Deep breathing is a great opportunity to oxygenate our blood, calm our mind & body, and become more aware of the present moment. Like most things in life, there are a variety of ways to accomplish the same result. Here are five different ways you can take a deep breath right now!
Before we get started, here are some general tips that will hold true for the different ways to take a deep breath we will cover.
Breathe in Through the Nose
First, breathe in through the nose. Nose hairs and mucus offer us a variety of extra filters against dirt and particulates in the air.
By taking many deep inhales through our mouth we could start to experience a scratchy throat.
Of course, a few deep inhales through the mouth are perfectly fine.
But what we practice, we will ultimately perform.
So if you want to take deep breaths instinctively with good technique, then start begin honing exactly what you want in con.
Second, sit, stand, or lay down comfortably with a gently straight spine.
When our spine is in its most natural position our hips are directly below our shoulders; not thrusting forward or curving backwards.
Shoulders Back and Down to Open Your Chest
Third, our shoulder blades are softly placed back and down which will open up our chest fully.
Roll your shoulders up by your ears and then circle your shoulders back and down.
Control Your Breath
Fourth, to increase the depth of your inhales lengthen your exhales. Your lungs will expand as you continue to take deeper and deeper breaths. There is not goal of depth other than what you can comfortably attain.
Start with Empty Lungs
Five, begin each exercise by exhaling fully. Start with completely empty lungs for each cycle.
Ok… let’s jump in to these five ways to breathe deep!
Five Ways You can Take a Deep Breath Right Now
1. Upper Chest Inhales
Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly.
Can you breath in so that only the hand on your chest rises? Of course you can!
Keep practicing and see how with each breath you can increase the expansion of your chest without moving your belly.
Once you have a few cycles down moving only your upper hand, try filling your upper chest and drawing your diaphragm inwards slightly with your stomach muscles. See how your chest moves differently.
2. Diaphragmatic Breathing aka Belly Breathing
Next, focus on breathing in deeply to your diaphragm so that your belly moves.
When we fill our diaphragm with air it pushes our stomach area forward.
With one hand on chest and one hand on your stomach, see if you can only move the hand on your stomach without moving the hand on your chest.
As you continue to play with deep breathes moving your belly, begin engaging your core muscles (muscles around your stomach and lower back) with each exhale.
Squeeze your core tight on the bottom of each complete exhale.
Wring out the last milliliter of air from your lungs you can using your core muscles.
3. Full Lung Inhale — Diaphragm First
Next we put them both together.
Start with our diaphragm and continue all the way up and through our upper chest.
Hold it for a brief moment at the top.
Feel how much pressure you are containing in your lungs.
And then slowly leak your exhale out through your mouth.
Begin with your diaphragm. Engage your core and squeeze out the air in our diaphragm as you hold your upper chest full.
Once your diaphragm is completely empty begin to exhale your from your upper chest.
Feel your chest lower as you continue to exhale.
Fully empty your lungs and pause at the bottom, completely breathless.
Notice any sensations or thought patterns coming up in the present moment.
Let them go as you inhale again. Starting through the nose and filling your diaphragm first then chest.
4. Full Lung Inhale — Upper Chest First
Now, let’s reverse the order.
Exhale fully before slowly inhaling filling your upper chest and then filling your diaphragm so your belly rises to meet your chest.
Exhale your breath in the same order you inhaled.
First release the air from your upper chest.
Then release the air from your diaphragm by squeezing your core muscles inward as you empty.
5. Reverse the Exhale Pattern
After playing around with the previous techniques try reversing the exhale pattern.
If your inhale first into your upper chest, begin your exhale starting with your diaphragm.
If you begin your inhale with your diaphragm, then begin your exhale with your upper chest.
Other breathing exercises
See how you can apply these deep breathing techniques to these two exercises:
Journaling is an excellent tool to help us digest experiences and emotions in a healthy way. Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a system to bring focus and ease to your practice.
In this article we will examine what Gratitude Journaling (click here to jump directly to How to Gratitude Journal) is and dive deeper into journaling as a whole. If your goal is to improve your healthy digestion of internal experiences and emotions, then this post is for you! Read on to learn how to Gratitude Journal and why!
What is Journaling?
Journaling is the act of writing about our internal experience. Within the umbrella of journaling you will find many styles, systems, and techniques. All of those are simply a lens to consider and write about the internal experience.
An internal experience is simply the thoughts and emotions going on within us at any given moment. Internal experiences are happening all day every day throughout our entire lives. They form the basis of our reality and the automatic responses we fall into over and over. Therefore, it is prudent to increase our awareness of what is happening in our minds.
The Duality of Life: External and Internal
Humans exist in a duality: the external and the internal. The external is the physical. It’s the house you live in. the clothes you wear. The car you drive and the roads you drive on. The internal is consciousness and the spiritual. They are each equally as important to pay attention to and make sure are healthy. If you aren’t mindful in the external you could hurt your body. If you are not mindful in the internal you could hurt your consciousness.
Hurt your consciousness? An extreme example of this is how statistically people who are abused as children are more likely to be abused as adults. How we digest experiences in life directly impacts the types of future experiences we are likely to have. When we do not properly digest something we form unhealthy attachments to solutions that protected us for the moment in our youth or give us familiar emotional experiences. But in adulthood those same tactics may actually be hurting us.
Recognizing which automatic responses are serving us well and which are not is ultimately the goal of journaling. The more we focus on what is happening in our mind the more we will discover about ourselves. And it is ‘ourselves’ that is interpreting the physical so it affects both halves of the duality of life equally as much!
How Important is Daily Journaling?
Firstly, any amount of journaling is wonderful thing. Even if it is one time (right now?) to just grab a piece of paper, write whatever comes to mind down, and then throw it out. That one time alone can help you process something going on in your internal experience. So no, daily journaling is not about need.
That being said, daily Journaling can help you process the continuous flow of life experiences that echo within our internal. Setting a goal of journaling every day is healthy. Just don’t let missing a day lead to saying the whole thing is over. A regular practice that you come back to over and over with ease shifts the focus from accomplishing a task to making something healthy a part of your life.
Creating a Journal Habit
The key to creating a journal habit is to find a system that resonates with you and create a regular practice that you come back to over and over. This begins with trying out various journaling systems; like Gratitude Journaling!
Forming a habit is about repetition. At the same time every day certain things are happening already in your life. Make journaling fit in a spot that happens regularly. For example, every day you get dressed so consider making journaling a part of getting your clothes on.
Make It Easy Physically
Another helpful strategy to increase your likelihood of journaling regularly is to leave your journal and working pen together out in a place you will easily see and pass by every day. Wherever you leave it (night stand? favorite chair? kitchen counter?), when you make eye contact with it, use that as a reminder to pick up the pen and write something down. Using the getting dressed as a habit forming time example from above you could leave the journal on your dresser.
Of course consider your privacy with wherever you leave your journal. Being concerned about other reading your journal will only limit what you are willing to explore and process. It’s reasonable to expect your loved ones to not read your journal. But it is wise to have an explicit conversation if it is something on your mind that would bother you. Maybe you journal with your loved one! Maybe it’s a mix of both.
Make It Easy Mentally
One of the greatest assets to creating a journaling habit is the ease with which writing happens when we do pick up the pen. The harder it is to get into a flow the less likely we are to come back. It’s natural. But it means the opposite is true. The easier it is to enter the flow the more we will want to come back and do it!
How to make journaling easy? A good system! A series of the same questions you go through at every day’s journaling session that spark a path of thought can be the system. That’s the basis of Gratitude Journaling. A good system could also be a reliable
HOW to journal starts with understanding WHY you are journaling. With a WHY you can ask WHAT to journal to help achieve that.
Journal Prompts In Our Positive Art
Journal prompts or ideas are a great way to kick start a journaling practice because they get you writing with easy doorways into each experience. Read the prompt and start writing whatever comes to your mind.
Every Think Possible Apparel design is built entirely from positive words; affirmations or quotations. So each time you look closer at our art you will see a different phrase. Whichever one jumps out you can use as a journal prompt and let your pen fly on that topic. See an affirmation? Consider when you have been that attitude before. When can you be that again that will serve something you want in life right now? See a quotation? What thoughts or emotions did that quote spark in you? Do you have any experiences with some form of that topic?
Sparking Infinite Thoughts
Some people define insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, in a certain light, that is exactly what a solid journaling system like Gratitude Journaling thrives on. These three questions yield a different result every time you ask them, listen to the answer, and write! (Just like every time you look into one of our positive word art shirts!)
The same series of questions will bring forth a completely different writing experience every time you journal. So do not fear the repetitiveness of the questions. They are simply allowing for a quick access point to the infinite river of thoughts. Which thoughts come out and when is what journaling can help us interpret because they point at important things happening in our internal experience.
What is Gratitude Journaling?
A Gratitude Journal is a system to make journaling easier and more effective. The system is a series of the same three journaling prompts every day that you write three answers for. The three prompts are designed to focus the processing of our internal experience through the lens of gratitude.
How to Gratitude Journal
Here is the basic Gratitude Journal format to follow. This outline will help bring focus to your practice; however, it will still allow for an different flow of thoughts each time you journal.
•Three things you RELEASE
•Three things you are GRATEFUL for
•Three things you DECLARE
Thats’ it! Three simple entries for each section resulting in 9 total entries. Again, the length you write for is less important than the consistency of writing. Let’s go through each section in more detail.
Write down three things you release. This specifically means bringing mind three different things that have been bothering you. It’s not ungrateful to recognize challenges in our life and thought patters that we are dwelling on that upset us. Be grateful we have the ability to think about these things and expand our understanding of them. That is the first step towards solutions.
This section is about things that you are attached to in a way you do not like and want to let go of. Each of the things you release are about forgiving but not forgetting. We can forgive someone for doing something we consider mean and then still talk with them about it and explain why it hurt and why we don’t want it to happen again.
Release three things. Write them down. See how your relationship to those unwanted things starts to change. They hold less power over you when you write them down with the intention to release them. By writing them out we are increasing our awareness of them. And that is the first step towards freeing ourselves from patterns of thoughts that trap us in reactionary loops. Release yourself from these loops and their control over you by witnessing them.
