What are the words you choose? Do they give you power, or fill your future with negative energy? In this talk, Abria helps us become aware of how to be present and mindful in both thought and action in order to actualize dreams and live in positivity.
Abria Joseph was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. He began learning yoga at 16 and in completed his first training program, a 700-hour vinyasa training in Thailand. He went on to teach vinyasa classes across the US, Canada and Mexico, and earned a degree in exercise science and wellness from Bastyr University in Washington state. Aria founded Pranaforce Yoga in 2010, an international yoga lifestyle company offering yoga retreats, teaching training, workshops and community events. He is also an experienced TEDx speaker who encourages others to practice and live their dreams within each moment.
Removing Negative Self Talk | Abria Joseph
Transcripts of the Video:
How many of you at this exact moment
are thinking about your bills you have to pay,
are thinking about the homework assignment you have to turn in,
are thinking about what you look like and what you’re wearing?
How’s my hair by the way?
No. But seriously.
At this exact moment
you weren’t thinking about the words that are in your head,
or the stories,
or the negative thoughts of fear
that are happening, that haven’t yet happened.
What happened when you heard this instrument?
What did you feel?
What senses were engaged?
This particular instrument was created in the year 2000 in Switzerland,
originally imported from outer space,
I don’t know how they got it here.
But it’s here,
and the original name for it is called the Hang.
It’s a particular company from Switzerland.
And this one is not the original Hang, it’s another builder.
There are builders all around the world.
And the reason it’s called Hang is because Hang means hand.
And hand being that it’s made by hand,
that it’s tuned by hand,
and it’s played by hand.
So what I wanted to share with you is that this instrument has a voice,
just like we all have a voice.
And in that relationship between playing an instrument,
we also have an instrument within us, and that’s our mind.
And our ability to acknowledge and notice what we’re thinking,
and how we react to the thoughts
that are happening and streaming through us like Wi-Fi,
So I’m sitting here
and thinking about my first time that I first experienced the handpan,
and it was while I was living in the Netherlands.
And I was walking down the street and I heard this sound,
and it just pulled me, literally, like a rope,
you know, being towed all the way up from an anchor in the sea.
I was drawn to this sound, this vibration.
I sat there and, in awe, just watched, watched this person playing.
And I thought about how much I wanted to experience that for myself.
What was drawing me into this sound? Did you experience that at all?
Did you feel connected to it?
So the idea was that happened to me too.
And as I had searched and seeked over the last few months,
I have found one for sale.
They’re not an easy instrument to acquire and they’re expensive as well.
So for me, the first time I had experienced one,
I figured, I have to play this immediately in a yoga class,
I don’t have time to practice.
I don’t have time to practice
because if I sit there and try to practice,
it could be weeks, months, years later before I actually play it in class.
So I bought it within the first week.
As soon as I was able to teach another class,
I took it into class.
And you wouldn’t believe the stories that were going on in my head.
People are going to think I suck.
Everyone’s going to know.
And the thing is, those were just stories, right?
Because they haven’t happened yet.
But why do we seem to believe the stories that haven’t happened yet?
Because they’re not true, is that right?
What if your favorite song came on, you’re with a group of people,
some are friends, some are different people
just out and about maybe in public.
Your favorite song, mind you.
Don’t be shy, your favorite song.
The song comes on,
and you normally scream this song at the top of your lungs, at home.
But yet, you’re just going like this,
“God, this is my favorite song,
it’s my jam.”
But then suddenly, you stop because the voices in the head say:
Don’t do it. You’re going to look like an idiot.
And here’s another example, what if you had …
Maybe you’re sitting in a class, or you’re at the office or work,
and you’re asked a question.
And there’s a group of people, and you know the answer to that question.
But yet, you don’t raise your hand.
Because maybe that question,
maybe the answer is not what you thought it was.
Or maybe you actually know the question and you know the answer;
and you don’t want other people to know,
“What gosh, the same person always answers the questions.”
we’re in a conundrum.
We’re stuck with a battle in the mind.
So what I’m sharing with you is:
this took you out of your mind, did it not?
Where did it bring you?
Here? Maybe here?
Something that you’ve never experienced before?
How many people here have not seen this instrument or heard it live?
Ok, that is everyone but the kids that we coached.
So, think of it like this.
In my experience,
if I were then to ask you:
how many of you in the room would like to share their experience,
stand up on the stage,
of what you felt from this instrument and it being played?
How about you on the top with the long black hair?
Oh no, no, wait, wait.
How about you with the black shoes, right around here?
No. How about you here with the glasses?
Wait a second.
Did you just get nervous?
I can’t even see anything right now.
So why did you feel like that?
My words flowed over to you,
you heard them, processed in the processor.
Pentium, whatever it is now.
And now, you started to feel uncomfortable – maybe, maybe not.
And in that, I started to control,
a little bit manipulate, shift your thought process
because you weren’t here, you were here.
Is that right?
So, if that is true and this instrument that plays music can be tuned,
I started to realize and shift my ideas of how I would go through life.
And this is my idea.
I believe passionately
that we can shift the negative voices
and stories that are going on in our minds into positive ones.
How do you do that?
Well, there’s three main questions.
The first question is: is it the truth?
Is whatever I’m sharing with someone, or what you’re hearing from someone else
that’s giving you feedback about your life, true?
