by Sophia Ruan Gushée
Yesterday, I had the honor of speaking to employees at BlackRock, a global investment firm that is based in NYC. I was invited by the Families at BlackRock and Mindfulness networks to share 10 Simple Tips for Healthier Living.
One question they asked of me in advance was, How do you prevent a toxic mindset and stay positive?
As I prepared my presentation with that question in mind, I couldn't help but be honest: yoga. My yoga practice guided me towards the 10+ years of studying my family's toxic exposures and how to empower myself even while immersed in this overwhelming topic of the toxic exposures all around us.
One term that has come to mind often is the Sanskrit term avidya. It's been so relevant in describing my experience.
I've heard avidya described as having the effect of a filmy layer over your eyes, which blurs your perspective and contributes to misunderstanding, misconceptions, incorrect knowledge, ignorance. The key example that comes to my mind is growing up around advertisements that said, "Milk does the body good" and the messaging that dairy was important for bone health.
As I have empowered myself with vetted information, it clarified my perspective and matured my informational frameworks from which to make more effective health and wellness decisions. The effect reminds me of getting corrective lenses from the ophthalmologist (click on the short video above to get a sense of what I mean).
In my 30s, I read the book The China Study by Colin T. Campbell and learned that in populations with the highest dairy consumption, rates of osteoporosis was higher than you would expect. Reading that removed avidya and helped me re-frame why I would consume dairy: not because I think it's good for my bones, but because I really enjoy the cheese!
I have countless examples of experiencing the removal of avidya. And I haven't become more negative because I experience so much beauty from clarifying my knowledge and perspective. The video above expresses my experience. 💐
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