Just writing it down can help achieve that freedom. The words we formulate to articulate the situation holding us helps bring more and more light to it. That is the key to freedom. Perceiving the thoughts. It is easy to be in a loop of negative thoughts without even knowing it. Journaling helps bring awareness to these patterns.
Write down three things you are grateful for. It wouldn’t be Gratitude Journaling without bringing to mind things we are grateful for. After dwelling on a few of the things we want to release this gratitude prompt will instantly switch your mindset onto positive things you have in your life.
Doing it after releasing things can also help you think about things you are grateful for within the experiences you are releasing. So the order of these prompts within the system is important. It doesn’t mean you have to write about linked topics. But it does mean that your mind is more likely to find ideas on gratitude within the topics your mind is already looking at.
Write down three things you declare. A declaration is something you are going to do or be. Again writing this section after the first two puts your thoughts in a frame. First, we notice what is bothering us. Second, we see our circumstances through a lens of gratitude. Third, we declare something we are going to do.
In this final section we focus on what we are going to do or be next. This can be related to the things we released in step one and through the truths we are grateful for in step two. Or you can also declare things completely unrelated. It is not necessarily about making yourself write something specific. Rather it is about what comes out as you allow yourself to write about anything.
Your answers can be as short or as long as you feel inspired to write for that moment. Some days you may go on writing a whole paragraph for each section. Then again, on other days you may write one word. But that one word could carry behind it for you just as much meaning as writing at length.
Do not let the pressure of “not having enough time” get in your way! While we can feel like writing more is offering more growth, the reality is that writing anything at all is helping us. The journal itself is just a mechanism. The growth happens within!
The Focus of Gratitude
Again, none of these prompts have to be related or they all can be on one topic. If we stay within a concept of linking the sections together, consider the flow:
Firstly, we acknowledge something bothering us internally and find something about it we can release. This is empowering because it offers control over something we want to change.
Secondly, we focus on gratitude in our life. Shifting to gratitude adds to this sense of empowerment as we see not only areas we are responsible for but ones we are thankful for.
Thirdly, we shift to taking action by making use of these awesome truths about ourselves or situation. Ultimately, the root goal of everything is to improve our lives and grow. By doing this through a focus on gratitude we are more likely to have positive growth.
Other Journaling Ideas
How to pick a system that works best for you comes down in large part to what your journaling goals are. Sometimes you have to start journaling before you can even know what those are.
In fact, the more you journal the more your goals will change because you are growing! Without journaling life can be so much stickier. Patterns we fall into can help us or hold us back. Through journaling we can see what is what and un-stick our selves from the habits that we don’t want to hold onto.
So a good strategy to begin your journaling practice is to try out several different types of of journaling. See which systems allow you greater access to the flow of ideas and results you want out of journaling.
Depending on what area of your life your journaling goals are focused on you will find different types of journaling work better. Always keep an eye on honing your understanding of you journaling goals.
What are your thoughts on journaling?
Let us know what you think of Gratitude Journaling or any journaling advice you have by leaving a comment below!
Taylor Lapidus - Think Possible Apparel
(You can see the design examples below this form. Background colors are only placeholders.)
This Blue Whale design is made out of positive affirmations about the symbolism of a blue whale like “I am communicating.”, “You are powerful.”, and “We are navigating.” If you imagine the ocean as our emotions and thoughts, then the blue whale can safely navigate to the deepest depths bringing health to the ecosystem wherever they go.
The bird in this design is built entirely from little “I am” affirmations like: “I am healthy”, “I am breathing”, and “I am flowing” With the right attitude in the right moment we are free to fly towards our goals like this little bird 🙂
The Big Heart is built out of quotations on heart – like having heart, putting your heart into it, and trusting your heart. First Quote: “Great hearts steadily send forth the secret forces that incessantly draw great events.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Made entirely from quotations on zen concepts of unity, fluidity, the circular nature of things, emptiness, everythingness, & many more Here is an example of one of the quotations within this Enso design: “To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”-Chuang-tzu
Declaration of Independence
Declare Independence from your ego and show your love of the ideals of America in this limited run George Washington Design. The design is made out of the Declaration of Independence and you can see an American Flag waving across the Presidents face. After the Declaration of Independence was signed, George Washington’s leadership guided a young America through the revolution against tyranny. Where in our own minds are we accepting the rule of our ego? Lead the revolution to your own inner harmony!
The downward facing ‘Hamsa’ is made of quotes and affirmations about receiving protection and good luck! The Hamsa extends back to ancient Mesopotamia and is also known as the Hand of Fatima, Hand of Miriam, and Hand of Mary!
Made entirely from quotations about the Golden Ratio, Golden Rectangle, Golden Spiral and their connection to the universe! The Golden Spiral and Golden Rectangles in Fibonacci tiling are made from TINY, POSITIVE words.
Quotations from different leaders, heroes, and champions all about Courage! Courage comes in many forms. Explore them within the lines making up this lion. They are all tiny words!
Think Positive Apparel’s Love design is built entirely out of quotations on love from various leaders, artists, and philosophers. First quotation in the design: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance.”-Oscar Wilde<
This design contains the Sanskrit symbol for the Om (or AUM) and is built entirely out of quotations about the significance of the symbol “Let Om be the bow, mind the arrow, and Higher Consciousness the target…” ~ Dhyana Bindu Upanishad
Think Possible Apparel’s Peace design is built entirely out of quotations about peace from various leaders, artists, and philosophers Example quote within art: “The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
The ‘Peacock’ is made entirely out of affirmations relevant to the symbolism of a peacock. The affirmations are made up of “I am”, “You are”, and “We are” statements like “I am healing.”, “You are renewed.”, and “We are eternal.” Throughout human history, every culture that comes in contact with peacocks assign a wide variety of meaning to the beautiful bird and it’s stunning tail feathers: beauty, royalty, compassion, rejuvenation…
Yoga Tree Pose in the Lotus Flower
This design is made of affirmations and has a woman doing a yoga tree pose merging with a lotus flower. You have been all of these affirmations before and can be them again. Whichever affirmations you see when you look into the design are like your super powers for the day; just bring more mindfulness to them and see how you can fit them into your day
Yoga Warrior II
This Yoga design is in a Warrior Two Pose and constructed entirely from affirmations like “I am healthy”, “I am mindful”, & “I am present”. Whichever affirmations you see when you look into the design are like your super powers for the day; just bring more mindfulness to them and see how you can fit them into your day
Hashtags bind conversations on the internet together just like yoga binds our breath to movement! The larger phrase “#YOGA” is made completely out of affirmations relevant to yoga like “I am flexible”, “You are mindful”, “We are present”.
Taylor Lapidus - Think Possible Apparel
Here are the top five ways our positive clothing can help you! Help you what? Achieve any possible goal. Wow. That actually sounds pretty lofty. No. I’m standing by that. Whatever your goals may be, these likely positive benefits from wearing our shirts will aid you in their accomplishment. No, of course, you do not need any Think Possible Apparel to accomplish your goals. You are perfectly capable of accomplishing them as you are. What I am suggesting here is that, with the right mindset, our shirts could make it a little bit easier for you to succeed; they could be a tool to help.
All of our designs are made from positive affirmations and quotations. This top five list is kind of a how to use our art
Some of the Ways Our Positive Clothing May Be Able to Help
1. POSITIVE WORDS MAKE UP OUR POSITIVE CLOTHING
All of our designs are made from positive words like affirmations and quotations. When you slide on our positive clothing, take a quick peek at the design and see which words jump out for that moment. You have been all of the affirmations before and you can be them all again! There is a time to slow down and a time for urgency. When you put on the right attitude at the right moment they become a superpower optimizing your chances for success. Of all the words you could possibly see when you look into one of our designs, why you see the ones you do perhaps means something? Certainly couldn’t hurt as a reminder of what is coursing through you.
2. RECRUITING HELP
Putting on our positive clothing is like throwing up a flag on a ship. You are sending out a beacon of positive energy and likely to attract other likeminded individuals. If you chose to engage with these new people who are unknowingly gravitating towards you, then you may very will find a new positive relationship in your life. The more positive relationships we have the stronger our goal accomplishing prowess will become. You will have more people to ask for help or for information on things you don’t know or for fresh perspectives… to name a few.
If you are really interested in getting your goals accomplished you are going to have to learn how to stay determined. And there is nothing quite as useful to maintaining momentum than surrounding yourself with other people who are also attempting to When someone near you looks into the art, they too will see little positive words they have been before and can be again! So maybe they too see the right ones at the right moments. Now the nice thing about positive thinking is that it is NOT a zero sum game. There is an infinite supply of it and everyone can fill up as much as they want.
4. METAPHYSICAL BENEFITS OF WEARING POSITIVE CLOTHING (not a guarantee)
Do you believe in the power of positive words being on your body? Well, if you do, we have you covered… literally. Our designs are all made completely from tiny, positive words that hopefully metaphysically release good energy all over you and anyone you vibrate near!
Setting aside the metaphysical, consider the benefits of seeing positive truths about yourself at the right moments. Would it serve you well to read and think about the phrase “I am patient” right before you have a tough conversation with someone you love? Wouldn’t that little reminder right then optimize the chances that you find patience when you need it? Well give it a shot! Look into one of our designs or think of any positive truth about yourself. Maybe the right one’s
5. LOOKING GOOD, FEELING GOOD
Oh yeah! And the shirts are awesome! When we feel like we look good it helps us feel more confident. Life is not always about the complete destruction of the ego. There are times when a little attachment to identity can serve us. Can concerning ourselves with looks go too far? Of course; just as not concerning ourselves with them can do. When we are mindful of how we are relating to our own looks, it can help us make good use of the attachment.
When you put on our positive clothing (tees, tanks or hoodies), you will hopefully agree that the fabric is super soft, the cut is super stylish, and the quality is very high. Most importantly, we use resources for fabrics and sewing the pledge ethical labor and manufacturing processes. And, second most importantly, we hope you love the design made out of positive words! We receive lots of positive feedback from people saying our shirts are their favorite shirts that they cannot wait to wear each laundry cycle 🙂
So there you have it. The top five reasons (of many!) to get yourself, or someone you love, a Think Possible Apparel t-shirt, tank top, or hoody! Whatever your goals are, you are capable of achieving them if they are at all possible. Optimize your chances for success with all the help you can get! Think Possible Apparel clothing are not just shirts, but a tool to help you accomplish greatness!
