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What kind of air are you breathing in? (how to actively avoid the negative)

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I’ve talked a lot about maintaining focus when there are voices of negativity all around. But sometimes it’s really hard to figure out how to actively do that. So today, I thought I would take a little bit of time to share some of the strategies that it is good to incorporate into your life when dealing with people who mostly just want to bring you down.

It’s interesting the thing that happens when you decide to change or do something different. There will be people who aren’t willing to let you do that. There are people who are going to try to keep you where you are for various reasons, none of which have anything to do with you. We have people in our lives that play certain roles. We like the roles that they play. We like the predictability of the relationship (even if it’s an unpredictable one). We  let one another fill in however we need each other to in order to maintain what feels comfortable to us (not anyone else). So whether it is someone who doesn’t want you to do more than they do (or did), or someone who just wants to argue and provide conflict, or someone who just doesn’t know how to let you change because the like things as they are and don’t want things to be different, we have to be able to not let in the things that are designed to prevent us from growing.

First of all, no matter what, if we are changing or following a dream or whatever the case may be, we have to be willing to make sure we are moving ourselves in a positive direction. We have to make sure we are expanding to become who we want to be, and not changing for someone else. When we make the choice to become who we want to be for ourselves, then we can come back to a place of safety, because WE KNOW from the outset that we are moving in a direction that we truly want to move in. We can make mistakes, we can take wrong steps, and we can be human. But as long as we are trying to get to somewhere we feel is worth going, we always have that to fall back on.

Second, learn to breathe it out. The way we breathe affects a lot of things. There is a lot of importance placed on breathing in things like yoga and meditation, but also in other things as well (including any kind of sports preparation and exercises). It affects our endurance. It affects our mental soundness. It influences our heart rate and our muscles. And we have the ability to control it. It’s one of our more easily controlled automatic functions as humans. (this is barring those with medical disorders of course!) So if we use it well, it makes a huge difference. And one of the things I have learned to do is breathe during a conflict.

There are certain people in our lives who truly just want to bring about conflict. They want to make things hard. Sometimes we can remove these people from our lives, but other times it’s not that easy. So if we have to be around those people, it’s important to remember to breathe when the conflict starts. Breathe in love. Breathe our fear. Breathe in peace. Breathe out anger. Breathe in life. Breathe our failure. Breathe in strength. Breathe out conflict. Breathe in hope. Breathe out hate. Breathe in courage. Breathe out conflict. Only take in those things that build you up. With each breath in your mind take note of what you are breathing in. Use deep breaths to fill your body with only good things. Keep it filled with the things that keep you on track. Do not participate in conflict. The moment we engage, we invite the negative in. The moment we let the negative in, we let it distract us from where we are going.

And third, when you breathe it out let it go. Let go of what is said. Let go of the emotions. Let go of any of the tension that is building up inside. That urge to fight. The urge to explain it all away. You cannot argue with someone who doesn’t care about logic. Someone who is not interested in what is really best for you, even if they are someone who should care. You cannot force someone to want what’s best for you. You cannot force someone to support you. You can only take care of yourself, and to do that, you have to let go of what their negativity does to you. You must refuse to engage. (and if at all possible, remove yourself from the situation – even if it’s just to take a walk)

As you keep yourself calm, as you keep breathing in life and love and hope and strength and courage, you fill yourself up. You rise above the conflict. You continue on in your journey. We have the chance to sustain our path throughout each day no matter what anyone around us may feel. So take with you those who in encourage you. Actively fight against those who do not, but only by dismissing their negativity. By refusing to let them discourage you. Pay attention to what you breathe in. Pay attention to what fills you up. Because it’s when we start to overflow with love and life that they start to lift us high enough to touch our dreams and live the life we want to live.

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