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FEATURE - October 2016 - Kansas City

Your Inner Athlete and the Art of Manifestation

by Sumya Anani


The 2016 Olympic Games were an inspiring example of the potential of human body, mind, and spirit. As the torch was lit in the opening ceremony, a spark inspired me to discover and realize my own potential as an "inner athlete." Maybe the Olympics lit a flame in you as well. We are all innately wired for greatness. 


Athletic competitions are a perfect example of manifestation. As a former professional boxer, I appreciate the countless hours Olympic athletes spend training and refining their skills. Whether they know it or not, great athletes draw on the power of their chakras in working toward their goals. We can all follow this model as "inner athletes" on our own journey of achieving our dreams.


Chakra Seven - Think

The first step is to ask, "What do I want to accomplish?" Dwell on that. Fill your mind with the ways and means to achieve it. Thoughts are the building blocks of our lives. Positive thinking is the first step in creating positive changes. We can achieve anything we can conceive.


Louise Hay, author and motivational speaker says, "You can do it. I can do it. We can all do it."


When we pay attention to our thoughts we may notice a negative inner dialogue. This is our most challenging opponent. It can be a rite of passage to overcome this opponent by learning to believe in and love ourselves.


Do I always have positive thoughts? No. But I try to prevent my mind from dwelling on the negatives. It's not if, but when doubts arise. In this boxing match within our mind, journaling, affirmations, prayer, and meditation can shift us back to productive thoughts. Try this, and become the champion of your inner world by reshaping your thoughts. When you master your mind, you master your universe.


I direct my thoughts in life-affirming ways.


Chakra Six - Vision

Each thought becomes a mental image. It creates an inner vision of who we want to be and what we want to accomplish. Author Wayne Dyer says, "You have to see it before you can believe it."


Athletes learn to picture the end in their mind. I read about a female Olympic athlete, who, as a child, would take out the pots from the kitchen cupboard and stand on them, as if she were standing on the Olympic podium. What a vision!


See the positive way forward and block out negative images. Hold the image of what you want. As above - in the mind, so below - in the body. We have the powerful capacity to dream. Use it wisely.


My visions are powerful forces for good.


Chakra Five - Speak

Words have power. Our spoken dialogue should not be self-defeating, self-limiting, or self-negating. Ridding ourselves of the "can'ts" is a job. Replace limiting words like this with what you want to create, since it may become true. Speaking positively about ourselves is a skill that should be taught in schools.


'My upper body is so weak' becomes 'I am getting stronger every day.'


Muhammad Ali understood the power of the spoken word when he claimed, over and over again, "I am the greatest." He constantly spoke in positive affirmations. What we attach after the words 'I am' is especially important.


I am capable of achieving anything I set my mind to.


Chakra Four - Love

Olympic athletes had parents and coaches to support, motivate, and push them to amazing levels of success. Families, businesses, and friendships thrive on this supportive dynamic too. Others share their wisdom, teach us new skills, help us through challenges, listen, and are sources of encouragement. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Gather your allies. We need others to fulfill our greatness.


I am surrounded by people who love and support me.


The heart chakra also urges us to look for ways to help others. My athletic dream as a boxer motivated me to teach women self-defense. It led me to open Learning2Fly, a family fitness center devoted to health and wellness. As a yoga teacher, I strive to help people cultivate inner peace.


How can your hopes and dreams benefit others?


My life is a blessing to my family, my community, and the world.


Chakra Three - Practice

It takes disciplined action to make things happen. Olympic athletes dedicate themselves to rigorous training schedules. They pay careful attention to food choices, limit other activities, and prioritize sleep and rest. Countless sacrifices are made on the road to their athletic dreams.


Billie Jean King, former number one world ranked tennis player said, "Champions keep playing until they get it right."


Develop your muscles of perseverance, discipline, and productivity. Devote yourselves to the practices needed to reach your goals by setting healthy boundaries. Could excessive time spent on social media be put to better use? Take personal inventory every day of your actions. 


Learning and mastering new skills also cultivates self-confidence, which is essential to facing obstacles that may arise. Yes. You. Can.


Chakra Two - Passion

What makes your heart sing? Following our passions and living with joy are essential as we navigate life. The best athletes stay connected with passion for their sport.


Mia Hamm, two time Olympic gold medalist in soccer said, “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.”


Enthusiasm makes the world a better place. Harmony and joy are the blessings of a life lived passionately. Find your purpose in life. Plug in, stay true to yourself, and never look back.    


Chakra One - And So It Is

Realizing our dreams is a journey. In the first chakra, the goal has been realized. 


For Olympic athletes, all the years of preparation and training may culminate in a few seconds or minutes of competition. With Olympic medals around their necks, imagine their feeling of fulfillment. 


Writers who write for years finally hold their book in hand. Dancers, actors, and musicians finally get their big chance to perform on stage.


You, too, have already accomplished a lot in life. More dreams lie ahead. You can accomplish anything. The world needs your gifts, dear reader. What spark is glowing within you, urging you to explore where you "inner athlete" will lead you next? What "Olympic" dreams do you have? There is nothing you can't do.


I wish you peace and love on your discovery of greatness.  The spark in me honors the spark in you.  Namaste

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Sumya Anani is a former four time world champion boxer. She guides others as a Lifecoach, in yoga workshops, and speaking engagements. She is certified in hatha and kundalini yoga. She can be found at airports rearranging her book finds to not go over the 50 pound limit.   Visit her website for more information about her

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