Learn more about our positive philosophy in our blog
If you are ready to jump in you can start shopping here:
Taylor Lapidus - Think Possible Apparel
If you're feeling overwhelmed with quarantine right now and all the time spent at home, try some of these steps to turn your space into somewhere you love to be.
Make your bed everyday. I am guilty of skipping days making the bed. It is easy to make excuses to wake up and go with the kid and the pups and hunger and so forth. But how does this rushed start to the morning ripple through my day compared to slowing down and creating time to organize the starting position of my day? Over the next 30 days I’m going to do it and see if it changes the energy in our day.
Allow natural light in. First thing in the morning open up your curtains and depending on where you live, maybe even open up a window. Although, just letting natural light in will do the trick. For an added bonus do this 15 minutes before you look at your phone to give your body time to soak in the fresh new day before you turn your brain on to the all of the info from your phone.
Declutter! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just pick a small area and start there and see where it takes you. Once you finish that spot, stand back and soak in the good vibes that come from clearing out. If you really want to go for it look up the KonMari method, she’s a decluttering genius.
Bring some nature inside. With the social distancing and stores being closed, this can be a tough one, so don’t worry if there is nothing you can do right now. You can change your phone screen saver to a nature picture (think beautiful flower, mountain, ocean, grass, whatever makes your heart sing). If you do have resources on hand, get out and get your hands dirty repotting a plant or trimming up that one that’s been needing a little love.
Rethink your blankets. Make your bed and your couch your happy place, so lay out blankets that you love to cuddle with.
Utilize natural scents in your home. Get those essential oils flowing. If you don’t have essential oils you can boil some water with cinnamon, anise, etc. Utilize pinterest to look up natural ways to add scent to your home.
Get outside everyday; for a walk, to sit on the deck, hike, whatever you feel comfortable with! Getting out and getting sunlight and fresh air makes being at home so much better, especially right now when feelings of being trapped at home can come up. Go outside and take some deep breaths.
Music. Put on some music that brings you happiness. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a family (or solo) dance party. It releases energy, feelings, gets your heart rate up, and triggers feelings of happiness.
Create Art You don’t need to be Michelangelo to create art. Grab a pen and paper and follow an online tutorial or just doodle. Maybe you finally sculpt that bust of yourself out of play-dough? Or break out your favorite garageband-like app and make your own song! Be it a poem or a construction project, everything can be an art form when we apply mindfulness and an extreme focus on details and the connectivity of life.
Most of all focus on breathing, recognizing we are safe right now in this moment, and remember that whatever is to come will be best dealt with by remaining calm and working together. Be extra kind to yourself right now and allow yourself the flexibility to just feel all the feelings.
Leave a comment below to let us know your own tips for turning your home into a sanctuary.
Look closer! The Great Wave curls against the setting or rising sun (depending on your coast 😉 creating the Yin Yang symbol. The entire design is made out of tiny, positive affirmations. There is a bit of the sky in the ocean and ocean in the sky with all of the tiny, positive words binding each together; just like you and me!
The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Our interpretation of Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”, captures the frenetic curl of the iconic wave. We no longer see the boats full of huddled sailors clinging to their oars at the mercy of the tumultuous seas. Rather, the wave stands stark exposing the golden spiral.
“The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is the first of 36 woodblock prints Hokusai completed in the 1830’s at the age of 70 by the name of “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”. He started playing with waves in his art nearly 40 years earlier! How can we hone our own areas of interest into masterful works?
“Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai in the 1830’s
This famous wave painting captivates the minds of just about everyone that encounters it making Hokusai one of Japan’s most famous artists. There were 35 other views of Mt Fuji in this series alone by Hokusai, let alone the rest of his landscape oriented, wave including works, and let alone all of the other paintings of waves from any time and anywhere! And yet if you google wave painting right now you will find “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” as THE result. The why to this phenomenon is inevitably tied to the same things that unifies all great art: incredible talent focused through art that stirs a powerful internal response in its experiencers. Stare into the “Great Wave off Kanagawa” and see what stirs in you!
Symbolism of the Yin and Yang
The Chinese yin yang symbol represents how opposites are also often complimentary and bound together. For example, the classic notion that there is a little bit of good within the bad and bad within the good. No one is all one thing. the biggest jerks have people that love them and the biggest heroes have people that hate them. People are multidimensional. When we are mindful of this truth we can look at people and situations in fuller context. Looking at things as multi-dimensional, like they really are, allows us the opportunity for more freedom.
Consider the duality of living as a human being. We have our physical experience through our five senses. And then we also have our internal experience through our thoughts and emotions. Two seemingly complete opposites but both equally real and worthy of attempting to understand how they work together.
Which affirmations jump out at you today? Each time you look into the art you will see different ones. They are all true about you! You have been them all before and will be them all again. Donning the right attitude in the right moment is like a skeleton key to unlock any door in front of you!. So, whichever positive truths you read when you look closer into the art, consider them to be like your super power for the day.
A Pattern of Growth
The positive words making up the entire Yin Yang Great Wave follow a pattern going from “I am” to “You are” to “We are” affirmations. This is a pattern we all experience over and over again. When we take on something new we begin focused on how we are doing it ourselves. Then we look around and see how others are doing it. Then after much growth and practice, oscillating back and forth between focusing inwards and outwards, we eventually turn the activity into an art and flow in oneness with everyone.
Shop our Great Wave Yin Yang Design
Check out which shirts we are carrying now with our Great Wave Yin Yang design screen printed on:
Our Octopus design is made entirely out of affirmations relevant to the symbolism of the octopus. Furthermore, do you see how the octopus is taking the shape of a human brain in profile? Perhaps this ‘brain pose’ posture exists in octopus yoga somewhere on or near the ocean floor.
Each of the eight arms corresponds to a different aspect of the octopus’ symbolism and to the function for that particular region of the brain.
The more you learn about octopuses the more remarkable they become. Octopuses can change colors to produce spectacularly effective camouflage. When in danger, they detach arms to escape predators. Then they can regrow that arm back! Some octopuses take different shapes to trick predators and prey into thinking they are different animals all together. And then of course they are incredibly intelligent. Attempting to contain an octopus? You better plan carefully! If it is at all possible octopuses will figure out how to escape.
Brain Pose is not a real yoga pose. But I like the idea of the octopus doing a special octopus yoga that humans do not have access to. So let me qualify that statement that brain pose is not a real yoga pose in human yoga. Regardless, the physical posture this octopus is taking is the shape of a profile view of a human brain. Not just because of the aesthetics but because of the incredible amount of overlap between the abilities of the human brain and the symbolism of the octopus.
While the octopus in this design is modeled after a giant pacific octopus, the affirmation words creating the art are relevant to the general symbolism of all types of octopuses. You have been all of these attitudes in some way, shape, or form before, even if it was only for a moment, and you can be them all again.
Let’s go through each arm and its corresponding brain lobe:
Arm 1 – Movement – Cerebellum
When you take on the attributes of the octopus related to movement you are tapping into your ability to hold an appropriate posture for whatever situation you are in. For example, you can engage your core and align your spine properly whenever you are sitting. Maybe even right now! The optimal posture for that particular activity.
There are times to tip your pelvic floor forward and times to tip it back. The more I am mindful of my posture, the more I will protect my back. I got your back, back. So if you find your eyes focused on this first arm of the Octopus consider how the words can serve your posture, balance, and life today!
Tying this arm to the ‘brain pose’ theme, this area of the brain is the Cerebellum. The Cerebellum controls balance, posture, coordinating movement, and our ability to learn to move through adjusting during trial and error.
I am fit. You are graceful. We are flowing with the motion of the ocean. I am unfolding. You are moving with ease. We are stretching. You are flexible. We are well positioned. I am gliding. You are strengthening the mind. We are gliding. I am elegant. You are strong. We are dynamic. You are well positioned. We are advancing. I am supple. You are fluid. We are balanced. I am strong. You are elegant. We are moving with ease. I am dynamic. You are holding the pose. We are flexible. I am advancing. You are balanced. We are graceful. I am stretching. I am well positioned. You are stretching. We are supple. You are fit. We are elegant. I am balanced. You are unfolding. You are advancing. We are holding the pose. We are fit. I am deft. You are deft. We are fluid. You are flowing. You are slipping through. We are free. You are dancing
Arm 2 – Being Grounded – Brainstem
Octopuses are bottom feeders. They live on the ocean floor with ease despite the crushing pressures of all the water and atmosphere above them. Arm 2 of the octopus represents concepts round being grounded, connected, and submerged within our beingness. So dive deeper into the second arm on our octopus design and see which affirmations you connect with.
Arm 2 lines up with the brainstem which controls breathing, heart rate, and other automated functions as well as the flow of information between the mind and the body.
When you focus on this section of the design recognize your own connection to both mind and body through the breath. Take a deep, slow one now. Feel your mind quiet, your heart rate slow, and your body relax as you submerge into oneness. Thus allowing us to let go of anxious thoughts about the future and attachments to the past that are shaping our experience in a way we do not like. Learning to properly use our breath and meditate are two important tools in shaping the relationship between our consciousness and our world, the internal and the external, or the physical and the spiritual. Too important to ignore! Breathe deep and look into arm two.
I am ready. You are present. We are concentrating on the present moment. I am awakening. You are patient. I am connected. You are at ease. We are rooted. I am making peace. You are immersed in the present moment. We are experiencing being. You are making peace. We are here now. We are grounded. You are relaxed. We are present. I am mindful. You are centered. We are mindful. You are experiencing being. We are at ease. We are meditative. I am peaceful. We are living in the present moment. You are meditative. We are awakening. I am slowing down. You are connected. I am present. You are exploring the depths.
