Toxic Positivity: How You Can Sabotage Your Manifestation by Suppressing Emotions

What is toxic positivity? And how can being too happy all the time get in the way of what you’re manifesting?

Have you ever felt afraid to be upset and have forced yourself to quickly be positive again, because you might sabotage your manifestation? Or that you might “attract” something bad? This logic lands us in a zone of toxic positivity. In other words, if we keep believing that we’re never meant to be sad or upset, we’re rejecting half of our human experience.

And in doing this, leading ourselves into a trap of inauthenticity and more overwhelm! Of course, this is just our innocent attempt to create a happier life for ourselves but it can actually, ironically mess up your manifestation because you’re not letting yourself heal.

What do I mean by that? Let’s unpack it here together.

The truth is, our feelings are an indicator, an inner compass of what’s going on. They are NOT bad – they’re actually what help you understand if something sat well with you or not.

If you were emotionless, nothing would trigger a response from you. Neither would wrong behaviour make you upset, nor would misfortune make you sad.

What’s wrong with that, you might ask. I mean technically, the description above may sound like an enlightened person who is unshaken. True – but they are not unshaken because they neglect their emotions. But rather because they have full MASTERY over their emotions.

They’re not indulging or avoiding emotions – they are holding full awareness and using these emotions as the guide to their response to a situation. That’s how they not only show up as more grounded beings, but authentic ones.

Sounds more impressive and more human, right? Exactly.

Our spiritual journey is about embracing every single aspect of ourselves, including those parts that we may have never learned how to be with in the past.

Now comes the million-dollar question, how can you gain emotional mastery?

I have 3 tools for you to try out. I hope they help you become more aligned with whatever you’re manifesting for yourself, by stepping away from the toxic positivity and moving towards embracing your whole human experience.

#1 – Throw a 2-min pity party every day.

This is 120 seconds on the stopwatch where you give yourself CONSCIOUS permission to vent, rant, scream, cry, purge – whatever is your weapon of choice to release your emotions. Give voice to the very thoughts and feelings within you that are wanting to be heard.

be authentic, self expression, emotional awareness

The psychology of this tool? You are giving permission for energy to move through you. This is neither indulging endlessly in the mood nor running away from it. This is just enough time to let the emotion out, without spiralling down with it.

Sometimes, all your conflicted parts inside need from you is for you to hear your own pain, to allow it to be here. And in doing that, you step into a deeper kind of inner alignment. One that is more integrated within oneself. From this place of integrity, you are now able to take more conscious actions towards your bigger visions.

When our group tried it a few months ago, everyone seemed to have a BLAST!

Set a timer on your stopwatch, let your emotions run their course for 2 minutes and see how this makes you feel.

#2 – Build emotional awareness.

The first stage of any change in life is having awareness. The ideas in this article might be new to you. But over time you’ll see that if you continue to think along these lines, ironically in being “more human” with your emotions, you’ll become more spiritual.

If this is new territory, start by learning to name your emotions. Several times a day, just check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling. You can even look in the mirror and ask yourself, looking into your own eyes.

selective focus photography of man's reflection on a broken mirror

Here are two tips to keep in mind:

  • A feeling is something like sad, angry, happy, irritated, etc. Here’s a full wheel of emotions that you can refer to, to build your emotional vocabulary. Don’t resort to “I don’t know” – get curious about yourself and find out.
  • A thought is something like “they shouldn’t have done that”. That’s not what we feel, that’s what we’re thinking. We often confuse what we’re thinking with what we’re feeling.

If you find yourself being able to spot the feeling underneath each thought, know that this self-reflection approach is working.

To take the awareness deeper, I’ve designed a digital workbook that you can leverage as a trusted companion and really dial in on some of the ebbs and flows of your emotional health.

#3 – Build emotional intelligence.

Having built some levels of awareness, the next step is emotional intelligence, where you learn to work WITH your emotions.

