When I was in my 20s, I had goals, life goals that I was going to make reality no matter how hard I would have to work or whom I would have to convince to help me along the way. Later in life as I reached my 30s I started realizing that putting my attention where I wanted to direct my life was so important and was working perfectly but the outcome of that was completely out of my hands. I was planting the seeds and every time I would go to a direction I wasn't supposed to, I would so very clearly hear the messages of the universe trying to warn me, and if I kept going the results were harsh, heartbreaking lessons, it however always led to where I was supposed to be, something much bigger, magical and beautiful that I had ever imagined!!
I learnt if I let go of what I thought things must be like, that they became what they should be. I learnt that there is this mysterious, magical force in the universe that conveys everything, it connects everything together and only if it knows that your intentions are well and good for your soul, will it then support you! That is why I think setting thoughtful, meditative intentions are much more valuable than setting "resolutions". Here is a few ways to help you get started. Join me for the workshop on Feb.24th so learn more.
1. Cultivate Good Eating Habits
What you eat, you really become! This is not a proverb, it is science. In Ayurveda we have 7 bodily tissues, as you consume your food within hours the nutrients are in the plasma of your blood. Having a strong digestion is one of the cornerstones of maintaining good health in Ayurveda, we call this Agni which translates to fire. You want your body to be able to extract the most nutritious aspects from your food and digest it properly. You know the importance of proper nutrition, but how you eat is equally as important.
Here are some helpful eating habits to start incorporating into your lifestyle and share with your family:
Winter time means eating more warm meals to balance the cold qualities in nature.
Eat mindfully and enjoy the taste of every bite, mindful eating mediation.
Make your plate colorful to help introduce a variety of nutrients.
Stop eating when you are at a six (on a one-10 scale where 10 is a full stomach).
Eat in a lovely, quite environment, sit down, listen to some calming music.
Try avoiding eating when you are upset.
2. Check In with Yourself: make meditation a daily habit
Before making a decision or acting, pause and see how things feel in your body. Any more you do yoga and connect with your body the easier this becomes. Cultivate a short sitting meditation technique that focuses on your breath every morning upon awaking and watch the difference in makes in your day! Once you do this for a while revisit any goals and what needs to be done to accomplish them, or observe what has been getting in the way of achieving your goals.
Take some time to write everything down so you can take a step back and notice any subtle patterns. Be honest with yourself as the key to moving forward and being fulfilled is to become masterful at knowing who you are. From there you can become a powerful choice maker.
3. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Ayurveda reminds you of the power of intention and thoughts on your mental and physical well-being. Science is now showing us that the brain waves change immediately as the person shifts their attention from anxiety and fear to something they are grateful for! A simple exercise to put this into effect is the practice of gratitude. With regular practice, there is an experience of deeper connection, purpose, and overall positivity. The adage is true that “where attention goes energy flows.” As you shift your attention through gratitude you will attract more of what you love.
Write down or share with someone three things you are grateful for each day for 21 days. You can start by contemplating what you are grateful for from this past year. Take it even further by asking others what they are grateful for and begin to spread the positive vibes.
4. Spend time in nature, yes even in the winter
Ayurveda teaches us that we are one with nature, simply getting outside can restore our health tremendously. You instinctively know this but your time spent indoors has caused you to forget this important relationship. Nature has so graciously provided you with an abundant source of energy and nourishment for both the body and mind. All you need is a few minutes each day. Though, the longer you can play in nature, the better. Take a sensory journey outside by noticing the smells, sights, and sounds. Touch the trees or flowers and notice how they look and feel. Gaze up into the night sky and appreciate the expansiveness. You don’t have to go far to experience this; nature is everywhere you look.
In my experience, is harsh, long and cold Canadian winters that caused seasonal depression for years, it wasn't until I took up a winter challenge and got outside that I started loving the winter! Dress up appropriately and get outside and see how that fresh flow of Prana can help you come alive!
6. Be of Service
Performing acts of service—no matter how large or small—can be rewarding on many levels. Seva in Sanskrit means selfless service without any thoughts of reward or payment. Think of ways you can place attention on this type of service. The more you perform seva, the more it will permeate into your daily life in positive ways. Watch the barriers come down when people are acknowledged, respected, and feel cared for. Loving and conscious connections are what you need more of during turbulent times.
Acts of service can be buying someone a coffee, offering to help out someone in need, donating your time at a local shelter, or sending someone a secret gift. The opportunities are limitless. Give as much or little as you possibly can, time, energy or money and see the universe return your gifts ten times over!