Arm 3 – sequencing and organization / memory- Temporal Lobe
If you are drawn towards the third arm on our octopus brain pose design you may need to call forth your capacity to find the important information while taking in lots at once. The 8 arms of the octopus represent an ability to multitask and bring focused purpose to the chaos. When we feel overwhelmed we can tap into these aspects of the octopus and find within ourselves an ability to organize, prioritize, and find what is useful within a vast metaphorical sea of life.
Arm three of the octopus design ties into the temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobe handles making sense of the chaos. We hear so many sounds. They would all just be noise if it were not for this important part of the brain. We can take those different sounds, find the ones that are important, and turn them into meaningful words or a signal of danger. To pull off this amazing feet our temporal lobes process sensory information and are responsible for a lot of aspects of our complex memory.
I am multitasking. You are multitasking. I am handling it. You are handling it. I am holding on. You are holding on. We are holding on. I am creating solutions. You are creating solutions. You are dedicated. We are dedicated. I am active. We are active. I am solving puzzles of life. We are solving puzzles of life. I am searching for useful patterns. You are searching for useful patterns. I am leading. You are leading. I am united. We are united. I am synchronized. You are synchronized. We are synchronized. I am getting a good grip. You are organizing. You are skillful. We are skillful. I am doing something different. You are reasoning. We are reasoning. We are exploring.
Arm 4 & Arm 5 – Self Awareness, Emotion, and Intelligence – Frontal Lobe
Octopuses are very well known for their intelligence. Their ability to find solutions to complex puzzles is rivaled only by humans. Finding these solutions requires creativity and a level of understanding that exposes a high level of thinking.
While we may not be able to test for this directly yet, some people believe octopuses are capable of thoughts beyond concepts of pleasure and pain but maybe jealousy and compassion. It makes sense that emotions and thoughts, once believed only humans could have, would be present in creatures that exhibit such intelligence. I mean even my dogs have unique personalities. So advanced thinkers like an octopus could be having a very profound internal experience.
What does it mean to be you? What distinguishes any of us from anyone else? One of the most important parts of answering those questions lies in understanding the frontal lobe. Also known as the “control panel of our personality”, the frontal lobe allows for such things as emotional expression, problem solving, and judgement.
All those important functions give the frontal lobe a good chunk of real estate. So we gave the frontal lobe two arms; both 4 and 5. Jump in and tap into your higher level thinking and own uniqueness!
Here are the words making up arm 4
I am intelligent. I am aware. You are strategic. We are original. I am independent. You are exploring. We are patient. I am powerful. You are consciously participating. I am unique. We are understanding. You are decisive. You are creative. You are tactful. We are planning. We are original. You are conscious. I am clearly perceiving myself. You are watching your thoughts. We are witnessing our internal experiences.
And here are the words making up arm 5:
You are adapting. We are overcoming. I am strong willed. We are versatile. You are capable. I am tenacious. I am learning. I am growing. We are transformed. We are transcending. You are creating. I am incognito. I am strengthening the mind. We are strengthening the mind. I am adaptable. I am clever. You are reflecting. You are bettering your understanding your self. You are aware of your behaviors. You are contemplating. You are clearly perceiving yourself. I am watching my thoughts. We are witnessing our internal experiences. You are smart. We are ingenious
Arm 6 – Sensing – Motor Strip / Sensory Strip
Each arm of the octopus is full of so many nerves and sensors that some people consider each arm to be its own autonomous brain! Arm 6 of our brain pose Octopus design calls forth the aspects of ourselves that tie into Octopus symbolisms surrounding abundance and perceiving the information of our world.
Within the human brain arm 6 overlaps with the sensory-motor strip. It is a part of the Parietal Lobe, which we will get to in more detail in arm 7. The sensory-motor strip registers sensations. If you are looking into arm 6 you are finding aspects of yourself tied to sensing the world around you. Life without sensing the world we live in would be tragic. I am grateful for my perception of the world allowing me to bare witness!
I am sensing. I am abundant. You are abundant. You are expanding. We are expanding. You are wealthy. We are complete. I am generous. You are enough. I am feeling. We are feeling. I am balanced. We are balanced. We are taking it all in. I am acquiring information. You are acquiring information. You are noticing. You are perceiving. We are perceiving. We are adjusting based on new information. You are interpreting signals. I am processing multiple streams of data. You are in control. I am detecting. I am connecting. I am exploring my feelings. We are observing.
Arm 7 – Interprets language, spacial, and visual perceptions – Parietal Lobe
I mentioned earlier how an octopus can release an arm and then grow it back. They perceive, react, and heal. We are capable of this cycle as well when facing challenges. Looking into arm 7 yields affirmations relevant to the symbolism of an octopus about interpreting, understanding, releasing, and healing.
Our own Parietal Lobe, located in the region of arm 7, controls the processing of information allowing us to interpret the world around us. We use the Parietal Lobe in turning things like impulses from the skin into concepts of touch, pain, warmth, and cold.
I am interpreting. You are releasing. We are regenerating. I am renewing. I am healing. I am letting go. We are rejuvenated. We are renewed. You are healed. I am protecting. You are free. You are healthy. We are responding well. You are resilient. We are recognizing attachments. I am understanding where I am. You are expressing. You are comprehending. You are seeing where you want to go. We are well oriented. I am mathematical We are linguistic I am mathematical.
Arm 8 – Vision – Occipital Lobe
When you look into arm 8 of our octopus brain pose design you will see attitudes related to perceiving the world. In the physical sense this literally means seeing things clearly. Metaphorically, you can can apply this idea of vision to tapping into the concepts about leadership and witnessing the infinite internal experience.
Arm 8 is located in the back of the brain where the Occipital Lobe is. All mammal brains have this lobe and use it mostly as the visual cortex.
Feast your eyes on arm 8’s affirmations about your own capacity to see through illusions and find possibilities you want.
You have an eye for details You are recognizing yourself in others. We are exploring the depths of our consciousnesses. I am envisioning the goal. I am witnessing. You are good luck. You are protected. I am talented. You are surprising. I am inspired. You are patiently observing. We are seeing clearly. I am looking for solutions. We are looking for solutions. We are seeking. We are seeing through illusion. I am visualizing success. You are visualizing success. I am searching the possibilities. You are searching the possibilities. I am making good use of the information. I am healthily digesting experiences.
Ther head of our octopus design grabs affirmations from all 8 of the arms and mixes them together representing unity and synchronicity.
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Taylor Lapidus - Think Possible Apparel
Giraffe Design Made of Affirmations About the Symbolism of the Giraffe
Giraffe Design Made of Affirmations About the Symbolism of the Giraffe
Our Giraffe Design is made out of affirmations relevant to the symbolism of the giraffe.
SYMBOLISM OF THE GIRAFFE: Getting a higher view — seeing the big picture — vision
Giraffes’ most obvious traits is their long necks. Practically speaking this gives them a great advantage at finding food since so few animals can reach where they can. But the other big advantage of a long neck is the ability to see much further than lower animals. This gives them the ability to see danger coming earlier. With great height comes great vision. With a higher view of things you can more easily see the whole picture or the big picture. In turn, you will have a better understanding of the full situation allowing you to better understand your options. And allowing you to more easily see the path leading you towards your goal.
SYMBOLISM OF THE GIRAFFE: Rising Above — Patience — Gentle Demeanor
When we rise above a situation we are letting go of our ego. We become a witness to what is happening without getting emotionally wrapped up in reacting to it. Giraffes literally rise above. But in a mindful sense they seem to move with great intention. Outside of dangerous situations they move slowly and with care. This serves them well in a hot environment. It also gives someone watching them the impression that they have a very gentle demeanor and great patience. When we rise above a situation it will be fleeting if we do not combine it with patience. Patience with ourselves and with others.
SYMBOLISM OF THE GIRAFFE: Gracefulness — Dignified — Confident
Giraffe’s have incredibly long legs that appear slender but are incredibly powerful. one of their best defenses is a mighty kick with their back legs. Most species protect their necks at all costs. Giraffes expose theirs in such an exaggerated way it is hard not to feel their confidence. They gracefully swing long limbs and their long neck with no sign of clumsiness. There is also a strong sense of dignity with someone that is standing tall and rising above the lure of the ego. Keep your head held high and feel your power as you gracefully move through this world.
SYMBOLISM OF THE GIRAFFE: Stretching towards your best self
The giraffe reminds us to stretch towards our best self. With a better understanding of the big picture we can see our role in it more clearly in it. At any given moment we can strive for the best version of our self by rising above the ego.
SYMBOLISM OF THE GIRAFFE: Perceive Truth
Giraffes represent having a clear perception of the truth. This symbolism can be attributed to having their heads so high to see the farther into the horizon and thus the big picture. Another contributing fact about giraffes to this notion of perceiving truth is their two ossicones on top of their heads at their crown chokra. Some people look at those as antenna that allow them to tap into the spirit realm. With this extra sensory perception comes the ability to see more than just what is visually before us. We can exhibit foresight and see future trends.
SYMBOLISM OF THE GIRAFFE: Heightened awareness
Giraffes only sleep for roughly five minute increments adding up to no more than 30 minutes every 24 hours. So in pure minutes of alertness per day giraffes are practically unrivaled. Combine this with the view from their tall neck perches allowing them to see further and you have an extreme example of heightened awareness. While sleeping so little would undoubtedly dull a human’s cognitive functions the notion that we can be even more aware in any given situation is a nice connection to this aspect of the symbolism of the giraffe. When we take on the spirit of the giraffe we are opening ourselves to becoming even more aware of the abundance of opportunities surrounding us all the time.
Expansion of Awareness
Speaking of awareness… The affirmations in the Giraffe design expand from the “I am” statements, to ‘You are’, and then ‘We are’. This represents a pattern everyone goes through over and over again as we begin new endeavors. Take learning yoga for example. I start in my own head having an internal experience centered on how I am doing a new act. Then I look at you and compare my way to yours. Finally, when we are simply doing the act with everyone else doing it, we are all together flowing as a ‘we’. All three stages are important and a part of the process.