The intention for emotional intelligence is to be able to find the deeper wisdom of even the most strange and unsettling emotions. As you begin to find value in your emotions, they become a catalyst in your spiritual development. And then you get to create that sacred space for others to be their “emotional selves” in front of you.

emotions, toxic positivity

For example, your relationship with anger might be that it’s a bad thing. But what if anger wasn’t the problem, and your reaction that comes out of anger was? As you see this, you might start asking yourself what anger really wants for you, and figure out ways to work with that anger versus trying to suppress it.

By feeling emotions, you free them. See if you can feel all the feelings and ask them what they really want for you?

And if you’d like to explore emotional mastery with me, please know that there are in-depth tools and techniques that I’ve been trained in, in order to facilitate this depth of work for you.

You can set up a complimentary 30-min call and unpack your relationship with your emotions, through my calendar here. In case you don’t find a time that works for you, drop me an email here and we’ll chat.

Concluding Thoughts

That said, these are just some simple ways through which you can start becoming more YOU and creating a reality that is in alignment with you. Don’t let the toxic positivity mindset stray you away from the very manifestations you’re working so intentionally to create.

I’d love to know what other questions come to mind for you and to be able to help you answer them. Do let me know in the comments below!

And speaking of manifestation, guest spiritual teacher Carleen did an amazing workshop for our tribe a few weeks ago. Here’s a snippet, and here’s the full video in case you missed it.

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to setup a complimentary 30-minutes call using this form, and learn how you can set your spiritual plans into action. Don’t see a time slot? Send me an email here instead and let’s chat.

5 Spiritual Practices To Keep In Mind When You’re Traveling

What are some spiritual practices you can incorporate when traveling to stay more aligned and spiritually connected? Here’s my list.

The world is opening up to travel again, and as spiritual seekers, this might intimidate some of us. My husband and I are also slowly reorienting ourselves to the world in these strange times. And here are the spiritual practices that I’ve followed when traveling that have helped me stay more connected.

There are so many different things happening when you’re travelling, like:

  • New environment, and lots of mentally and physically stimulating forces that can disconnect us from inner alignment;
  • Being out of the comfort zone and finding ourselves often feeling anxious by the uncertainty of events;
  • In some cases, being exposed to old patterns and habits like drinking, smoking, binging etc.

Needless to say, travel is a good time to test our spiritual development. It lets us see how anchored we are in the bigger truths of life, when say, we have a flat tire and find ourselves cussing!

Keeping all my own experiences in mind, here are some simple spiritual practices to help you stay aligned in your truth throughout your traveling.

#1 – Bring the rituals with you.

We’re humans of habit. And so you want to create the “cues” that remind you to do the things that you do back home. When my family and I were living in an AirB&B a few months ago, I realized how subconsciously everyone longed for their routine, though we were all travelling to come out of our routines.

Whether it was one family member waking up early for their morning walks, or another family member renting bikes to get in their daily dose of fitness, it was interesting to see how we all created comfort amidst the new and uncertain. This irony is what inspired my own conscious efforts to bring spirituality with me wherever I’m going.

Here’s what you can do as a spiritual seeker, to bring rituals wherever you go:

  • Carrying spiritual books with you that you place at your bedside, so that you can be visually reminded to read at the start and/or end of each day. I’ve been binging on Brene Brown’s work and you’ll see me quoting more of her work in the months to follow.
  • Taking rosary beads with you on a walk and chanting your favourite spiritual prayer at the beach, in the middle of a forest or wherever you may be headed.
rosary beads, chanting, spiritual practices when traveling, mindfulness
  • Creating time and intention for a shorter and doable version of your spiritual routine. Like getting up earlier than everyone to meditate for 10 minutes if not the full hour. Or like having a journal which you can pen away your thoughts in, as you unwind at night.

I’ve also seen people carry their own yoga mats and make alters within hotel rooms. These are all amazing ways to keep reminding ourselves to be more spiritual when travelling, using personal resources.

#2 – Create small ways to ground your energy.

