"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything." -- Warren Buffet

Throughout last week I taught yoga sequences that stimulate and strengthen the liver and gallbladder according to the Meridian Theory. The Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that when the liver and gallbladder are healthy we experience emotional harmony, mental discernment, and volitional control. If you experience chronic irritation and anger you need to turn the attention toward the foul mood with tenderness and harmonize from the inside out. Metta or loving kindness meditation restores the liver and gallbladder. When the mind is receptive and the body is not holding unnecessary muscle tension the blood and energy return to the internal organs of which the liver is the largest. TCM calls these organs the reservoirs of Qi or life force. The blood sits in the liver when the muscular body is at rest and nourishes the active liver cells. Damaged liver cells are replaced with fat cells and scar tissues leading to the organ failure.

Digestive strength of the liver and gallbladder keeps the body clear of toxicity and keep peace in the body. A healthy digestive fire, according to Ayurveda, equates the brightness of the mind. The mental fire can be powerfully productive or destructive depending on what we immerse our mind with. Anger and hateful thoughts lead to wars. Kind thoughts lead to life supportive actions. Stephen Cope, the senior yoga teacher at the Kripalu Center clarifies: "According to Ayurveda, we become what we surround ourselves with. And so it stands to reason that we have to be discerning about what we surround ourselves with." According to the TCM, the health of the liver and gallbladder connects to the health of the eyes. The brightness of the eyes and mind allows us to see long and broad view. Clarity is the foundation and motivation for discipline. The ability to resist immediate gratifications requires the volitional control and leads to psychological clarity. Clarity is discernment and true discernment leads to harmony.

One of the most prolific speakers and writers today, Brian Tracy suggests that people who take a long-term view of their career and their lives make better decisions about their time and resources than those preoccupied with immediate pleasures. I was trained early on to please others. I have a feeling that many of us, especially women, inherited this trait through our ancestors--thousands of years in training. It takes the gall to say no to most things. When you are stuck in the mode of pleasing others the only way you can cope with it is to gratify yourself right now. Without willpower and discernment you cannot stick to the long-term life goals and live your life purpose. The ability to carry out a plan of actions from the imagination to its physical manifestation requires both focus and passion. Use the fire of passion to transform your personal life for the better. See your talent clearly. Know what is the most important action right now. Pour your energy into this one task. Contribute greatly.

If there is righteousness in the heart,

There will be harmony in the character.

If there is beauty in the character,

There will be harmony in the home.

If there is harmony in the home,

There will be harmony in the nations.

If there is harmony in the nations,

There will be peace in the world.

— Confucius