Affirmations in this Giraffe design
Here are all of the affirmations we used in this design. All of them are relevant to the symbolism of the giraffe:
· I am seeing the big picture
· You are applying foresight
· We are making healthy choices
· I am creating opportunity
· You are unique
· We are reaching
· I am being true to myself
· You are meditating
· We are quietly observing
· I am finding courage
· You are maintaining balance
· We are exuding dignity
· I am graceful
· You are moving deliberately
· We are surefooted
· I am keeping my head up
· You are kind
· We are reaching for the stars
· I am aspiring
· You are questioning current perspectives
· We are envisioning good things
· I am patient
· You are growing spiritually
· We are honorable
· I am growing
· You are moving slowly
· We are maintaining balance
· I am walking my talk
· You are trusting instincts
· We are contemplating
· I am setting big goals
· You are confident
· We are discovering new opportunities
· I am keep goals in plain sight
· You are exuding dignity
· We are fabulous
· I am applying foresight
· You are empathetic
· We are walking our talk
· I am remaining grounded
· You are keeping your head up
· We are tender hearted
· I am envisioning good things
· You are reconnecting
· We are in tune
· I am standing tall
· You are stretching
· We are seeing the big picture
· I am elegant
· You are powerful
· We are powerful
· I am striving
· You are looking far into the horizon
· We are finding courage
· I am flexible
· You are in tune
· We are trusting instincts
· I am moving deliberately
· You are protecting
· We are creating opportunity
· I am fabulous
· You are connecting with your higher self
· We are elegant
· I am empathetic
· You are bold
· We are taking aim at tall targets
· I am rising above
· You are growing
· We are sense what’s coming
· I am engaging with unique perspectives
· You are taking the high road
· We are standing strong
· I am seeing more clearly
· You are creating opportunity
· We are meditating
· I am grateful
· You are taking aim at tall targets
· We are keep goals in plain sight
· I am honorable
· You are rising above the crowd
· We are seeing the context
· I am maintaining balance
· You are quietly observing
· We are rising above
· I am protecting
· You are seeing future trends
· We are respected
· I am intuitive
· You are gentle
· We are growing spiritually
· I am trusting instincts
· You are walking gently
· We are keeping our heads up
· I am unique
· You are making healthy choices
· We are quieting the mind
· I am looking far into the horizon
· You are standing strong
· We are patient
· I am tender hearted
· You are finding courage
· We are graceful
· I am adhering to a strong personal code
· You are seeing the context
· We are flexible
· I am moving slowly
· You are gaining perspective
· We are stretching
· I am bold
· You are being true yourself
· We are perceiving truth
· I am wisely using resources
· You are elegant
· We are connecting with our higher selves
· I am taking the high road
· You are quieting the mind
· We are questioning current perspectives
· I am in tune
· You are aspiring
· We are grateful
· I am gaining perspective
· You are seeking the best in life
· We are confident
· I am questioning current perspectives
· You are striving
· We are protecting
· I am gentle
· You are fabulous
· We are wisely using resources
· I am meditating
· You are walking your talk
· We are moving slowly
· I am reconnecting
· You are intuitive
· We are walking gently
· I am stretching
· You are seeing the big picture
· We are reconnecting
· I am contemplating
· You are reaching for the stars
· We are rising up to challenges
· I am sense what’s coming
· You are flexible
· We are bold
· I am seeking the best in life
· You are rising up to challenges
· We are looking far into the horizon
· I am heightening awareness
· You are remaining grounded
· We are growing
· I am reaching
· You are centered
· We are standing tall
· I am reaching for the stars
· You are adhering to a strong personal code
· We are gentle
· I am confident
· You are reaching
· We are seeking the best in life
· I am respected
· You are envisioning good things
· We are empathetic
· I am growing spiritually
· You are engaging with unique perspectives
· We are unique
· I am exuding dignity
· You are perceiving truth
· We are engaging with unique perspectives
· I am kind
· You are rising above
· We are seeing future trends
· I am rising up to challenges
· You are setting big goals
· We are striving
· I am powerful
· You are honorable
· We are centered
· I am walking gently
· You are tender hearted
· We are seeing more clearly
· I am centered
· You are discovering new opportunities
· We are kind
· I am connecting with my higher self
· You are seeing more clearly
· We are aspiring
· I am standing strong
· You are heightening awareness
· We are being true ourselves
· I am seeing the context
· You are graceful
· We are intuitive
· I am quieting the mind
· You are sense what’s coming
· We are gaining perspective
· I am quietly observing
· You are keep goals in plain sight
· We are remaining grounded
· I am making healthy choices
· You are grateful
· We are adhering to a strong personal code
· I am thoughtful
· You are standing tall
· We are applying foresight
· I am seeing future trends
· You are patient
· We are heightening awareness
· I am rising above the crowd
· You are surefooted
· We are thoughtful
· I am discovering new opportunities
· You are wisely using resources
· We are moving deliberately
· I am perceiving truth
· You are thoughtful
· We are setting big goals
· I am taking aim at tall targets
· You are respected
· We are rising above the crowd
· I am surefooted
· You are contemplating
· We are taking the high road
Every time we look at a screen, may it be a reminder to be mindful, take a deep breath, and adjust our screen posture. Be it a cell phone, tv, laptop, billboard, wall menu; whenever you find yourself noticing that you are looking at a screen, check in with your thoughts, feelings, and posture; breathe in fully; improve your physical alignment.
Screens are only becoming more and more ubiquitous in our everyday lives. As a result of this new and omnipresent sensory inundation it sometimes can feel like it is more difficult to find presence within ourselves. The less mindful we are the more we find ourselves hunched over and shallow breathing. Fear not! There are simple steps we can take to live harmoniously with the ever advancing digital age! These steps are the same steps we take any time we want to maximize our efforts towards being more mindful and present within the moment.
What’s in a screen?
Screens can be used to advance knowledge, relationships, compassion for the suffering of others, social justice, entertainment, and many other powerfully positive things. Screens can also be used for advancing radicalization, bullying, spreading ignorance and gossip, hiding from our “real world” problems, and many other things detrimental to ourselves and society. When we begin our screen time with a mindful breath and a proper adjustment to our posture, I propose that we are more likely to be our higher-selves and go the path of the former, positive possibility.
How it works
Does this not hold true for anything? About to confront someone about something you care about but disagree on? Take a deep breath, be aware of your posture, and begin with mindfulness. Going on a job interview? Take a few deep breaths and adjust your posture as you head into the meeting. Job interviews and emotionally charged conversations are very different activities; however, how we set ourselves up to most likely be successful is very much the same! This is just how human beings work.
Quiet the mind
The breath is the key to the door of consciousness and our emotions. Deep, slow breathing techniques like three sided breathing or four sided breathing are highly effective tools to soften the ego, cut through extreme emotional clouds when we need to, and ultimately quiet the mind.
With a quiet mind we are more likely to express our true beliefs and feelings in a way that other people are more likely to receive. When we are immersed in the present moment, rather than lost in our thoughts, we are more likely to hear someone else or acquire new information. From a mindful place we can recognize when we are or are not paying attention and bring our focus where we want it.
The breath is our greatest asset in achieving our best focus. With focus we are more likely to enjoy entertainment, have a peaceful exchange of ideas, perform a physical act how we want to, or absorb information in an article. This is just how human beings work!
Position our body
The positioning of our body, especially our spines, effects the energy of our bodies. If you believe in chakras or chi then this concept of allowing for the optimum physical flow through proper alignment and positioning probably fits intuitively with your understanding of energy. If you don’t subscribe to those notions of unseen energy running through our bodies, consider that when our spine is curved it is more difficult to breathe deeply. Try it yourself. And when we cannot breathe as well, we are sending less oxygen to our brain. In turn, our ability to maintain focus is impaired compared to when we are fully breathing freely and fully oxygenated. This is just how human beings work!
Optimizing ourselves for focus
So how would this be true for looking at a phone or laptop? Well, is there not a best posture for acquiring information or paying attention? Sitting upright with a comfortable spine, shoulders back, crown of head sitting over our hips; this is how you maintain focus for extended periods of time.
My point is that setting ourselves up for success starts before the activity. For example, meditation may be about letting go of our thoughts and therefore about ignoring physical distractions like itches and twitches; however, we still plan ahead before the meditation to sit as comfortably as possible. We start meditating with our hips above our knees so that our legs don’t fall asleep. Things like that will make our time meditating that much easier because there will be less distractions and future ailments. The same goes for screen postures. Before we read an article or respond to something on social media, we can optimize our chances of success by checking in with ourselves, breathing deep, and adjusting as needed.
Check in now with yourself
The more we do any activity, the more critical it is to focus on proper posture. The start of proper posture is awareness. So how do you feel right now? Notice any thoughts or emotions. Notice where your feet, legs, spine and head are. And now let’s breathe in deep through our nose. With that inhale, let us roll our shoulders up by our ears and gently straighten out our spine to a slight J curve. Exhale out all the air while we bring our shoulder blades straight down our back away from our ears. Slightly engage your core to protect your spine and help lift you out of your hips. And now begin your screen activity… or perhaps reading, talking, or driving… or anything! Mindfulness and posture will serve you!
Nothing is permanent
Despite how good this proper posture and heightened awareness feels, it is inevitable that we will find ourselves lost in our thoughts and hunched over again. Do not despair! Life moves in cycles. You will be back to awareness soon. The more you practice becoming aware of your changing states, the earlier and earlier you will notice you are out of alignment. Once we become aware of shallow breathing or poor posture, begin this Screen Posture Awareness Technique again!
Make the most of the situation
You can use anything as a reminder to fix your posture and breathe deep; however, there are sooooo many screens!!! So let’s turn them to our mindfulness advantage. Every screen is like a tiny gong in our head. When we notice we are looking at a screen we hear the gong ring clear saying “check in with my breath and posture”.
How many times a day will we be given the gift of a reminder to do these simple, healthy things? In our modern world, a plethora. May we renew our commitment to our breath and posture more and more throughout each day!
What is your screen posture?
