How can we bring more joy to the world? We are all one; we are united beings. The universe is connected and exhibits a divine energy, a life force. Whether we are a human being, a tree or a polar bear, we are all part of the same universal energy. In yoga, this is considered the universal oneness. Positive and negative energy flows throughout the universe, throughout our minds and bodies. We have the ability to choose whether we see and live life in the positive or the negative. Of course we are not going to be able to be positive all the time, but the more we are, the more both ourselves and the universe benefits.
 
For example, I am sitting at my desk thinking about getting rid of clutter, the things I no longer need or use. I notice a calligraphy pen in my pen box. I have not used this pen much, and think of how I could donate it. I imagine someone with little money stumbling upon this pen at a local thrift shop, taking it home, and gaining much enjoyment from learning a new art form. I send love to others, wish them well, and hope that the world will be a better place for it.
 
Our minds and bodies are connected. What we think can influence how we feel, how our bodies respond. Thinking a fearful thought, like “I am going to fail this exam” tends to go hand in hand with feeling knots in your stomach. A more positive thought, like “I studied and am going to do my best” leads to a feeling of relief and uplift. Try it with something happening in your life, and just notice how you feel in your body. So whatever we do to relieve stress, it will be important to focus not only on physical approaches, but mind-based ones as well. This allows us to manage our stress from the roots of its source. When we pull a weed from the top, and don’t bring up the root, it tends to grow back quickly. So it is with stress. To feel our best, it is important to not only address what is on the surface, such as the physical tension, but also the root – what we say to ourselves, what we choose to say yes or no to, and so on.
 
Another useful practice is to think positively about your day when you wake up. This sets the done for the day. By imagining the day going well, you put yourself in a positive state of mind that helps to carry you through the day. “What we think, becometh.”
 
There are energy drainers, and energy boosters. When we think of all the things we need to do, like pick up the dry cleaning, finish that report, and decide what to make for dinner, we feel drained. Of course we are busy people and like getting a number of tasks done. Rather than keeping all of these undone tasks in your head, write them down to set your mind free. This way, you don’t have to be afraid you will forget, because things are written down. If you make a habit of using this system, and review the list often (e.g., once or twice a day), you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. I like to use “Toodledo,” a free web-based tool that’s also an app on my smartphone.
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