You know a 100% that it’s true.
is it necessary?
Is what I’m saying to myself in my head, is it necessary in the exact moment,
in what I’m doing with my life, right then?
And the third question is:
does it improve upon the silence?
This instrument is so powerful
that it improved upon the silence of the room.
You could feel it,
you could see it,
and then once you see and feel, you started to know.
So here I am,
and I’m thinking about the first time that I was going through my ideas
in creating my lifestyle.
I, being very similar to the students at NIST,
and around a lot of very creative people that influenced me in a positive way,
which is just north of San Francisco, and a city-county called Marin.
And growing up there,
the people that I was around helped shift my mind to believe
before I even knew it was possible.
So I was thinking of and creating within the same age range
as most of you, around 15,16, when I first started practicing yoga.
And at that time, I didn’t really know what was going on
because I was really focused on sports.
Yeah, other things, you know what I’m talking about.
So, what ended up happening was
I started creating this idea of this lifestyle
where I could travel around the world, learn as much as I can,
teach what I was learning, and pass it on.
How was I going to do that?
In the last 5 years, as I was traveling, pretty much since 2002, consistently,
every year I’ve been back to Thailand for the last 14-15 years.
And the reason that I come back
is to study, is to practice, is to breathe,
is to learn about myself.
I mean, it’s rare that you have a 21-year-old
go off to a monastery for ten days and be silent
when all their friends are in college playing.
So, there was something there that kept pulling me back here.
And at that time, I created what’s called Pranaforce yoga.
And Pranaforce is our company.
And the whole idea or our vision mantra is: dream it real.
Live your dreams, make it happen,
just do it, right now,
as if it was already happening.
So I had to really shift my mind,
and as I shared the story with other friends and family,
you know what, I was so excited
that I thought everyone would also believe in me.
But what I found out was,
it wasn’t that.
Some really close friends,
some really close family,
did not see or believe in what I was seeing and believing.
So, this is what happened.
They’d say, “Wow this is a great idea,
but here’s a long list of things why that won’t work.”
And I thought, “Wow, oh my gosh, really?
Is that true?
Is that necessary?
Is that improving me help live my dreams?”
So what I started to realize,
is that a lot of people are going to share with you ideas,
I have no idea what your experience is within work, education, anything.
But let me tell you this,
if you share something with me personally,
that is not where I wish to be,
relationship-wise, business-wise, finance-wise, spirit-wise,
doesn’t matter what it is, I don’t have to believe you.
I can agree with you,
I can nod my head and say, “Yes, you know I totally understand.”
But I don’t have to believe you because once I start to believe you
that can shift the whole chemistry
in my mind.
Because the thing is this,
the subconscious mind and the conscious mind
don’t know the difference between negative and positive energy.
It just knows it as energy.
So the subconscious mind,
if we’re saying things to someone, “You’ll never be able to do that.”
That person’s subconscious mind – mine –
will say, “Wait, I can’t? Oh Gosh. OK, put that away.”
But the conscious mind, educated, smart, very cerebral will say,
“Wait no, I’m smarter than that, wait.”
I can stop that as long as I’m aware.
How do we become more aware?
We have to question the thoughts and the stories or the voices
that we have within our mind.
If you do not, it’s fine.
You’ll be probably very successful, super happy,
maybe even being of service on this planet right now.
But, if there is something that you’re passionate about,
that you love,
an incredible artist from the Netherlands,
Vincent van Gogh, said,
“If you have voices in your mind that say that you cannot paint,
by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced.”
The idea is this,
only we can conceptualize and understand what’s going on in our mind.
So only we can really acknowledge it
and start to notice if it’s a benefit to us.
So I’m sitting here, standing,
sharing with all these other people that are also sharing about voices,
the voices aren’t just audible, talked spoken voices,
these are voices within the mind.
The mind, maybe the hearts, may be other people.
So we have to see it’s not just what we speak,
but it’s how we speak it, it’s when we speak it,
and all these things that come in, cumulative,
that really make a difference.
So, at this point now,
as I’ve been sharing and teaching and traveling
I’ve had more opportunity to connect with people.
But the biggest thing that I’ve found is the connection with myself.
If I’m not connecting with myself in any given place,
my mind will be off, my heart will be off in other distant places.
And there’s a lot of distractions around us all the time, as we know.
So I want to share with you one short, small session,
so you get another feel of this instrument.
And as you go through this experience this time,
I’d like to invite you to close your eyes.
Now, what senses do we know that we have?
A sense of sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch.
Take away the eyes.
Give yourself just a moment.
You can leave them cracked open if you’re just a little bit weird, that’s fine.
As you close your eyes here, give yourself a moment to breathe,
and feel what you feel,
with no wonder or interpretation as to what’s going on.
If there’s anything within that space within you, that you feel drawn to,
just notice the thoughts, acknowledge them, right?
Like clouds in the sky, you cannot hook on a cloud and keep it forever.
It has to pass.
(Playing the Hang)
One of the most influential teachers
in my life
is from India, his name is Sai Baba.
And the questions, the three questions,
that I had asked you to ask yourself
when those negative emotions and thoughts arise, or stories, was from this quote:
“Is what we speak the truth?
Is it necessary?
Does it improve upon the silence?”