When we travel, the different situations and dynamics can throw us off our game. Which is why it’s important to regulate our nervous system. Or as the spiritual community likes to call it, ground ourselves. That way, you’re able to come back to the present moment and not get checked out or overwhelmed.

While traveling, here is how you can ground your energy in small and effective ways:

  • Whenever you arrive at a new land, take a moment to speak to it. Ask it to be your home for the next few days and take care of you. And then when you’re leaving, touch the soil and express your gratitude.
  • Give yourself time to be in nature without distraction. Which means have at least one walk by the beach or hike in the forest where you’re not digitally connected. This will give you a chance to be more physically and spiritually connected.
  • Make time to acknowledge and receive wisdom from the spirit animals of the land. Who knows, maybe that the butterfly that’s been fluttering around you is bringing in the energy of your ascension?
our spirit animals come with us wherever we go, divine intervention, signs of spiritual awakening

Then there’s the more obvious ways to ground your energy, like walking barefoot in the grass or in the sand, as well baths in the ocean. If you can safely do any of those things, add them to your itinerary!

#3 – Come back into your feminine energy through acceptance.

It can be very easy to get carried away with our masculine energy, when you’re busy planning, organizing and executing the logistics of a vacation. But this is your opportunity to see what life’s planning and executing for you.

Tapping into your feminine energy is one of those spiritual practices that will bring light, air and magic to your traveling. Here’s how we experienced that magic recently.

During a recent weekend getaway, due to the forest fires and staffing shortages from pandemic fatigue, many of the restaurants on our bucket list were closed.

For the first hour, we spent our energy unsuccessfully calling up different places to see what our options were. But finally, something within us shifted and we decided to cook for ourselves.

coking, plant based diet, mindful eating on vacation

It was then that we moved our mind into accepting and preparing one of the most satisfying meals of our time there. If we hadn’t accepted this situation, we would have been frustrated as we drove around for another hour searching for places to eat. By coming to terms with the situation sooner than later, we not only saved ourselves the worrying, we made an event out of it!

Another example was when our hotel refused to provide us an earlier check-in. In hindsight, my husband and I both agreed that if we had checked in earlier, we wouldn’t have tried to spend 4 hours being creative with our time. In those 4 hours, we had managed to make some friends in the locality and were invited to one of their community potlucks!

Don’t underestimate the power of letting go of “fighting”, or resisting the flow of life. You’ll be surprised what happens when you come to terms with the moment and meet life for where it’s at, and not where you’d have rather it be.

#4 – Voluntarily practicing surrender.

The second aspect of our feminine energy is surrendering – letting go and letting something higher intervene.

We are on autopilots when things are repetitive for us. But we are all also in fight/flight mode when we are not grounded in spiritual truth. We operate out of our primal tendencies when there’s disconnect.

And while travelling, the different unpredictable moments can flare anxiety for anyone. So the one thing we can consciously carry in our spiritual toolbox, is SURRENDERING.

surrender, divine feminine, spiritual practices when traveling

Instead of being the person that would pack her bags a week in advance, my surrender has started at home. I don’t start thinking about my travel kit until much closer to the day of. Sometimes, it’s literally a few hours before leaving.

Wherever you’re at in your journey, it’s important to ask yourself how you can carry less of the “burden” that your vacation will work out. Is it by arriving to certain scenic spots without doing too much research? Or maybe it’s by expecting things to be rocky instead of trying to manage the experience to be perfect?

As you continue to consciously surrender and let life unfold for you, keep going back to the bigger truths of life, like:

  • Things always turn out okay in the long run.
  • This will make a great story, and it will help me see how much courage I really have.
  • I can trust the process, knowing that the universe has my back.
  • I don’t have to have all the answers in order for things to work out.

These truths will act as your affirmations and bring you back to something subtler, yet more powerful within that helps take care of you and the flustered ego-mind.

#5 – And most importantly, bring in conscious living in every single thing you do.

