The Blame Stops Here

Written by Silvia Mordini

I often asked to explain to people what the purpose of yoga is in 100 words or less. In my standard elevator speech what I share is that yoga practice makes us stand up with FULL awareness to be FULLY present to our lives and take FULL responsibility for the quality of our existence right now.

It is all about embracing who you really are. Not who you were yesterday or who others want us to be but harnessing the power of our minds to focus on being in charge of our own lives. This means we stop blaming others for what our lives were or are like and stop making excuses for delaying the next steps of our lives. We accept that the job of being ourselves is ours alone. And Elizabeth Gilbert speaks to this in this quote “If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur?” I totally agree if you can't bother to show up and speak your truth about what you want for your life then how will you ever achieve it?

Nathaniel Fast, at USC and Larissa Tiedens, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford, conducted studies presented in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology called "Blame Contagion: The Automatic Transmission of Self-Serving Attributions." Three key things that stand out about blame are:

  1. Blame is socially contagious
  2. Anyone can become a blamer especially those that are chronically insecure and ego driven.
  3. Self-affirmation stopped people from blaming. Fast says "By giving participants the chance to bolster their self-worth we removed their need to self protect though subsequent blaming."

Blame, you see, is a learned habit. The practice of yoga helps us become aware of our self-limiting and victimizing habits so we can be more accountable for the quality of our lives. Also watch for these other habits that detract from taking full responsibility such as:

  • Any tendency you have to make comparisons
  • Talking about what you don't have compared to what you have
  • Complaining about your life

The antidote to blame is self-affirmation. The study showed, “self-affirmation inoculated participants from blame. The tendency for blame to spread was completely eliminated.” Today get clear on what your intention is for your life. Create direct self-statements that bolster your awareness and responsibility such as: I AM CONFIDENT, I AM ACCEPTING OF MYSELF, I AM BEAUTIFUL, I AM COURAGEOUS. I AM STRONG

And yes from there the inertia that comes from not taking responsibility for your intentions will disappear. TAPAS, the engagement of discipline and effort in yoga will burn off the self-doubt and insecurity. Start now and watch as is written in The Alchemist, “the universe conspires on your behalf” as long as you accept the other half of the job. Love your day, love your life, love yourself! Silvia

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