What will be the lifelong effects of doing this awareness technique so regularly throughout every day each time we see a screen? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
Taylor Lapidus - Think Possible Apparel
Golden Ratio Design Made of Quotations about Math and Nature
Golden Ratio Design Made of Quotations about Math and Nature
Our Golden Ratio design is made from quotations about the connection between math & nature and in the shape of a Golden Spiral and Golden Rectangle. The Golden Ratio, a.k.a Phi (represented by the Greek symbol Φ), a.k.a the Golden Mean, a.k.a the Golden Section, is woven throughout so many aspects of our human existence and the universe we live in. And yet we are mostly oblivious to its power over our subconscious. This power attracts us like moths to a light except in this analogy the light is art, beauty, and our natural sense of ‘proper’ proportions. Nature is equally beholden to the influence of the Golden Ratio.
“Phi can be found throughout the universe; from the spirals of galaxies to the spiral of a Nautilus seashell; from the harmony of music to the beauty in art.”~Bruce Rawles
Golden Ratio = Φ
Here is a good summary of Phi: “A straight line is said to have been cut in extreme and mean ratio [The Golden Ratio] when, as the whole line is to the greater segment, so is the greater to the less.” ~Euclid (323 BC to 285 BC). Symbolically this can be represented by: A + B is to A as A is to B = Φ ≈ 1.61803 Our Golden Spiral design shows this relationship as both the Golden Spiral and a series of Golden Rectangles arranged in Fibonacci Tiling.
The Golden Rectangle
The largest rectangle and the largest square are in proportion to each other such that the length of one side of the square ≈ 1.61803 of the long side of the rectangle. The series of Golden Rectangles rotate 90 degrees and shrink proportionate to Phi. It is called Fibonacci Tiling because the ratio of volumes of the squares within each rectangle follow the Fibonacci series (take one number (starting and add the previous to get the next — 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…).
Draw your own Golden Rectangle by following along with this animated gif. Start with a square and use a string or ruler to handle the angled line that swings down.
The Golden Spiral
Like Fibonacci Tiling, the Golden Spiral within the design uses the Golden Ratio in that the growth factor of each quarter turn is Phi (approximately 1.61803). You can find countless examples in nature making use of this growth rate. Look directly over a pinecone or a succulent plant and you will see this pattern at use by nature! Look at satellite imagery of a hurricane or telescope imagery of a spiral galaxy and you will see this pattern at use by the universe! Look at the proportions of a human face or the shape of a human ear! You will see this pattern!
If you want to draw your own Golden Spiral you can do so by first drawing the Golden Rectangle series as Fibonacci tiling. Then, using each resulting square, draw a quarter circle connecting two diagonals in the square and rotate 90 degrees doing the same to the next square.
The Golden Ratio in Art Composition, Design, and Architecture
It cannot be overstated how important the Golden Ratio is in the things humans tend to find visually appealing. Why that is may very well be connected to why this ratio shows up in nature. Perhaps we are attuned to it for some reason. It’s fun to imagine what that reason may be. Do a quick Google image search for the connection between the Golden Ratio and Art, Design, Architecture to see just how ubiquitous this ratio is.
“In order to understand the universe you must know the language in which it is written and that language is mathematics.” ~Galileo Galilei
The Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio
If you take two sequential Fibonacci numbers and divide larger one by the smaller one you will approach Phi. The resulting number will get closer and closer to Phi the deeper into the Fibonacci series you go!
Take a look at this table showing the first 20 digits of the Fibonacci series. By taking any number in the series and dividing it by the previous number in the series we get the resulting ratio in the 2nd column. The third column shows the difference between this resulting ratio and the Golden Ratio. The last three columns just continue the series for the 11th through 20th numbers in the Fibonacci series. As you can see the further in to the Fibonacci series we go the closer these ratios approach Phi.
A table exploring the relationship between the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci series.
A close up look at our Golden Ratio design on a mens crew neck t-shirt in black. The design is made from tiny, positive quotations about the connection between Phi and the universe!
Quotations used in this design
Here are all of the quotations in Think Positive Apparel’s Golden Ratio design:
“Everything in the universe that wants to be successful has to base its existence on the golden ratio.” ~Oliver Grant
“The Fibonacci Sequence turns out to be the key to understanding how nature designs… and is… a part of the same ubiquitous music of the spheres that builds harmony into atoms, molecules, crystals, shells, suns and galaxies and makes the Universe sing.” ~ Guy Murchie
“Without mathematics there is no art”~Luca Pacioli
“A straight line is said to have been cut in extreme and mean ratio [The Golden Ratio] when, as the whole line is to the greater segment, so is the greater to the less.” ~Euclid
“In order to understand the universe you must know the language in which it is written and that language is mathematics.” ~Galileo Galilei
“Phi can be found throughout the universe; from the spirals of galaxies to the spiral of a Nautilus seashell; from the harmony of music to the beauty in art.”~Bruce Rawles
“The description of this proportion as Golden or Divine is fitting perhaps because it is seen by many to open the door to a deeper understanding of beauty and spirituality in life.” ~HE Huntley
“The Golden Ratio has inspired thinkers of all discipline like no other number in the history of mathematics” ~Mario Livio
a + b is to a as a is to b = Φ 1.61803…
What do you think of the Golden Ratio
Join the conversation and let us know your thoughts on the Golden Ratio, Golden Rectangle, Golden Spiral, or its connection to nature!
Taylor Lapidus - Think Possible Apparel
Charge through obstacles today when you apply whichever words jump out at you first. Each time you look into this Elephant Warrior III design you will see different ones. You have been them all before and can be them all again! See how the attitudes you read first fit in your day today.
An Elephant doing Yoga
“Remember, it doesn’t matter how deep into a posture you go – what does matter is who you are when you get there.” ~ Max Strom
Elephants aren’t exactly known for their physical flexibility which is the number one excuse people use to avoid starting a yoga practice. The amazing thing about yoga is that it doesn’t matter how flexible you are! Whether you are an advanced yogi touching your head to your knee with straight legs or a brand new yogi bending your legs a ton to get that forehead to touch, anyone doing their best on the mat benefits just as much!
So, how does an elephant do Warrior III pose (aka Virabhadrasana III)? Practice! Perseverance and practice! Perseverance, patience, and practice. While using these three ingredients, anyone can do any yoga pose. And at every stage of the posture we gain just as many benefits as the people adding more layers to their own practice.
Here are some of the elephant symbolism themes focused on in this design:
Strength — Elephants are renown for their size and with that size comes immense strength and power. So strength is the most obvious symbolism of the elephant. Consider that strength comes in many forms. It takes tremendous strength and power to sit quietly and clear our thoughts from our mind.
Good Luck — Many cultures associate the image of an elephant with its trunk up as good luck. In the Hindu religion, Ganesh takes the form of an elephant and is the lord of good fortune.
Mental Fortitude — Besides strength, Elephant’s are also known for their memory. It is said that when droughts come through their territories, elephants remember old watering holes from decades ago. Some people have even recorded elephants visiting grave sites of old friends and family members.
Community — Elephants are very social animals. They stand by their family and communities, which are matriarchal and consist anywhere from 8 to 100 individuals.
Gentle — For as powerful and big as elephants are they can be very precise and gentle with their movements through spaces and trunk dexterity.
Removing Obstacles — With their strength and gentle nature, elephants have been used to literally remove heavy obstacles from roads or for construction. Elephants are also associated with removing spiritual obstacles. Ganesh is also the remover of obstacles both physical and spiritual. How can you remove obstacles from your own life by being what you need to be when you need to be it?
Stability — Four powerful legs stand rooted. Massive muscle structures. Excellent balance and mobility.
Elephant Warrior III design screen printed on a women’s triblend crew neck t-shirt
Benefits of Warrior III
Strength — This posture works your entire body. From the top of your head to the tips of your toes. The key to warrior III pose is engaging your core, spine, and BOTH legs fully. The muscles in your feet, calves, and quads should be fully flexed. Now engage your core all around your stomach and back. And keep breathing WITH the posture. Inhales to lengthen your spine; reaching your leg and tip of your head in opposite directions. Then use your exhales to push down on the standing leg and rotate your pelvis parallel to the floor.
Mental Health — It is said that this pose improves memory and concentration. I think this may be connected to the amount of focus the posture requires. Perhaps there is something to be said about activating your entire core, spine, legs, and arms all at once and stretching everything in opposite directions for brain health. Citation needed; however, an interesting concept.
Affirmations in this Elephant Warrior III design
Here are all of the affirmations making up this Elephant Warrior III pose design:
·I am a remover of obstacles ·My path is clear ·I am powerful ·I am clever ·I am kind ·I am joyful ·I am strong ·I am gentle ·I am brilliant ·I am reliable ·I am stable ·I am patient ·I am dignified ·I am happy ·I am good luck ·I am fortunate ·I am grateful ·I am responsible ·I am sovereign ·I am steadfast ·I am sturdy ·I am a leader ·I am focused ·I am determined ·I am concentrating ·I am strong-minded ·I am breathing ·I am invigorating ·I am energized ·I am loyal ·I stand by my family, my friends, and my community ·I am involved ·I am alert ·I am a calming influence ·I am connected ·I am aware ·I am sensitive ·I am compassionate ·I charge through blockages ·I protect ·I remember ·I am forgiving ·I am effective ·I am social ·I am close ·I am providing ·I am harmonious ·I am beautiful ·I am majestic ·I am wise ·I am loved ·I am protected ·I love ·I am protecting ·I am intertwined ·I am balanced ·I am kindhearted ·I am mighty ·I am calm ·I am magnanimous
As well, here is the phrase at the bottom making up the yoga mat. We like to think of it as a strong foundation for life:
I am enjoying the journey. I am striving for excellence. I am breathing. I am smiling.
To sum it up, affirmations about the many meanings people all over the world and throughout human history assigned to the magnificent elephant make up this design. Elephant symbolism and Warrior III benefits are significantly overlapping in that they both relate to strength and mental fortitude. Therefore, when you are doing your warrior III pose, just imagine how much harder it would be if you were an elephant! And then remember that it doesn’t matter because you would still be getting the same benefits!
Use this Three Sided Breathing Technique anytime and anywhere to physically relax your body and calm your mind. The more we practice breathing exercises, the more likely we are to react with slow, deep breaths when we need to most!
The three sided breathing exercise is easy! Just visualize an equilateral triangle. All three sides are of equal length representing: inhaling, holding, and exhaling the breath for an equal amount of time. Note that unlike four sided breathing, there is no second ‘hold’ between the exhale and the inhale.
