If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding. —The Dalai Lama
We have all known and encountered negative people throughout our lives. We can stumble across them in the cashier line, at the airport, at the bank, on the bus… negative people are everywhere! An interaction can be fleeting but still affect you. And it’s an even bigger challenge when the negative person is in your close personal circle. It could be your significant other, best friend, mother-in-law, boss, your child’s teacher. No matter whether it’s personal or impersonal, these interactions can have an impact on your life.
Maintain your peace and reside in that centered space no matter the circumstances. Scroll down for the action plan and a guided meditation from Wake Up to the Joy of You author Agapi Stassinopoulos, and avoid the trappings that come with another’s cycle of negativity.
1. Take an inventory of your life and look at the areas where you get caught up in a negative cycle. Is it a thought, a situation, or a person? Ask yourself, “Where do I need to detach, observe, and disconnect from what’s affecting me and make wiser choices?” Write these down in your journal to ground your awareness; bring your light into it.
2. Be ruthless with yourself in insisting that if you are around negative energy, you will remove yourself from the situation and not let it affect you. Know your bandwidth and stick to it.
3. Build your Portable Paradise and do the following meditation to solidify your inner environment of peace and calm that no one will disturb.
G U I DE D M E DI T A T I O N
Find a comfortable location where you won’t be interrupted. Take a deep breath and exhale any tensions, any worries, any preoccupations from the day. Allow yourself to relax, and come deeper into your own breath, breathing in, slowing down the breath and exhaling. Breathing in on a count of 4 . . . 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4, exhaling . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1. Filling your heart and lungs with your breath. Observe the rising and falling of your breath. Bring into your awareness a place that you’ve been in your life where you like to go, where you feel calm, relaxed, centered, and serene. Bring it to your awareness as vividly as possible. Is it indoors, outdoors? How does the air feel? Is there a breeze? Is it sunny? Is it fragrant? What are the sounds you hear? Bring yourself there, right now. Allow yourself to bring all of you present—your mind, your emotions, and your whole being—as if you are there right now. Imagine a color that you love—it’s permeating the air of this place. Imagine that this color is as exquisite, as vibrant and vivid as possible. If it’s green, make it the best green you have ever seen. If it’s blue, imagine it brighter than you have ever seen. Take this color that you love through your whole body. As you exhale this time, see yourself standing, walking, going through this beautiful place that you love and ever so grounded in it, notice the things that are around this place, the sounds that you hear, and in your head, say a word you love that brings you peace. It could be a word like beautiful, joyful, rested, calm, centered, abundant, vibrant, positive, or warm. It could be a name or anything that makes you feel really connected. Let this word vibrate through your whole being and consciousness. When you are ready, take your right hand and put it over your heart and anchor this feeling. Take your left hand and put it on your belly. Anchor this feeling in your solar plexus, and feel safe and at home with yourself. When you are ready, take a deep breath and let this place be really anchored in your body, knowing you can return here any time during your day. This is your Portable Paradise—you can take it anywhere you want to go. Take a deep breath and exhale with a sound, “Ahh.” When you are ready, wriggle your toes and hands. Shake your shoulders. Stretch your neck left and right, and gently open your eyes and be back here, and open your hands, your arms, and make a big circle all around you with a sound that’s like “Ahh.” Take another deep breath and make a sound, and give thanks for the knowledge that you have this place inside of you. It’s your Portable Paradise and it’s with you whenever you need it.
Excerpt from Wake Up to the Joy of You by Agapi Stassinopoulos. ©Agapi Stassinopoulos 2016. Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.
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