Good Vibes Only: A Practice of Spiritual Bypassing

It’s easy for me to get Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” stuck in my head come across the phrase, “Good vibes only.” However, I’m pretty sure the good vibes they sang about are different than the good vibes being expressed in this phrase.

What I get from this trendy expression is that good equals positive, and positive energy is the only thing acceptable to put out and to surround oneself with. Negativity should be avoided because negative vibes are bad. I find this to a very flawed way of thinking and experiencing life.

The pursuit of “good vibes only” is a form of spiritual bypassing. It is an avoidance tactic by using spiritual ideas to justify why someone is not facing issues. The Universe and life doesn’t always offer up what most people would consider positive. We’re not always given things that make us happy or content or joyful in every moment. Sometimes the Universe provides us with some really uncomfortable situations of negativity. Allowing yourself the opportunities to feel, observe, and analyze negative feelings and to visit your darkness or shadowside can bring about positive change through transmutation. You’re taking the energy in the negative situation or experience and changing it to something positive. Within this process of change growth and positive energy or vibrations are created.

If you are only seeking “good vibes” or positivity in your life experience, you are most likely masking negativity and pretending it is something it is not, or most likely, figuratively, burying “bad” feelings or thoughts. When these things are not dealt with they cause people to experience dis-ease, which may transform into disease because your body and mind are imprinted with your experiences. You also are vulnerable to having all of what you are avoiding bubble over and overwhelm you, and if you have not being practicing stepping into the darkness and gathering the tools to help you in those situations it can be quite scary when that overwhelming and sudden take over happens.

While I believe everyone wants to be happy and live a life filled with content, it is important to remember there is always some dark in the light and light in the dark. You can’t have just “positivity” in your life. There is always going to be some “negativity,” but you have the ability to morph what you might see as negative into something positive. This alteration is not always easy. It might mean that you have to give up something you’ve been holding on to for far too long out of fear, but the growth gained from that experience is what makes that experience so valuable in the end.


Nourishment for the Heart and Soul


At the moment I am participating in an online course called Manifest: A Corse About Standing in Your Power hosted by Amber Karnes of Body Positive Yoga and Kelley Carboni-Woods, author of Manifest: 30 Days of Intentional Mantras. The course is a practice of self-exploration to build trust with ones self and stand in ones power. Each week we are given two mantras for reflection and two asana practices that correspond with each mantra.

The first mantra of Manifest was, “I nourish myself with the best.” Typically, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about nourishment is food. The body derives nutrients from the food and drink consumed to help it function and sustain life. But what comes to mind if you look beyond what you eat? We nourish ourselves with quality of the media we choose, the music we listen to, the activities we participate in, and the people we interact with. Personally, I find nourishment through reading, creating art, moving my body, taking naps, snuggling my dogs, and spending quality time with my boyfriend. However, I think nourishment goes even further than just what we take in. I think it also involves what is released.

Think about the thoughts, events, people, feelings, etc. that you might continue to harbor negativity toward. Are you someone who holds a grudge? I certainly was. Are you someone who revisits some past event and replays it differently in your head so there is a different outcome? Again, I was. What does holding on to all of that do for you, especially if it is something that happened years ago? Holding on to all of the negativity not only gives that person/event/thought/feeling power and control over you, but it takes up space that could be used for something else, something more positive and productive. Lessons can be learned and growth can be produced from certain situations, but once that has happened let the negative go. Granted that is easier said than done in many cases and can take a long time to happen. Keep in mind it doesn’t mean you have to forgive and forget.

I held a lot of anger toward someone for many years. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I realized it didn’t serve me to be angry. It wasn’t going to change the past, and it drained my energy, which took away from the important things in my life. While I may not have necessarily forgiven this person, I have been able to release my anger toward them. This has allowed me to see some of the growth this person has gone through, as well as see this person as an actual person.

Allowing the negative to be released clears up space for you to take in nourishment from the things that light up your soul. It allows you to give energy to the things you enjoy, rather than to the things that bring you discomfort, pain, heartache. Offer yourself the best quality nourishment you can because you deserve it. You deserve to be filled with positivity. For it’s this positive energy that allows us to share the best parts of ourselves with the world.

Do you agree with the idea that nourishment can come from letting something go? In what ways, do you find provide yourself the best nourishment? If you are holding on to something negative, will you consider or work toward letting it go?