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Be Positively Real
by Ally Hamilton



Editor´s Note: Watch your thoughts because they very much become reality. If you're often having negative thoughts about yourself, your health, situations, your job and so on...then your body is listening and the Universe is too...and giving you more of what you focus on. Choose postitive thoughts and gratitude to help you mind and body tune into what will help you feed your sould and fine peace. Read more for Ally's thoughts.


There’s a lot of pressure in the yoga community and in many spiritual circles to “be positive!” and to “think positive thoughts and positive things will happen!”. And I’ll be the first person to say that I believe your thoughts have a lot of power in that they create a chemical reaction in your body, and that prolonged periods of stress will lead to dis-ease. But I think there’s an important distinction between not allowing yourself to fall into a negative cycle of thinking for an extended period of time (As in, “life sucks, people suck, I’m a loser, I hate my life”. If you’re in pain like that, my heart truly goes out to you, and I hope you can find the strength to start to make some different choices, take some action on your own behalf, embrace the voice of your intuition, and get support if you need it. You’re here for a reason and you’re the only you there is!), and completely denying your shadow emotions: fear, doubt, shame, rage, insecurity, jealousy, desperation. I would encourage anyone to make gratitude a regular practice. To continually pick up the mind, that loves to head into the past or the future, that loves to compare and contrast, that worries endlessly about things that may never come to pass, and bring it back to all the things you DO have, that are going well, that are gifts. I would not ask anyone to try to be positive in every moment, though, because that’s just not realistic. The people who cling to the light and deny the shadow stuff end up being owned by it. We see that again and again. Anything a person pushes down is going to come back twice as hard, Three times, four times, five times as hard until it’s acknowledged, embraced, and processed.

I think a better endeavor is just to be real. To be you. To respond to life as it unfolds from moment to moment with awareness and sensitivity. Sometimes things happen in this world that are so painful they take your breath away and make you feel your heart might collapse in on itself. Are you supposed to receive those experiences as gifts and force yourself to think positively? And is it your fault these things happened because you weren’t thinking positively enough? I don’t believe that. I believe in beauty and in chaos and in love. I don’t say things like, “everything happens for a reason” anymore, although I did ten years ago. If you ever heard me say that back then, I’m so sorry. Can you imagine going through something awful in your life, watching your child being slowly taken from you by an awful disease for example, and going to a yoga class where the teacher smugly tells you, “everything happens for a reason” as they take you through hip openers? Do you think that’s going to make a person feel comforted, embraced, supported…or judged, alienated and alone? It’s possible everything does happen for a reason, and it’s possible everything just happens, and it’s also possible the truth is somewhere between those two ideas. No one knows. I just know what I believe, what makes sense to me. You have to figure out what makes sense for you. And hopefully we can all respect and love each other even if we have different ideas.

I do believe a positive, hopeful attitude will affect the way you walk through your days. The way you speak to people closest to you, and those you meet in passing. I think if you’re feeling that life is good, and people are essentially good, people will be able to feel that energy coming off you. I believe when you’re in a positive frame of mind you’ll breathe differently, see the world differently, carry yourself differently, and attract more love your way. People flock to a person who is genuinely happy like moths to a flame. Speaking personally, I love my life, even though it’s not perfect. I’m blown away frequently by all the blessings around me. But I don’t force myself to think positively all the time. If something painful happens in my life, I try to just allow the pain. Pushing it away feeds it more power. I’d rather sit and say, wow, this hurts, this is not what I wanted, and observe myself having uncomfortable feelings. Lean into them and acknowledge the pain, or the anger, or the fill in the blank. Feelings are fleeting, after all. And we are human, not perfect. I would hope a spiritual community would be a place where people are welcomed with all their feelings. A source of comfort, not alienation, which is how people feel when they’re going through tough times and everyone is telling them to be positive. I’d like to think that’s what’s happening on this blog. I’m sending you so much love, whether you’re feeling happy, or alone. We’re all in this together.



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About the Author


Ally Hamilton began practicing yoga during her senior year at Columbia University. During the course of her 22 years of practice and 17 years of teaching, she has studied with Dharma Mittra, Bryan Kest (at whose studio she taught for over five years), Jorgen Christiansson, with whom she began practicing Ashtanga in 2001 and later assisted, Baron Baptiste, Max Strom, and Saul David Raye. In September 2009, with the help of her husband, she opened her own yoga studio in Santa Monica, Yogis Anonymous, and has built a vibrant community around some of the best teaching talent in Southern California. She has also pioneered the use of technology in yoga with a first-of-its-kind online yoga video website which provides live-streaming and on-demand yoga videos featuring top yoga instructors from around the world. Off the mat, you'll most likely find Ally chasing after her five year old son and two year old daughter.

Learn more: yogisanonymous.com/live



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