While world events, the actions of others, and environmental factors can affect your energy, it is often what you carry with you in your mind that impacts how you feel. Two people can be at the same party with the same people, but can be having vastly different experiences. In fact, you have probably experienced being somewhere or doing something you would ordinarily enjoy, but just feeling off or not quite yourself.
Negative energy can affect the trajectory of the day, or even your life, especially if you don’t learn to harness your emotions and thoughts in order to influence your energy. Dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions will naturally cause your energy to become negative, and build habits that make it more difficult for you to see the bright side of things or to enjoy your time on Earth.
In the Indigenous culture, positive thinking and mindfulness are integral practices that help us to become better people, to connect with one another, and to connect to the Creator, the Spirit, and ourselves. Some traditional practices, like smudging, are used specifically to manifest positive thoughts and energies and to clear away any negativity that may be weighing an individual down or stifling their potential.
Here, we’ll discuss a few of the ways you can change your energy through positive thinking, and share tips and tricks for smudging away the negativity:
Use Smudging to Change Your Energy
The smudging ceremony can, in truth, be used at almost any time, but one common application of the ceremony is to address feelings of negativity or stress after a difficult day, event, or incident. Some people, for example, may choose to smudge after a particularly hard day at work in order to release the pent up stress and to welcome positive energy in for the next day.
Releasing Negativity & Inviting In Positivity
Smudging involves the burning of sacred medicines like cedar and sage, which have cleansing properties and help Indigenous people to forge a stronger connection with the Creator. As the purifying smoke of these medicines wafts around our bodies and through our homes, it works to banish negative energy and invite in positive energy. This is why we purposefully waft the smoke around ourselves when we smudge, since the physical contact with the smoke will help to remove any lingering discomfort, stress, or pain.
Smudging with Intention
If you want to use smudging to overcome a negative thought or emotion, it is important to go into the ceremony with clear intentions. If you had a difficult day at work, you should enter into the smudge consciously thinking of letting go of the stressful thoughts you have had running through your mind all day. Keeping your goal or intention in mind while smudging will help you to achieve this, and ensure you complete the smudge having attained your goal.
Asking Empowering Questions
Along with focusing your mental energy on manifesting positive intentions, it can also be helpful to ask yourself empowering questions while you smudge. More importantly, you should answer these questions, while being sure to give answers that are both true and positive regarding your own potential and ability. Some examples of empowering question you could ask yourself include:
- What is something kind you did for someone else today?
- What do you love about yourself?
- How did you overcome a difficult situation today?
Like asking yourself empowering questions, going through a mental list of the things you are grateful for can be an excellent mental exercise to focus on manifesting positivity while you smudge. Acknowledging the many ways in which your life is good and you feel blessed can help to reframe your thinking, and can help to break down self-made walls preventing you from seeing the bright side.
The Lingering Effects of Smudging
One of the best things about smudging is that it creates lingering effects, since the smell of the sacred medicines can stick around for hours or even days after you finish smudging. If you are careful to practice positive thinking while you smudge, your mind will naturally return to those positive thoughts each time you get a whiff of the lingering scent of cedar, sage, tobacco, or sweetgrass.
Mental Exercises to Fuel Positive Thinking
Changing your energy won’t happen overnight, especially if you have fallen into regular negative thinking patterns and pessimism. While smudging and taking time out of your day to specifically focus on thinking positively is a great way to change your energy, it can also be valuable to practice certain mental exercises throughout the day as stress or negativity arise.
Accept Criticism as Feedback
For many, accepting criticism without feeling personally attacked or judged can be difficult, and can even send the individual into a tailspin of negative thought patterns. Some people will linger on moments of critique for days or weeks after they are given criticism, creating a general malaise in everyday life.
An important practice for helping yourself to establish positive thought patterns and to avoid falling into a state of negative energy is to learn to accept feedback. Criticism doesn’t always have to be negative, and can come from a place of wanting you to improve or be successful. Next time you receive feedback or criticism, try to see the positive in it and avoid being bogged down by perceived negative implications.
Acknowledge & Ignore Fears
Fear is real, but that doesn’t mean it should take over your life and prevent you from doing the things you want to do. Acknowledging your fears can help you to think about them with more clarity, and can give you a better perspective of the big picture of the situation. Whether you acknowledge and examine your fears while smudging, or make a mental note in a moment where you have to act right away, allow yourself to feel the fear and to understand what is making you afraid before you dismiss it immediately.
Once you have acknowledged that you are feeling negative emotions or experiencing negative thoughts, you will be better equipped to address said negativity. By acknowledging that your feelings exist, you give yourself permission to do something about it, and allow yourself to ignore your fears in favor of the most positive course of action.
Want to learn how you can use smudging and other Indigenous teachings to improve your life and live positively? Visit Tribal Trade Co. and be sure to check out our blog for lots more content just like this!