So I decided to try a self-awareness experiment today and YOU GUYS it was eye opening. I made tallies on my arm based on how many times I had a bad thought or word today. Granted, I was getting made fun of for making a new mark for commenting on how something was “too expensive” or for grunting when getting up off the floor. I also counted even if I immediately redirected my thought to a positive one for self reflection. But we forget that each and every thought and action has an effect, to a certain extent, on our day, our week, our year, our life, our MENTAL WELLNESS.

A quick Google search showed that we have around 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day, so most may say that 68 thoughts isn’t bad at all! Remember, it takes a tiny match to burn down a house. What you say or think or do- no matter how “insignificant”- can haunt you for years.

The first day, I focused on how many of these thoughts/words/actions I actually had. The main point of this is to notice WITHOUT judging! This was the hardest part for me near the end. It was easy to start counting when there weren’t as many tally marks. But as I got closer to the point of actually posting this, I was so embarrassed by the amount of tallies that I already had. I didn’t want to add another mark (which meant that I now had to add two marks!). Simply observe your thoughts, words, and actions today and take note for tomorrow.

The next day I didn’t count, but I listened. When a thought crept up, I immediately replaced it with a good one. If I spoke negative words before my brain had time to stop it (this happens more than I would like to admit), I replaced it with kind words and/or thoughts. This stage is the easiest in theory. How hard can it be to just think positively? How hard can it be to switch one thought for another? I’ll tell you: HARD! This is why we hold onto negative thoughts. Onto grudges. Onto hate. Anger. Anxiety. By overcoming this quintessential step, we begin to heal ourselves from the inside out. So many of our beliefs are set by us. Our own limits are created by our minds. Think of how much we could accomplish if we BELIEVED IN OURSELVES FOR A CHANGE!

In the grand scheme of things, how much of our efforts and energy are we putting into positivity rather than negativity? See for yourself. Are your thoughts/actions/words pure? Or are you bringing yourself and others down with each new thought? Be the match that sparks the flame within your heart, not the one that burns you down.

Love and light.

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There have always been two non-negotiable aspects to my life: movement and working with individuals with special needs. My uncle with Down syndrome was my favorite dance partner. I would always teach him the new moves that I just learned in my hip hop class and he would show me a fancy spin that he made up. While I haven't danced professionally for a few years, I am still able to find my mind-body-spirit connection through yoga, meditation, and other forms of movement. It doesn't matter if it's dance, yoga, lifting weights, climbing, or hiking -- if I'm moving I'm living! I am so excited to start my yoga teacher training this fall, and I cannot wait to teach yoga/movement therapy to individuals with special needs! In the meantime, you can catch me trying new fitness classes around town!