The goal is to make sure each side of the breath is equal when doing three sided breathing. If you pick 4 seconds but can only exhale for 2 seconds, then shorten all of the sides to two seconds and build up from there when you are ready.
Three Sided Breathing Technique
Follow along with the golden ring in this animated gif where all three sides are at four seconds. Look below the image for further details and additional tips.
Three Sides of The Breath
Take a slow, deep INHALE through your nose right now. Fill your lungs completely and then push it all out. Take another breath filling from the bottom, from the diaphragm, all the way up to the top of your lungs. And push it all out. Now take a breath filling up your chest first and then continuing to inhale until your diaphragm is also full.
Inhaling should always be done through the nose to avoid getting a sore throat. Your nose is a natural filter.
Slow down that inhale to a trickle. Take complete control over the breath. Fill your lungs all the way.
HOLD the breath at the top. Feel the air in your body creating an internal pressure. Feel your heart beat perhaps.
Now, focus on your EXHALE. Push the air out from your diaphragm and empty your lungs completely. Squeeze all the air out of your chest. Feel the two movements and play with reversing the order. Breathe in and exhale from your chest then your diaphragm until all the air is out.
Put it all together. Make each side (Inhale, Hold, Exhale) the same length of time. You are doing three sided breathing!
When practicing three sided breathing always keep the three sides of the breath equal. Whether you do 1 second or 10 seconds a side it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are doing all three parts for an equal length of time. This will require you to control the flow of your breath; speeding it up or slowing it down as needed. I like to count out the seconds in my mind. They don’t have to be seconds just anything uniform.
To really experience the different ways you can inhale and exhale the breath, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Now take a deep breath in and out so that only one hand moves. Then do it again so that only the other hand moves. Lastly, put it together, breathe in so that one hand moves AND THEN the other hand until your lungs are all the way full and then empty.
Breathing Exercises and Meditation
Breathing exercises are not necessarily the same thing as meditation. But breathing exercises do make meditation a little easier by priming the mind and body to relax. Try using this three sided breathing technique 6-8 times and then go right into meditating. See if it makes a difference.
What do you think?
Leave a comment below to join the conversation. What do you think about this three sided breathing technique? What are your favorite breathing exercises?
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We had the great fortune of going through the exhibit hall at San Diego Comic-Con 2017! Take a look at these photos to get a taste of what we saw 🙂
Jump into the river of humanity and ride it to the San Diego Convention Center!
A look down Harbor Drive at the San Diego Convention Center!
So many people moving in different directions with the greatest of ease.
A member of Red Squadron? Perhaps. Undoubtedly a rebel.
More rivers of people unified by, amongst so many things, their love of all things comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, and cos-play.
This guy definitely has the Alien egg under control. Definitely let your children go up for pictures.
Justice Leagers Batman and Wonder-Woman conferring theories on a case.
Hey… is that….
I went on a Vision
Quest and saw some Stranger Things
It’s Matthew Modine
Gandolf the Gray from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit
Three Deadpool’s are better than one.
We’ve been spotted
An alien from Twi’lek ready to fly an X-wing from Star Wars.
Luke Skywalker, Thor, and the Flash made out of Legos and full size. These three would make a good team in a super-duper-crossover!
The Justice League costumes from the upcoming movie!
Hulk mugging for the camera
K-2SO from Star Wars: Rogue One
Wookie fads come and go… shaving limbs is the current one.
The monsters walking around comic-con seem to be oozing out of this portal and into reality
Somebody help this man!
The Invisible Woman and the Silver Surfer
Stan Lee on the mic
Stop rubbing your face on the Batmobile, Joker! They need to put a sign up for next year.
Down in front
Turn around Batman! It’s Harley Quinn right behind you!
Didn’t find any Dragon Balls but
Bell is ready to help Deadpool and the Hulk
Thanos is ready to jump into the mix
22 Marvel Universe movies… all for you…
Having a blast
Chewbacca is ready for his interview
Nebula patiently waiting for her ride
Is that White Walker looking at me? Game of Thrones party at the San Diego Central Library!
Quite the lovely gathering at the Game of Thrones San Diego Central Library Party!
Whenever we get the chance to show someone our art made from tiny, positive words, we usually use the super power analogy… Using the right attitude in the right moment is like your super power for the day! So, keep in mind on some level you are already a super hero just waiting to spring into action with positive thinking.
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Our Sea Turtle design is made completely out of tiny, positive affirmations relevant to turtle symbolism!
Here are some of the most prominent themes associated with sea turtles and turtles in general that we included in this design:
A turtle’s most prominent and mesmerizing feature is its shell. A strong shell protects the turtle from most predators and hazards of life in the slow lane. Shelter is one of the universal principles for being a human being. The turtle carries its home with it wherever it goes symbolizing feeling at ease even in new surroundings. Being able to relax even in situations that would normally make us uncomfortable, like a job interview or handling a stressful but important task, is an ability that serves a positive thinker.
Turtles move slowly and breath slowly. There are times when urgency is important. There are other times when slowing down is the key to success. The turtles’ speed is renown for being slow and steady. Consistent and persistent eventually crosses the finish line. When we are hurrying through tasks we are prone to make more mistakes. When we move at our own pace, we are more likely to be successful. When it comes to tasks, the appropriate speed may always be changing as our abilities and techniques improve. However, when it comes to taking time for relationships and connecting with another, there is always benefit and space to slow down even more.
SET YOUR OWN PACE
Setting our own pace may be challenging at times. It is important to be aware of what pressures are attempting to get us to go at a different speed. Are they worthy? Or are we simply feeling rushed from outside pressures that are really about inside pressures? Like trying to impress someone else? The turtle always goes at its own pace. It sets the trend for those that want to jump on and ignores the trend of those that don’t. By being patient with ourselves we can allow ourself to move at the appropriate speed for the task at hand.
With 4 strong legs, a wide base, and a low center of gravity, turtles are known for their sturdy nature and relative strength. Many cultures look to the turtle as as symbol of support and a strong foundation. Several cultures hold beliefs that involve a turtle supporting the entire world on its back. It is known as the Cosmic Turtle, World-bearing Turtle, or Great Turtle. The turtle will not let you down. It will help guide you safely to where you are going. How can you tap into this truth about yourself to support someone else in some way today?
Moving at a slow, steady pace is associated with tranquility and peace. Making peace implies changing war-like energy and requires slow, careful planning and persistent movement towards the end goal. Turtle symbolism implies strength used to carry the armor shell and therefore implies protection. As compared to say a Lion who’s strength is used to drive fangs and claws in attack. From a strong protected state and with steady persistence. Some Native American cultures look to turtles as symbols of the peace-maker.
GOOD LUCK / GOOD FORTUNE
In many human societies throughout time you will find a Turtle associated with good luck and good fortune. In several mythologies a turtle either created the Earth, supports the Earth, or saved the day from a disaster like a flood. The notion of being protected seems intertwined with having good luck.
Beyond the association between having good luck and protection with good health; turtles have other connections to this positive ideal as well. They live on average for 100 years and can live up to 150 years which specifically ties turtles symbolism to longevity and in turn good health. On a grimmer note turtle shells were commonly used to mix medicines and turned into musical shakers for spiritual dances. This is in part why turtles are associated with mystical and spiritual symbolisms.
Turtle symbolism comes back to the stories from many cultures that turtles helped create the world and/or support it. Called the Cosmic Turtle, World-bearing Turtle, or Great Turtle, the turtle is associated with Mother Earth, creation, being grounded, and connectivity.
Here are all of the affirmations we used to make this turtle design. Each one rotates through the expansion of “I am”, “You are”, and “We are” statements.
They are all true about you. We have all been all of these truths before and can be them again. Hopefully, the perfect ones jump out at you at the perfect moment 🙂
Affirmations used in our Sea Turtle Design
·You are adapting. ·You are lucky. ·We are walking gently. ·You are safe. ·We are strong. ·I am making peace. ·You are understanding. ·You are strong. ·You are a peacemaker. ·We are overcoming. ·We are gentle. ·We are organizing. ·You are patient. ·I face the unknown. ·You are creating. ·You are succeeding. ·You are in order. ·We are kind. ·You are comfortable. ·We are healing. ·I am grounded. ·You are leading. ·You are calm. ·You are free. ·We are supporting. ·We are peacemakers. ·You are supporting. ·We are guided. ·You are gentle. ·You are the world. ·I am adapting. ·I am fertile. ·You are happy. ·We are given safe passage. ·We are proceeding. ·We are connected. ·I am fortunate. ·You are innocent. ·I am supported. ·You are steady. ·We are supported. ·We are navigating. ·We are purposeful. ·I am blessed. ·I am resolute. ·I am free. ·We are setting the pace. ·We are looking within. ·You are connected. ·We are pacing ourselves. ·We are in order. ·I am walking gently. ·We are finding. ·You are walking gently. ·We are innocent. ·We are adapting. ·We are free. ·I am finding. ·You sustain. ·You are capable. ·We are healthy. ·I am guided. ·I am continuing. ·You are trusting. ·We are resolute. ·I am looking within. ·I am persistent. ·I am enduring. ·We are gliding. ·I sustain. ·I am resilient. ·I am kind. ·You are floating. ·We are protecting. ·We are home. ·You are guided. ·You are kind. ·You are on course. ·I am happy. ·You are eternal. ·I am understanding. ·I am gentle. ·We are creating. ·I am healing. ·I am slowing down. ·We are carrying on. ·We are determined. ·We are happy. ·I am peaceful. ·I am the world. ·We are resilient. ·I am on course. ·I am steadfast. ·You are home. ·You are grounded. ·You are protected. ·We face the unknown. ·I am pacing myself. ·We are understanding. ·You are protecting. ·We are safe. ·You are at ease. ·You are ready. ·You are fertile. ·We are protected. ·I am trusting. ·I am strong. ·You are stable. ·We are comfortable. ·We are lucky. ·You are traveling. ·I am a peacemaker. ·I am protecting. ·We are good luck. ·You are overcoming. ·You are given safe passage. ·You are looking within. ·We are the world. ·I am good luck. ·You are adaptive. ·You are slowing down. ·You are setting the pace. ·I am eternal. ·You are fit. ·We are self paced. ·I am connected. ·We are grounded. ·I am safe. ·I am at ease. ·You are resolute. ·You are proceeding. ·I am leading. ·I am supporting. ·We are steady. ·We are persistent. ·You are steadfast. ·We are peaceful. ·You are enduring. ·I am proceeding. ·I am setting the pace. ·We are fit. ·I am steady. ·We are calm. ·We are stable. ·I am sure. ·I am calm. ·We are making peace. ·I am in order. ·I am lucky. ·We are succeeding. ·I am floating. ·We are slowing down. ·You are healthy. ·We are continuing. ·I am ready. ·You are true. ·We are on course. ·You are finding. ·You are blessed. ·We are steadfast. ·We are floating. ·You are healing. ·We sustain. ·We are blessed. ·You are carrying on. ·You are resilient. ·You face the unknown. ·I am protected. ·We are true. ·You are gliding. ·I am given safe passage. ·I am healthy. ·I am patient. ·We are ready. ·You are peaceful. ·I am home. ·I am capable. ·You are wise. ·I am creating. ·You are organizing. ·I am determined. ·I am self paced. ·I am organizing. ·You are supported. ·You are persistent. ·You are purposeful. ·You are surviving. ·We are adaptive. ·You are making peace. ·We are surviving. ·You are navigating. ·I am innocent. ·I am true. ·I am adaptive. ·I am comfortable. ·I am wise. ·We are capable. ·You are continuing. ·You are sure. ·We are leading. ·We are fortunate. ·We are enduring. ·I am carrying on. ·We are fertile. ·I am overcoming. ·I am fit. ·We are at ease. ·I am traveling. ·I am navigating. ·We are patient. ·I am surviving. ·I am gliding. ·I am purposeful. ·We are trusting. ·We are traveling. ·You are self paced. ·We are wise. ·You are fortunate. ·I am stable. ·You are determined. ·You are good luck. ·We are eternal. ·We are sure. ·I am succeeding. ·You are pacing yourself.
