When i’m too distracted, it”s easy to slip away from my spirit and connection with my true self.
So even when I’m confronting something uncomfortable I breathe in and exhale the thoughts that don’t serve me.
I realized lately that I’ve been playing it little safe out of fear. A few weeks ago during yoga nidra I was overcome by a feeling the need to serve. Service as a way of life. In the next moment I had a sense of panic. How could I possibly do this responsibly, passionately and in a way that wouldn’t mean taking a vow of poverty? After some meditation and conversations with practical and successful friends whose opinions I value, I realized that I needed to look at things from a new perspective.
This meant trusting my instincts more and pushing through doubt.
Life is changing. Fast. Faster than I thought it would, but I’m ready. I’m excited, pumped and a little nervous. By taking conscious steps and chances, I’m creating the life I want.
It is surprising. And in other ways it feels as if this is what was going to happen all along. I just needed to find my way.
If you are looking to a take a risk, I hope you have the courage, wisdom and passion to do so.
It’s worth it.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
I love this quote but it can be challenging, especially if you haven’t made it a habit to of listening to yourself. I don’t mean listening with your ego-centered thoughts to an ego-centered mind. With practice you begin to hear the whisper of something deep and lasting; the wisdom of your spirit.
I have found that by practicing mediation my inner voice is strong and sonorous. It says things that I never heard because I was too busy looking outside of myself.
Be still, it says.
Trust yourself, it says.
Be strong, it says.
Be vulnerable, it says.
Serve, it says.
Serve, it says.
Love, it says.
There are times that I still get distracted and feel lost. When those times arise, I come back to what I know about my best self. This gets back in touch with my center.
Sometimes I worry. These days I worry less than I used to. Worry used to consume so much of my time. For me it was worse than anger because it would hang around for weeks quietly eroding my spirit. Meditation has helped that.
If something feels uncomfortable inside I take a moment to pause. Sitting with my eyes closed gives me chance to let whatever is there to be there.
After identifying if my feelings truly reflect an issue that needs to be changed I ask is it a situation that is out of my control? If so, I can only control how I react. And really, that’s that. No sense dwelling on things I can fix. If it’s an issue that I can change, I make a plan to change it. Don’t get me wrong, the plan isn’t always easy. But a roadmap can keep me on track in the darkness.
But worry? That gets me nowhere, fast.
So breathe. Sit. Inhale. Exhale.
The journey is the destination.
There is no there, there.
There is only now. This moment. This breath. This movement.
When I’m lucky, blessed or aware- whatever you want to call it, I catch myself living in the present without any expectations. And you know what? It’s f*cking amazing.
So go ahead, reach for your toes. Shoot for the stars. You may not get there, but who cares.
Meditation may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Just try- don’t worry about being perfect, or getting it. The act of being still, even for a few minutes will benefit you.
2. Get comfortable. Sit in a chair or on the floor. You can also lay on your back, but don’t get in bed. Remember the point is to relax, not sleep!
3. Have no expectations.
Included is a recording that guides you through a brief session. The audio is nine minutes long from start to finish.
Give yourself a break and woosah!
This meditation is perfect:
*Do not listen to this while you are driving, walking, biking or using any other vehicle.
Making life changes can be empowering. Taking control of a an issue or situation and finding a solution is gratifying. I think this why I love watching shows where people triumph over adversity.
In the TV show that is my life, I’ve worked hard to become and stay self-aware. It keeps me healthy, both physically and mentally. But mastering my own emotional blueprint can be a gift and a curse. Once I have figured out why I do something and deal with it, it’s almost impossible for me to do that behavior without having my conscience rear her knowing head, eyebrow raised and finger wagging. The adventure of quitting smoking was blast inside that large dome that is my mind. Alas, another story for a rainy day.
I’m going to keep it real…
While backsliding does happen- it’s important to do recognize the signs. I like to think of it as becoming less present. When I’m distracted from being in the moment, I lose connection my center and ultimately my peace. As a result, I can feel off-balance, anxious, angry, nervous or empty. Instead of investigating the whys and breathing through the icky feelings my ego tries to convince me to cover it up or fill the hole with bad behavior or stuff. C’mon level with me, you know you’ve been there.
I’m human. And you are too. Distraction happens. But staying distracted is not the way to live a satisfying life.
Fortunately, there are red flags that let me (and all of us) know we may be about to veer off course.
Signs that you may be about to fall off the wagon
We all have triggers right? The stressors that send the signal to make us (insert bad behavior here). Before you know it you’re asking yourself, ‘How? How did I get here?”
1. You start to slip up in your routine. One missed yoga practice turns into a week. You know who you are. It’s happened to me and I teach. I know that something is up when I notice that my meditation practice gets sloppy.
2. You start to rationalize bad eating habits. There’s noting wrong with the ocassional splurge. Life is meant to be enjoyed. But when the end of the work week brings empty pints of Ben & Jerry’s, it’s time to stop and evaluate.
3. You have less energy. I’m not talking about full blown fatigue. If you are feeling full blown fatigue for more than a week or two you should be talking to a doctor. I’m talking about that sluggish feeling. Maybe you’re lacking your regular up and at ’em energy. (Perhaps because you missed a workout, asana practice or after dinner walk or two?)
Being honest with yourself isn’t as scary as it sounds. We are programmed to beat ourselves up. That can lead to denial. Instead admit it. You’ll feel better about taking control back.
What to do?
1. Create a plan. More than likely you made a plan to reach success in the past. It’s time to do it again. Outline the thing you need to do in order to get on track.
2. Talk to someone. Do you have a friend or yoga buddy? Someone you workout with? Give them a call. Talk to a supportive friend or family member. Sometimes saying the words out loud is all we need to get the ship back in the right direction. Other times a good conversation with someone who knows your health goals (and possible past struggles) can help you pinpoint a place where things started to go awry.
3. Write. It. Down. Ah, accountability is a tough but loving vixen. Pull out a journal and start scribing. This may help you identify what caused the slip in the first place. Old school notebook not your thing? Download an app. During HealthMinder Day at the BlogHer12 conference I listened to a lot of women talk about apps that really helped them stay on track and accountable. Runkeeper, iMapMyRun, and Nexercise all have free versions of apps you can use. I keep track of my meditations on Insight Timer. It’s a really basic app, but I love it because it has a journal feature. Find what works for you so it becomes routine.
4. Forgive yourself. You made a mistake. One key to sustained success is the ability to let the stuff you don’t need go. Holding onto to bad feelings helps you how? Exactly.
All that talk we hear about making lifestyle changes is true.
For me, yoga isn’t something to do it’s a way to be. Yoga has changed my life. And with this glorious yoga life comes bumps, lumps and the occasional mountain to climb.
And you know what? That’s okay. There’s no there, there. But the more I stay in this moment and honor my true self, I see that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
Namaste y’all. Keep truckin’.