The beginning of the year is bursting with the energy of opportunity. Why?
Because fresh starts are sexy, second chances make us feel alive, and who doesn’t want a reason to refocus their attentions on creating a happier body, healthier diet, more abundance? Thing is, we’re in love with the idea of making resolutions, but the execution, well…that can get a little sticky. Because the truth is… Resolutions don’t go deep enough.
Resolutions are life’s surface dwellers. They take a detour around our motivations for living, loving or being, and go straight to action. And action is often all we need until… things start to get a little shaky. When that happens, without a clear connection to what really matters, or some inspired driving force to keep us engaged and moving forward, our resolve can waiver and then… the wheels fall off. Sound familiar? The good news is you have choices. So why not make this year different?
This year, rather than swimming around on the surface of the health and happiness pool, why not dive a little deeper? Get a good look at what’s underneath it all and connect with what you’re really about. This year why not use the energy of opportunity to make some insightful but unconventional choices that will support you far longer than your will power ever could.
Wisdom from the past for your brightest future…
Ayurveda is about living your bliss. It’s principles are ancient and enduring because they get to the heart of what matters and makes a difference in our lives and our health. They aren’t the sexiest ideas to come down the pike but they acknowledge that at our very foundation we are driven by the need for connection, nourishment, inspiration and love.
So if you’re looking to shine dazzlingly bright this year, take a little advice from the ancients. Ditch the resolutions and do this…
We are SO much more motivated by the idea of changing ourselves than getting to know ourselves a little better. But knowing yourself is the secret to having everything you want in life. Getting a realistic handle on your strengths, weaknesses and tendencies is not half as scary as it sounds and will open your eyes to a world of possibilities. So start here. Choose curiosity over judgment. Observe yourself through “love colored” glasses. Embrace what you see!
Manage your agni
Agni is the fire that burns within. It is the driver of transformation, the spark of insight and the catalyst for creation. According to Ayurveda there are thirteen different kinds of agni in the body mind that govern the digestion and metabolisation of everything from thoughts and ideas to the pizza and beer you ate last Saturday night. Your agni is no joke. Managing it is about tuning into your experience of clarity in the mind, body and spirit. The more clear and connected you feel, the better your agni is functioning.
Create a Routine around something that matters
Self care is a great place to start, but it could be anything! Three things about routines that make them awesome…
- They remind us of what’s important when life gets a little chaotic.
- They give us a center to come back to.
- They’re stress killers (there’s a certain amount of stress in the unknown – routines are about creating the known).
They don’t need to be complicated or all encompassing (unless you want them to). Start with one thing! Don’t try to overhaul your whole life in a day (or even 21days). Start with a single simple thing – Know why it’s important and why you’re doing it (that’s key) and then do it… every day (or week). And when you do, celebrate!
Sadhanas (spiritual practices) are an ancient approach to celebrating the everyday. They acknowledge the sacred in… everything. They invite us to witness the miracle of living with our eyes fully open. They make something as simple as cooking and eating a meal, feel as significant as building a cathedral (with a lot less mess). Sadhanas are all about you. They are simple practices that connect you to your soul. Creating them starts by asking… How do I want to feel? And then… How can I honor the spirit of my desired feelings in my thoughts and actions?
Find your tribe
There’s nothing better than sharing who we are with the world, openly, authentically, and in all our crazy, messy, beautiful gloriousness. So why don’t we do it? One word… fear. Authentic self expression thrives in an environment that nurtures it. Getting there is often about finding a tribe or community of folks whose acceptance, love and support breaks down our fears and pulls for our success. And it’s easier than you think. Because if you can listen, practice empathy, open your heart and push past your fears (even just once!), you’ll get a taste of the sweetness of authentic connection, and what’s more you’ll be contributing something powerful to the world in the process.
Yoga. Every. Damned. Day.
Remember you’ve got eight limbs to choose from. Practicing yoga every day is about intention rather than flexibility or endurance. Choosing a moment of silence, a few conscious breaths, a grounding stance (press down through the heels and big toes, slight bend in the knees), to act in the spirit of service, or observe your own thoughts and reactions, this (and so much more), IS yoga! On or off the mat your yoga will open your mind, body and soul to experience life in the purest and most enjoyable ways possible. So keep it up. Find big and small ways to practice every moment of everyday!
Every one of these suggestions is ultimately an act of self love and yet none of them really matter until we embrace that the desire for love and worthiness is really what runs our show. Our never-ending search for love outside ourselves obscures the fact that we’ve got a non-stop 24/7 self-generating supply of love within. So if you do nothing else this year, tap into your own supply of self love. Find the little bit of it that exists at the heart of everything you do…and add a lot more!