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If we understand and make use of this simple awareness technique, we can increase our likelihood of having positive interactions. Our feelings are indicators for the quality of our thoughts. When we are feeling good, our thoughts are like a fluid body of water sloshing around, folding over on themselves, and mixing in other new ideas and information. This is multi-dimensional thinking.
When we are feeling bad, our thoughts harden into a solid spear with one forward thrusting direction. The ego forms a metaphorical shell around the thoughts, gripping them tightly, and making everything about ourselves; allowing in no new information. This is one dimensional, linear thinking.
Qualifying the Qualifiers
Feeling good vs bad is not the same as good and evil. Imagine a scale with 10 feeling ecstasy and 1 feeling extreme pain or depression. We are always somewhere on this scale. Feeling pain is not bad in a good and evil sense. It is an indicator that something is wrong and needs attention. The thoughts we have, however, when feeling pain are very different from the types of thoughts we feel when we are feeling happy.
Consider personal relationships through this lens and you can see how we can improve our positive interactions. Ever notice that when we feel bad (e.g. angry, sick, envious) we can suddenly lose all perspective on the people we interact with? When conflict of some form arises it becomes very easy to see everything that person does through the lens of that anger. Their motivations become suspicious (“why would they do that to ME?” “what are they really after?”) and we focus on distinctions between us (“they just can’t understand” “I need to look out for me”). We cannot easily hear the things that do not jive with our current collection thoughts.
And the opposite holds for people when we feel love; we look past their shortcomings and assume the best of their intentions. When we are mad at someone else, suspicion creeps into our thoughts about their motivations and actions. When we are in love, we see their decision making in the best light possible. We see past the faults of the people on our “team” but bring hyper focus to those of our “opposition”.
Genres Shape Understanding
A film’s genre shapes the context through which we understand movies. The same line can illicit very different meanings when we are watching a comedy vs a thriller. Our emotions are like the genre of a film. Our thoughts are like the scenes of the movie. By knowing the genre of our “this moment life-movie” we can better understand our thoughts.
Always = Never
When we are using words like “she always…” and “he never…”, we can usually find that we are thinking about things in one dimension. And thinking in one dimension means that we are operating under the control of the ego! It is makes any advancement in understanding, compromise, or consensus very difficult.
No one is all good or all bad. No one is intelligent about everything or nothing. And everyone has areas where they are incredibly intelligent and the opposite. Even with fields we are very familiar there is ALWAYS more to learn. If we can contain our ego and recognize we have more to learn then we will increase the likelihood of having positive interactions with others even in charged situations.
Awareness Technique for Positive Interactions
Relationships of life come in many shapes and sizes. Some or brief and small like holding the door for a stranger. Some relationships are big and endure decades like family. But this same system connecting our thoughts and emotions holds true through all our interactions. So here is a simple awareness technique to make use of whenever we feel like we are not having a positive interaction: Take a breathe. Recognize how you are feeling right now. Start witnessing your thoughts through that lens. Simply by increasing our awareness about our own motivations and workings we can take more control over them… or, rather, let go of them more…
Flip it and Reverse it
This awareness technique can be applied in reverse too! If we can recognize we are thinking in a solid state rather than fluid, then we can back that up into seeing our emotional state. Being aware of how we are feeling is a muscle that can always be strengthened.
Multi-Dimensional Time Traveler
Interestingly, when we are in ego/solid thought mode, time slows down. Think of how slowly time moves when our thoughts are bouncing around in a solid state. Five minutes of arguing with someone can feel like hours and physically drain us as if it was! Whereas when we are feeling good, time starts flying by and hours feel like minutes. Five hours of playing a fun game with friends can feel like minutes!
With continuously increasing awareness I will work towards seeing everyone I interact with as multi-dimensional beings full of complexity. My feelings are indicators for my thought patterns. The more liquid and fluid my thoughts, the more dimensions I can see in.
If this subject matter intrigues you check out Jack Pransky’s book, “Somebody Should Have Told Us”!
How about you? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think? How do our thoughts relate to our feelings? How does multi-dimensional thinking relate to having positive interactions?
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Street Interviews: Tips for Positive Communication
Street Interviews: Tips for Positive Communication
Much like the inhale and exhale of the breath, communicating has two major components: both listening and expressing. Communication is a skill that is endlessly improvable.
Watch this video of street interviewer magnifique Ron Cecchetti asking some positive thinkers at the Hillcrest Farmers Market in San Diego, California: What are some tips for bettering our positive communication?
Here is the full text transcript from the video:
What are some tips for bettering our positive communication?
RON CECCHETTI: What are your ideas for bettering positive communication?
RESPONDER 1: To speak from the heart, to speak truth, and look at the bigger picture where you are trying to go. So, as a community you want to create a world around you that has creativity, imagination, positivity, growth, sustainability, and you do that through your words. Your words create a harmonious connection to reality. So you keep it positive, you keep it alert, and you keep it awake, and you keep people inspired through positivity.
RESPONDER 2: I am a big supporter of the think positive evolution. I think communicating positivity all the time is the key for good communication.
RESPONDER 3: For positive communication? Good eye contact is always vital in communication. Just being really open with everybody, I think that’s a really good… that’s my best tip for positive communication.
RESPONDER 4: So I think positive communication you need to assume positive intent and be honest in your communication. So if both people are assuming that the person they are communicating with is being honest and knows that they are being truthful, then I think it leads to good, healthy communication.
RON CECCHETTI: Alright, so, what are your tips for better communication?
RESPONDER 5: More education on other people and other people’s lifestyles, or religions, or anything like that.
RESPONDER 6: Positive communication… always compliment someone. Find the positives in someone and, even if it’s just one small thing, notice it and make a comment about it to that person.
RESPONDER 7: Listening, understanding, and, once again, compassion.
RESPONDER 8: To respect other people and be positive mindset.
RESPONDER 9: What are my ideas on bettering positive communication? I think you need to be gentle with yourself and have like a clear mind of what it is you are trying to communicate to people.
RESPONDER 9: Yeah.
RESPONDER 9: That’s what i can come up with right now.
What are your tips for bettering Positive Communication? Leave a comment bellow and let us know! What have you learned about positively listening and expressing yourself?
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If you want to change your state of consciousness instantly, then take a deep, slow breath. Repeat this and notice the differences you feel in your mind and body. This technique is available to you any time you want. You can use it before making decisions, or getting a task done, or before an important conversation or any time you have air to breathe. As you play with your breath more and more you will eventually come across a variety of breathing techniques and exercises. Here is one of my favorites!
Four Sided Breathing
It’s called “Four Sided Breathing”, “Square Breathing”, or “Box Breathing”. In this exercise you inhale fully (through your nose) for X seconds. Hold that inhale for another X seconds. Exhale that breath evenly for X seconds. And. finally, hold that empty exhale for X seconds. Then repeat.
Visualization for Four Sided Breathing
Here is a visualization video to illustrate and follow along with.
In this video X = 4 seconds. So inhale for four seconds. Hold full for four seconds. Exhale for four seconds. And hold empty for four seconds. Repeat for 4-8 breaths or whatever you want! You can change the length of the sides (change the number of seconds X equals) but keep all four sides even to do this specific exercise.
We inhale through our nose to prevent a sore throat since the nose acts as a filter. Your breath will flow easier with a straight spine and your shoulders back, expanding your chest wide. Picture a J curve with your spine where your spine is totally straight and then curves back at the bottom section towards your tailbone. Be gentle with yourself and, most importantly, feel comfortable.
For extra fun, when breathing in a full inhale, fill your diaphragm first so your belly rises and then fill your chest. On the exhale work backwards from this. Exhale the air from your upper lungs/chest area. Then squeeze your belly towards your spine as you push out all the air from your diaphragm. And repeat!
I like to do four sided breathing sitting before meditating and laying down on my mat before yoga class. It’s also a great technique to help fall asleep at the end of your day. There are many tools on the utility belt of life; four sided breathing is one of my favorites.
When do you practice breathing exercises? What are your favorites? What do you think of this Four Sided Breathing exercise? Go ahead and leave a comment below to let us know!
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