Power of Positivity
by Chantal Itzhakov
Rabbi Menachem Mendel teaches - "Think good, and it will be good."
I've always loved this quote, understanding the power of our thoughts and how they affect our words, actions, and life because everything is energy and everything is connected.
When I went to the dermatologist to get the results of a biopsy, I was shocked to hear the cancer diagnosis of a very rare cancer, but the doctor was so kind and helped me get an appointment with the only specialist in Dallas, only one of two in Texas. I couldn’t feel more grateful! I am certain that positive thinking helped me get to a place where even if there is no cure for this cancer, treatment every 10 days maintains remission.
During the pandemic, I broke my foot, but I met a wonderful doctor, learned a lot about feet and supportive shoes, never stopped teaching, and kept my body strong and flexible. I realized that while my foot was healing I still had a responsibility to take care of my body, listening to my comfort level. I also wanted to show my students that you do not have to be perfect to practice, and with an injury, you need to learn to listen and grow. Positive thinking helps me look at challenges from a different perspective and helps heal and diminish suffering!
Most events and stimuli are neutral, but the way we filter and label them as negative or positive affects how we feel. We are conditioned to see the negative, in part because of survival but also because of the media's obsession with bad and dramatic news.
It is not always easy to be a positive person, even when we know it is better for our health and happiness. We can train ourselves to see the good in people and situations by taking a step back and focusing on the positive.
Our yoga practice can absolutely help us. As we practice every day, we fill our minds with positive thoughts, taking the time to reflect. As we focus on the positive aspects of our lives, we invite mindfulness and being fully present in the moment.
A very effective way to unlock happiness is to cultivate gratitude, starting when we wake up, and all throughout the day, reminding ourselves of everything we already have. As we train ourselves to see the positive, our perspective shifts and allows us to deal with challenges when needed.
Positive thinking has really helped me. Whenever a challenge hits me, I ask myself what can I learn from it and how I can make it better instead of wondering why it happened to me. This helps me be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Our practice is a journey with ups and downs, but the more we create positive thoughts in ourselves, the more we help others smile and shine!
Edith Wharton says, "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." Which one are you?