Am I being too kind?
Wait. What? Too kind? I'm sorry to say in this age of global political uncertainty, refugee crises, crime rates and social divide, that yes, I think we can actually be too kind.
"Why, what do you mean, Lee-ann?" I'm glad you asked; allow me to elaborate...
Have you ever said yes to something that you didn't really want to do for the sake of sparing someone else's feelings? Have you put your whole heart into trying to make someone feel good about themselves only to be landed with the bill of making yourself feel bad? I'm sure it's not just me that's happened to. (I'm learning that parenthood hosts a vast array of these kind of examples but that's a different story and maybe I'll come back to this point one day.)
How about the idea that the more we do for others against our will or better judgement, the worse we feel and the harder cycle it is to break? How about the idea that tripping over ourselves to be kind to someone actually harms our own energy? We withdraw from our energy bank account when we give unwillingly. Sometimes we need to be more honest about what we actually want - and maybe, just maybe, not be so bothered about what someone's perceptions of us is. I'll be perfectly frank and a teensy bit brutal here - what someone thinks of you is... wait for it... None. Of. Your Business. That's right, folks. Gosh, I'm being harsh here, aren't I? Every single person is entitled to their own opinion.
Nobody has the right to tell you what to think, for that is the beauty of the human mind. People form their own opinions based on their likes, dislikes and unique personal experiences. So, I'll reiterate. "What someone else thinks of you is none of your business." Therefore, if we can't determine what someone thinks, believes or says, why change our own behaviour or make uncomfortable choices in the hope that someone will like us better? You might as well embrace who you are and live life wholeheartedly as You.
Going back to the ol' energy bank account; when we make good choices for ourselves, we deposit into our energy bank account and we find ourselves in a place where other people want to celebrate our good energy fortune. A friend once used the analogy that in life, people are either an energy radiator or an energy drain. People who withdraw from other peoples energy will always gravitate towards radiators. Radiators who spend their energy together find their respective accounts enriched. Throughout life, it is my opinion that we must spend time in each of these camps, because that's what happens in life.
During our yoga practice, you will hear me mention pranayama. Prana means life force, ayama means control so typically we think of pranayama as breath control or breathing exercises, but prana is somuch more than just the breath, it is our very life force, our energy. A true yogi is said to be one able retain the prana in the body.
Make good choices with your energy during the exchanges in everyday life and notice what happens to your account balance. And you'll be well on your way towards yogic enlightenment, I'm sure.