This is something I’ve only just come to terms with – the idea that spirituality isn’t just the meditation I’m doing or plant-based food I’m eating. It’s also the plastic bottles I’m not buying and the hotel towels I’m not constantly changing.

The truth is that spirituality is about becoming more human. It’s about stepping outside our paradigm of lack and moving into the abundance mindset, knowing that we have more than enough to go around. So in essence, ouur spiritual practices are not just about the woo-woo but about bringing consciousness to the most mundane when traveling.

Start by asking yourself the fundamental question – how can I be more conscious and intentional with my presence here?

charity, support the local businesses, conscious businesses, mindful living

It isn’t about the big changes, rather the small, incremental steps you will take to be more conscious, that will make a difference.

One thing I’ve enjoyed doing here in Canada is finding and supporting the different conscious projects that people are running. Three of these projects that recently fascinated me were :

  • This forward-thinking shop that promotes refilling existing containers, eliminating single-use plastics.
  • This zero-waste thrift store that raises funds for people effected by domestic violence.
  • This innovative company that up-cycles chopsticks to make kitchenware, utility and decorative items.

Whenever you can, spend some of your time seeking out and supporting local businesses, especially the ones that are walking on this conscious path with you. This is your way of giving back and being intentional with your time, energy and money.

Concluding Thoughts

Travelling plays an essential part in integrating our spiritual practices and whatever we’ve learned in a controlled environment, at home. It’s an opportunity for us to give a new twist to how we see and treat the world when we call ourselves spiritual seekers.

I hope these ideas inspire you to be a more conscious and internally aligned, no matter where you are what you do. And before you go, do share in the comments below how you make your travel time more spiritually connected. It’ll make a wonderful addition for everyone else to be inspired from!

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to setup a complimentary 30-minutes call using this form, and learn how you can set your spiritual plans into action. Don’t see a time slot? Send me an email here instead and let’s chat.

Bite-size (#3) : Will things go wrong if I’m too happy?

Is there such a thing as being too happy? Will allowing ourselves to feel happy invite doom and make things go wrong? Read this to find out.

I’m around 11 years old when a girl in my bus looks at me as I’m laughing and warns me – don’t be too happy, or things will go wrong and you’ll have to cry just as much. I believe that this event dented my relationship with happiness for the longest time. Even today, remembering her words makes me cringe.

As children, we are so susceptible to believing things that are said and done to us. And there’s no knowing what the impact of what we hear or experience will be on us. Sometimes, these things stick with us for decades, until we work with some kind of therapist or coach to come to a resolution.

In particular, this idea that we could end up experiencing a lot of misery if we allowed ourselves to be fully happy, runs in our systems like the plague!

And it’s not just me, but I realize how common and widespread this way of thinking is. For me, it was that girl in the bus that set the foundation for not being too happy, lest things go wrong.

can things go wrong if you are too happy, picture with girl wearing sad face

It’s what the author, Glennon Doyle calls as the “Ache” in her book Untamed. She accurately describes it as a feeling that something will go wrong the moment something is going right.

Have you found yourself thinking this way too?

If yes, do you remember when this way of thinking first began for you?

Maybe it was a family member who was always worried you’d jinx happiness. Or maybe it was an idea that you subconsciously picked up from a movie. Whatever be the origin of this idea, if it’s been implanted in your mind, the conditioning may still be playing a role in your life today.

I personally became hyper-aware of this phenomenon the day I was reading through American professor, Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead.

She said in her book and I quote,

“Why do we insist on dress-rehearsing tragedy in moments of deep joy? When we feel joy, it is a place of incredible vulnerability – its beauty and fragility and deep gratitude and impermanence all wrapped up in one experience. When we can’t tolerate that level of vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding, and we immediately move to self-protection.”

