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Sukha over Dukkha: The Power of Positivity

 

 

 

Happy April Everyone!!  

 

Spring finally feels like its semi here, making pop-ups, and then reappearing every few days. Hopefully, the weather will be more consistent offering us more opportunities to enjoy crisp and calming spring days. Spring is a great season often associated with renewal.  We have had a harsh winter here in Chicago, and I am hoping spring will provide us a great respite to catch our breaths before summer.

 

This month I am writing about the Power of Positivity, for so many REASONS!   

 

Positive mindsets can be one of our most powerful coping skills if we allow it to be.  Though it's hard to cultivate and sustain positivity, it can be done, if we not only practice it consistently while also seeing it as a daily fluid process. Accepting that not every day we are going feel the same amount of positivity, is critical into making our more negative days, slightly more positive.

 

Our goal again which applies to all of our mental health awareness is progress, not perfection. Some days we will be feeling the benefits of positive vibes all day, while another we might struggle to connect.  The days where we are fighting is when we most need to align with positivity.

 

How do we do this though?  

How do we choose to have a positive outlook when things seem to be so triggering in our lives? How can we accept that feelings of negativity are temporary if we choose to acknowledge them while letting it takes its course?

 

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand for us to wish our negativity away.  What instead we do have access too is how we cope with negativity knowing that it is normative and again temporary.

 

Most of us know the mental and physical benefits of living a mostly positive life.  Meaning that we are sleeping well, eating healthy, and practicing self-care to manage our stress. While all these things matter in helping us cultivate a positive outlook, we still need to be aware that negativity will pop up.  Like the adage says, "There can't be rainbows without rain."

 

If we were to be in a positive state permanently, we most likely would take it for granted, while also missing an opportunity to be aware of our resilience and personal growth.  Navigating through our negativity offers us the chance to slow down during a negative spell, while then realigning to our more positive nature.

 

The work is not avoiding negativity, but instead to recognize it without judging it.  Redirecting negative thoughts is something we will continuously be doing, and if we can approach it with this calmer perspective, we are more likely to get out of these funks faster and with less emotional aftermath.

 

When I was studying for Yoga Teacher Training, I was introduced to the Hindu and Buddhist ideologies of dukkha and sukha.  I think both of these terms relate well to how we can not only view negativity and positivity but also how we can see how both are ebb and flow experiences.

 

Dukkha translates to "misery."   To me, I see dukkha when people choose to live in acute and long-lasting negativity.  Negativity rules their lives where there seems to be little happiness or joy that they experience.   

 

That unfortunate person is suffering from dukkha.   Whether it is self-imposed misery, or misery from outside forces, the person's has the inability to be more positive minded,  is often not possible. They are stuck in their dukkha and unfortunately don't have an innate desire to have less misery in their lives.

 

Dukkha is a place where a lot of darkness and negativity are.   Yes we all have experiences with Dukkha, however, when we choose to elevate our happiness, we begin to focus on Sukha, (dukkha's counterpart)

 

Sukha is the opposite of Dukkha in that it symbolizes being in a place of happiness ,bliss and enlightenment.   Being in Sukha's space is what allows us to live in peace and ease while allowing a positive outlook to help shape our lives.  

 

Again there are times which we will be out of Sukha and feeling more Dukkha.  This is normative and part of the process. What is the vital is that we continue, knowing that if we take care of ourselves emotionally and physically, it will only be a matter of time when the Dukkha subsides and Sukha becomes more attainable

 

As we move forward in life, knowing how we are presenting and whether we are vibrating from a place of dukkha or sukah, can help provide us with valuable insight.

 

How do we want to be seen by our family, friends, and community?  What impact do we want to make? How does our energy affect others and the world?  These are all critical questions for us to be reflecting on, in order to be the most loving and highest versions of ourselves.

 

Negativity and Positivity are two inevitable feelings we will continue to experience in a world that is often stressful and overwhelming.  Though it can seem to be easier to stay in a negative mood, it is crucial to remember for us, not to self-sabotage in choosing to remain in dukkha.  Sukha is usually an arms reach away for a lot of us, so let us choose to reach for it.

 

I hope the explanation of Dukkah and Sukah helps show how powerful both negativity and positivity have on us.   Choosing positive things and people around you ensure that you will be in a state of sukah. Even if dukkah does appear, having the awareness that it is temporary as well as solvable will make it easier to cope with.  We all experience Sukha and Dukkha the trick is to be able to have self-awareness about it so that we can move forward in the most mindful of ways.

 

Positivity is one of the most important aspects of our lives, and it can be a huge factor in our quality of life.   When we choose to be positive we are not only helping ourselves but we are helping everyone around us.

 

I encourage us ALL to continue to think about how we can bring more positive elements into our lives while letting go of negativity that ultimately does not serve us.  Choosing to be positive is choosing to be present, mindful and grateful. When in this vibration life is not only easier but also affords us greater opportunities.

 

As usual, I will be posting more additional posts regarding the benefits of positivity.  I also encourage any feedback and questions you have on how to manifest more positivity into your life.

 

Lastly, on May 12 I will be interviewed live, on Cold Sweat Chicago Podcast, where I will be speaking on this exact topic, "The Power of Positivity."

 

We are expecting a great turnout at Athleta Southport where there will be a BARRE class followed by an open discussion on positivity. If you are available please join us for a fun and positive experience.

 

Till next month, let's be POSITIVE,

Hillary

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© 2018 Hillary Schoninger LCSW. All Rights Reserved.

1 E Superior Suite #506, Chicago, IL 60611