In moments of doubt, fear, or plateaus, where can you find the inner power to overcome your obstacles? Can you shift your perspective in a particularly challenging situation or conflict? Mindfulness, like our muscles, can be worked and stimulated.
I have always had a hard time with a home practice and meditation. As a recovering perfectionist, I am still working to overcome the mentality that I can "win yoga." For years I tried on certain practices on only to feel like a failure for not sticking to them. The more that I began to authenticate these rituals and interpret them as my own, the more that I consistently practiced and enjoyed them. I began to not feel obligated to partake in these rituals, guilty if I didn't, or as if I was putting on an aesthetic show for anyone. I slowly began to feel lighter and more clear in my decision making. I established routines that kept me accountable and clear in my visions and goals. I noticed the ability to actively listen to what people were really saying instead of constantly thinking about my own agenda. I didn't run from conflict, I stayed present and meditated on both sides of the coin. These are wonderful benefits of creating your own meditation practice.
There are a vast amount of ways that you can incorporate meditation into your world and elevate the state in which you show up. Allow it to be YOURS. Whether you are brand new to yoga/meditation or have practiced for years, here are some tips and tools that I offer to you for creating an elevated state in moments of doubt.
Create a sustainable, reasonable, and enjoyable ritual each morning to start your day with positivity and intention. Here are some ideas that you can incorporate:
Get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do. Wait 30 minutes to look at your iphone, computer, social media, or email.
Journal about how you feel-the good, bad, ugly, in between and drink a cup of tea and coffee and actively notice your natural energy levels.
Sun Salutations(yoga) or Pranayama (breath work) to warm up your body. Write your day's intention or words on a sticky note-place it on your mirror or planner.
Diffuse some orange or peppermint oils to awaken your mood.
Create a YOU space
Make an altar somewhere in your home full of your favorite pictures, images, intention cards, crystals, oils, books, bolsters, and props that inspire you. Make it creative and unique to you.
Find your home nook
Treat yourself to an epsom salt bath-light some candles and put on your favorite playlist and make your bathroom your self-care zone.
Find an area of your home that is simply your spot to be YOU full of good energy and positive vibes. Reading nook, Home Office, Backyard, Garden-you name it!
Find a Gratitude Practice
Every morning or evening write down all the things that you are grateful for that day. Keep it nearby or on your nightstand as a friendly reminder in moments of doubt.
Write down your challenges and where you can find gratitude for the lessons you learned through the hardship.
Create Your Mantra/Intention
Find a clear and concise mantra for each day, month, or year. Ensure that it is an "I AM" statement reinforcing the energy and actions that you DO want, rather than the things that you do NOT want. Write this on a sticky note, post card, laminate, or planner. Repeat it to yourself with your inhales and exhales at your work desk, on the mat, or at home. (My Mom used to make me say I am Alive, I am Awake, I am Alert, and I am Enthusiastic...I had some peppy mornings!)
Take a Seat or Don't!
Find a comfortable seat on your meditation cushion OR go for a walk. Allow a hike, dog walk, run, or anything that brings you to a grounded state to be your meditation that day. Allow yourself to become aware of your breath. There are lots of meditation apps, classes, and books that are great resources if you would like to dive in a little deeper!
Mix Tape Action
Remember how when you had a crush on someone in the 90's you would make them a mix-tape of specific songs that you enjoyed that would also convey a message of how you felt? Do this for YOU! What do you want to feel? What songs light you up and tell a story. Bring yourself on a musical journey.
Many of these may seem simple or silly, yet the more that we can give ourselves reminders to simply slow down, breathe, and observe, the more that these practices become second nature to us. Notice the practices that resonate with you, and the ones in which you may not connect. Acknowledge how these practices blend into your daily practices in life.