ShamanTalk Episode 74
Toxic Positivity – What is it, and what does it mean for your Spiritual Path?
Toxic Positivity Definition
We define toxic positivity as the excessive and ineffective overgeneralisation of a happy, optimistic state across all situations.
The toxic positivity process results in the denial, minimisation, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience.
Here are a few strategies for dealing with toxic positivity, either from within or directed at you:
- Avoid ignoring or suppressing your genuine emotions.
- Listen to and validate other people even when those emotions make you uncomfortable.
- Do not offer unsolicited advice.
- Don’t shame anyone (including yourself) for their emotions.
- Remember that feeling bad/sad/negative/not-OK is entirely normal.
- You aren’t limited to one emotion at a time. For instance, you can be frustrated and sad about how the pandemic is being handled whilst being excited about what the future might bring.
- Be realistic with any sort of timeline. It doesn’t work to set an expiration date for being sad over losing a job, for example. Instead, opt for small, actionable steps to make you feel better, and process things at your own pace.
- Take a break from social media if that would help.
And I would like to be clear that avoiding toxic positivity isn’t an excuse to fall into toxic negativity!
A well balanced, emotionally mature mind will process and release negative experiences through various techniques – using your Shamanic toolkit.
The types of things you might look to are recapitulation, journeying, healing circles, journaling, ceremony of various kinds. Tune in to part two for a couple of activities to support you with toxic positivity,
I use mantras a lot – but they are not mutually exclusive. ‘I love myself’ is a favourite of mine. Mantras can be toxic if used alone. ‘I am happy’ over and over without any other processing techniques is not likely to work and may leave one feeling shame and a failure as they’re unable to feel or be happy. It’s not the mantra that’s the issue; it’s avoiding the deeper issues that are a block to that happiness. When used together with other techniques, a mantra will help reprogram a HABIT of being unhappy rather than releasing unhappiness itself.
Remember: Not being OK, is OK!
Activities & Journeys
- Journey with your Guides and ask to be taken to the Land of Sliding Mirrors. Ask to be shown if you are affected by Toxic Positivity either in yourself, by others or both – and ask to be shown how you can overcome that.
- In this week’s activity, I invite you to pay attention to your relationship with Toxic Positivity. Do you expect too much from yourself? Are you trying to bypass rather than process your emotions? You can also tap into Toxic Negativity as a good balance. Do you tend to focus on doom and gloom? Do you repeat old stories over and over? Do you actually process emotions or simply dwell in them as a habit.
- Both avoid processing emotions and keep you stuck. Take time to Journal your observations if you feel that there is work to do. Perhaps Journey with your Guides and ask for a Ceremony to rebalance your Positive & Negative aspects and move you towards a state of emotional balance.
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