“What you perceive, you receive.” Wise words from the wise and wonderful Jeanmarie Paolillo, whom I have been fortunate enough to have as my teacher. Her recent “Vibe-a-Thon” workshop at YogaWorks, Soho was good vibes all around and offered great insight into that pesky mind stuff we all strive to quiet in one way or another. She’s been researching what she’s coined “the art of vibing” for years now, and what-do-ya-know, science backs her up.
So, what is a “Vibe-a-Thon” anyways? Outside of being the title of Jeanmarie’s new book (out September of this year), it’s basically learning how to think differently, operate more intuitively and move in the direction of what you’d like to create in your life. Sounds great, right?!
As yogis, we’re familiar with concepts like Samskaras and Kleshas that wreak havoc on the chatter in our minds, but quite honestly, how much time are we spending really diving into these areas, reversing patterns, and changing our perception?
I think the answer for most of us is “not enough.” It’s work. Hard work! But Jeanmarie is on a mission to show us all it’s worth it, and I don’t think I was the only one converted last Sunday.
We can all agree that by nature, as humans, we are creative beings. (Creative in the truest sense of the word, in that we seek to create, not in the artistic sense of the word, in that we all have the potential to become the next Picasso). Creativity starts in the mind, so a quiet mind free of chatter is essential to creating. And not just in physically creating things, in creating our relationships, our careers, our families, our joy, and beyond.
What keeps us from thinking more clearly in a positive direction? Jeanmarie has a few answers. Part of it stems from conditioning. How we’re taught to think based on the confines of our circumstances. Part of it stems from bad habits in our thought patterns, like continually telling ourselves we’re not worth it. But, the most interesting part stems from what researchers call “The Negativity Bias”. We actually get an endorphin boost when we think negatively! Crazy. This explains so much. Not only is it easier for us to think negatively, we actually (momentarily) feel better when we do it!
The endorphin boost comes from our instinctual “fight or flight” reaction. We think we’re preparing ourselves, and therefore our bodies, for the worst, when in reality we’re just creating more parameters, which keep us from thinking clearly and therefore creatively. This was a light bulb moment for me. What would happen if we focused on expecting something great instead of protecting ourselves from a negative possibility that often times probably won’t happen? I think the possibilities are endless, for our own lives and the lives we’re in contact with everyday.
Learning how to combat our negativity bias, conditioning, and habitual thoughts (good and bad) allows us to live our lives more mindfully with the freedom to create something better for ourselves. As Jeanmarie says, the more we create what we want in life, the more we give permission to others to do the same. So, here’s to spreading the good vibes and taking charge of our creativity!
To learn more about Vibing check out Jeanmarie’s website at www.vibeathon.com, which will be loaded with videos from her workshops and other great stuff starting in July 2013.