Her words sat with me. Later that day, I was surprised to see how many times and in how many subtle ways this subconscious conditioning was at play, dimming my happiness:

  • As my husband and I drive down a beautiful highway and watch the sun dip back into the horizon, I have a flash in my mind’s eye of another vehicle hitting ours. This image was my ego-minds reminder to not let happiness catch me off guard. But this time, I pause and ask it in return, “what if nothing happens?”
  • A few hours later, again, as we were laughing and having a good time, my mind flashes images of danger. Once again, I see this and ask myself, “what if I give myself permission to actually enjoy this moment anyway, regardless of what happened next?”
In both events, when I confronted my mind, challenging its concerns for me, I heard crickets. Silence. The mind didn’t know what to do with this counter-questioning.

It also made me realize another important difference between intuition versus ego. When we do receive an intuitive hit for something that’s about to unfold, it’s in the moment and simply passes.

intuition is in the moment, aligned, connection, spiritual

But when it’s generated from our ego-mind, you can feel the heaviness landing in your body. You can feel yourself getting stuck in a loop. The thing that your mind thought would happen doesn’t, but you begin to nauseate over it.

All of this is the first significant step to inner freedom. We want to work to separate ourselves from mindlessly believing every thought that we think.

It leads me to seek the overarching framework looking over all this, and to a fundamental question.

Why are we even listening to these limiting thoughts at all?

The insights I’ve gathered through reflection and in studying the behavioural sciences is this. The ego-mind wants safety and protection, and listening to these thoughts is the ultimate protection we can offer ourselves. If we’re never vulnerable enough, we are never at true risk because we are always vigilant.

And when we’re always vigilant and our guard isn’t down, we can move into fight or flight much more rapidly. Or that’s what the mind thinks it’s doing for us.

However, there’s one challenge that conflicts with this innocent intention of the ego-mind. When we are so hyper-vigilant, we still step away from the present moment and into our heads, by buying into the ideas presented in these waking nightmares. We’re kind of like dysfunctional ninjas, if I put it in a lighter way.

ninja, hypervigilant, alert

So even if something were to happen, we wouldn’t be present to respond – we would have to come back from an already hyper-aroused state of mind. Or what Brene Brown termed as the “dress rehearsal of tragedy”.

Then, we should ask ourselves this.

Knowing that protection is a good thing but not always necessary, what role can we give to the ego-mind in our everyday life?

Let’s start by knowing that we have a choice. We don’t have to follow the advice that it offers; we can simply choose to listen and let it pass.

As an analogy, I want you to imagine different parts within you driving the car of life. So if two of the passengers are ego-mind and joy, we can consciously let the ego-mind sit in the co-pilot seat. And let joy buckle itself into the driver seat. In other words, we don’t have to get rid of these limiting ideas, but we don’t have to operate out of them anymore either.

Sure, the whole idea about being unapologetically happy can seem crazy. I’ve had a client challenge me at one point, as to why she should be happy if there’s nothing to be happy about.

But the truth is, it’s easier to be happy than it is to not. And I’d rather pick easy in this moment. Especially when I don’t know if the next moment will be easier or if it will become hard.
will something go wrong if you are too happy, joy, celebrate, dance

A few weeks before writing this article, I was passing the downtown streets in Vancouver and I couldn’t take my eyes off a drug addict that was dancing and grooving in an intoxicated state. The image and his unconditional joy in those moments stays strong with me.

I realized that there was nothing he needed in that moment – he was in a bliss state. Even though the drugs were what led him to that state, and I’m not advocating drug abuse, I do think it’s noteworthy that even someone living on the streets can dance, celebrating the moment without a care for what lies ahead. Then why can’t you and I?

Concluding Thoughts

The reason we fundamentally do everything is because we think it will bring us joy. And yet, we have all these guards set up which make us feel like we’re in more control if we can “see” happiness go out the door before it leaves. But maybe we should pause and reflect, because it feels like happiness never truly entered our door.

So, my final question now is – are you ready to give yourself permission to be truly happy without worrying that something will go wrong?

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to setup a complimentary 30-minutes call using this form, and learn how you can set your spiritual plans into action. Don’t see a time slot? Send me an email here instead and let’s chat.