing

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Anger often arises when others do not respond or interact with us the way we want. Maybe they are not delivering something we feel we deserve to receive. Perhaps they are not behaving according to social norms.

However, the idea that we should be treated a certain way is just a construct we have built.

We can release this reactance to not getting what we want by raising awareness of our ability to change our inner being. We can also step into being at peace with the outcome even if it was not our ideal. When we choose to embrace our unwanted experiences and let go of any blame we allow any irritation we might experience to just be.

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