Samskaras are essentially our negative thought patterns or behaviours. They are generally unconscious. The kinds of things we do without thinking about like the route we take home from work or how we order our coffee. However, they go deeper than that, incorporating our sensory impressions of the world but also how we perceive this world resulting in our actions, words and thoughts. Samskaras are considered to be left over from our past lives and are part of our karmic imprint. By removing our samskaras, we come closer to enlightenment. Another way to look at this is how patterns repeat themselves in various forms in our life: the bully that shows up every 5-10 years be it friends, bosses or lovers. Why you can’t have what you want, feelings of lack (money, love, power) or how you feel about your appearance, intelligence, creative abilities… I can go on. Remember that samskaras are deeply entrained, so deep in fact that they don’t even require a thought. Bathing suit shopping in January (if you live in the northern hemisphere) is a perfect example.
There is hope! Samskaras can be broken. Interestingly enough, I was mapping out this post in my mind the last few days when I came across this article on my facebook feed this morning. We’ve known through the study of neuroplasticity that we can change our brain and ultimately how we think. This article explains how that’s done – so cool! So, read that and then also take a hard look at your habits to see if anything below resonates. I’d love to hear from you, not about the negative – but a mini or great plan you are putting in place to help destroy your samskaras for good this time.
- Worrying & Stuck in Fear
This is a tough one for me, which I think surprises people sometimes as I am generally a pretty confident person. I know that fear has kept me back from many things I’ve wanted to do, and also kept me in situations long after I should have left. Fear is usually the source when we start digging into why we aren’t getting closer to our dreams, worry is the constant hamster wheel of thought not allowing anything else in like creating new strategies or pushing forward. The best thing you can do here is completely switch your thought or face and replace. The next time you become overwhelmed by worry and fear, write it all down. Keep digging until you find that last drop and then rip it up or burn it (safely!) and move on. Have two to three words that you can use to close the negative thought down and move you forward.
- Comparing Ourselves to Others
Step away from your Facebook/Instagram/Linked In account immediately. We know this and yet somehow, we forget: social media is an illusion. It is full of all the very best parts of ourselves and therefore all the very best parts of everyone else too. We even have these magical filters, so it all looks even more sparkly and beautiful. This is awesome – until it isn’t. Another opportunity for face and replace. When feelings of jealousy or inadequacy come up rather than this being a reflection on you, be happy for them. How amazing that they have so many followers, they must work really hard. Look at how great she looks, she must be really committed to her workouts or maybe I should ask her what moisturizer she is using. Embracing the beauty and success in others is a much sweeter way of seeing the world.
- Not Making Self-Care a Priority
If you are a regular follower to my blog, then you know that this is something I always find a way to sneak in somewhere. Without self-care and taking care of ourselves we are left depleted and exhausted and trying to constantly pour from an empty cup. In this state, we have no defenses against either point 1 or 2 above. The negative spiral grows and the samskaras become thicker. Take yourself for a walk, cook a yummy meal, draw a bath, learn to meditate, book a massage or even better book a vacation! It can be so simple, and yet we fail ourselves by not making it a priority. What can you do today? Book it in and stay accountable.
In love and light, namasté
I am super excited to be tri-hosting (is that even a word?) the January WIFA members meeting Webinar January 23rdon “The Year of YES!” WIFA is Women in Fitness Association and is a global movement to bring women together through information, education, mentorship and networking events to help us grow and be successful together. As the Canadian Ambassador for WIFA I also have a 10% off code: LISA that you can use to save on your membership dues. Check it out and PM me firstname.lastname@example.org so I can tell you what an awesome organization this with all the special personal attention too! https://www.womeninfitness.org