To be open means to experience all qualities of thoughts and feelings as they arise, just as they are, at the very moment they arise. However, this deceptively easy-sounding thing is actually very difficult to achieve.
Many 'positive thinking' philosophies I've encountered seem to discount the authorization of the feelings that are arising and promote the superimposition of positive thoughts over what's rising. We've got to authorize what's happening 1st, as if we've chosen it and then choose where our focus is going to go next.
In my experience, many have come to misinterpret this wisdom to mean that it's not okay to get disappointed, be in a bad mood or have negative thoughts or feelings.
According to psychologists, repression is when we deny feelings that are arising. Repressing our feelings and thoughts may end up pushing them deep within us and potentially come up with an explosion when we least expect it. And, who do we usually explode on? Yup...our teammates like...our kids...our significant others....and often times...we implode on ourselves!
On the yoga mat, as we turn our attention to the breath and how each breath dictates our movements, we're taking a unique 'seat' or 'posture', which gives our feelings and thoughts space needed to rise, and eventually, release. If you've ever been to a yoga class, you know how amazing it feels to wring out the excess, don't ya`?
We begin to internalize our attention and open ourselves to any feelings, thoughts, and moods that are present. This ritual creates a deep conscious relationship with ourselves and allows us to develop the inner strength necessary to live a life of 'expression, not repression.'
We develop a warrior spirit that allows us to fully embrace the content of our own consciousness, a 'mental immune system' to ward off negativity, and a deep reverence and respect towards ourselves with trust in our inherent human goodness.
Anytime the 'dark clouds' of negativity pass through us, we have the power and inner strength to simply authorize and observe them and allow them to pass through us with the vision to see them for what they are...tiny, insignificant illusions passing through the boundless expanse of our big blue sky being.
Yoga is more helpful than you can imagine! Talk soon, Ro