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Here are four concepts I picked up on during my conversation with Araya. 

1) ON BEING STUCK 

“Nobody is stuck anywhere” - Araya Lemonis.

Are you stuck? Are you actually stuck? Or is it how you view the world that makes you feel stuck? Being stuck and feeling stuck are two different things and when most of the time we consider ourselves to be trapped are merely the moments when we allow the negative stories we tell ourselves to override reality. 

If you don’t like where you live you can leave. If you don’t like where you work, you can work somewhere else. You can starve yourself to death, but you eat daily and at some level that means you have decided to live. 

Choosing to live means choosing to be here and if that’s your choice, why take it for granite? You made a series of decisions that have lead you to this part of your life, and that means you can string together a chain of decisions to move you closer towards a preferable place. 

As soon as you tell yourself you’re “stuck” you are entirely correct. The moment you tell yourself that you choose not to be stuck, you will be correct as well. 

2) NICER PLACES 

Araya talked about how your environment starts to reflect positivity when your mindset shifts to a confident attitude towards life. 

Why wouldn’t? Your life is consciousness focused on your physical body, and because of that, the way you view the world is in a sense the world itself. 

When it comes to your life, you are like a cameraman who is the only person that ever gets to see the movie they recorded. 

When the movie is over, so is the story and so are the characters in the story, at least from your angle/perspective. 

So when you look at life positively, positive things start to happen. The reverse is also true, but what’s important is that you recognize this is the case and act accordingly. 

So if you don’t like where you’re at, try grabbing onto anything that is positive in your life. Focus on that and place your energy and resources on those things because once you focus on that, the perspective of how you view life changes and thus life itself begins to mirror that change. 

3) Slowing down 

What’s the rush? The only place we’re rushing to is six feet underneath the ground, and that doesn’t seem all too important to get to. 

If I’m  lucky enough to lay on my deathbed, I will contemplate all the things I’d be willing to do, just so that way I could wait a little bit longer. 

On my deathbed, I’d give anything to wait in line at the grocery store, for the elevator or at the red light just so that I’d have the ability to wait at all. No phone. No thinking. Just being there and being alive. 

This is what slowing down can offer us. It gives us a chance to live because it enables us to fully invest ourselves in the now which is the only place where life takes place. 

Life doesn’t happen in the past or the future and can only be lived right here, right now. It’s easy to skip over this reality when we’re speeding around metaphorically or physically. 

Try walking slower. Try talking slower. Try breathing slower and give yourself a chance to be with the way things are when you’re alive and I promise you’ll come out on the other side a bit more flexible, restful, and peaceful because of it. 

4) It's easy to run away 

It’s easy to run away from our emotions, to sweep them under the rug, or to altogether reject them. But does that mean the emotions go away?

Araya and I were having dinner one night, and I told her that I needed to do more yoga that is focused on the hips because mine are incredibly tight. She told me that we store a lot of emotion in our hips. I thought that this was complete BS but after looking into it, our bodies do store memories of what happened to us in the past. 

Just think about when you're physically threatened, you become scared, shaken, angry, confused, and sometimes a mixture of all of these things. These come by way of thoughts that our brain sends out as signals, but what is the physical reflection of that? Emotion. 

Our minds and our bodies are a unit. They’re connected. When one is impacted, so is the other and when we become emotional, our bodies are involved with the impact just as much as the mind is. 

When we shrug our shoulders and dip our head when we feel like a blow to the skull is coming, we cringe at the hips to protect our vital organs as well. 

Think about that stance and think about where the impact is being shifted towards. The neck, the shoulders, the hips. 

It’s all tied together, and yoga combines the mind and the body to allow you to confront these emotions rather than run away from them.