Sometimes you make a plan to commit to something and then months go by and you realize that that commitment has fallen to the sidelines…you have two options at this point.
1) Get super frustrated with yourself because you “failed”.
2) Take a moment and a breath. Ask yourself “why did I not follow through on that commitment?”… Perhaps life got busy and it was just not a priority, perhaps you overcommitted yourself and truly did not have time for it. Or maybe it just simply no longer felt true to you so you forgot about it and have recently been reminded.
Check in with your “to-do” list. What is actually important to you and what is busy work, things that you “should” check off.
It is ok to realign your goals. To step back and reassess. The leaves are shedding their leaves to make room for the snow, this way they will not topple over during the winter months. What can you shed so you too can stand tall and reemerge come spring?
Be like a child and wander.
Simply take a short walk (or long if you have the time) and wander around noticing. Stop for a bit if something draws you in. Be out in nature (the yard totally counts) and take in the wonder.
Spring is a great time to cultivate some wandering wonder. Plants are growing and the critters are waking up. Each day will be different. Notice. Take the time.
Begin and end your day with a very simple and short practice of movement.
Go to hands and knees and allow yourself to move freely for several breaths; wiggle, rock, make circles with the hips. Move into a few rounds of cat/cow taking a full inhale for cow and complete exhale for cat. To complete the short flow let the knees go wide and bring the toes together pressing back into child’s pose. Close the eyes and breathe letting the hips become heavy and the back long. Come up nice and slow finishing with a handful of deep breaths while seated on the knees.
Try this twice a day and notice the differences or similarities during the morning and evening practice.
Before falling asleep. After your book is put down and your phone or whatever other screen is turned off.
Take three deep breaths. The fullest of the day.
Think of three distinct things (large or small) that brought you joy during the day.
Go to sleep with those memories in your head.
Practice this nightly. Let it become a habit.
As you reflect on the past year and begin making those New Years resolutions take a moment and pause. Make time to acknowledge something amazing you accomplished or something you truly love about yourself. Keep this in mind as you begin the new year. You are great just the way you are. Good job. Keep going.
The holiday season is officially here. This time of year can get especially busy and at times overwhelming. Find a simple practice that allows you to slow down and take a moment just for you. Perhaps its sipping from a favorite coffee mug that is only used this time of year. Maybe you have a favorite sweater, wear it and savor its cozy comfort. Watch that silly movie, drive around in search of christmas lights, treat yourself to that peppermint latte.
Whatever it is and enjoy it throughout the season. Make a special little ritual just for you. Slow down in that moment. Take a breath. Feel peaceful.
Clutter and busy surfaces can be distracting in a way that you might not even notice. Choose a small area; a counter top, a drawer, a desk top or one shelf and clear that shit away! All of it. Then mindfully decide what that space is for and carefully choose items and lovingly place them. Step back. Do you feel calmer? Even just a little?
The season is changing. Fall will become winter. This is a time for quieting down and letting go. Pause and take a deep breath. Are you holding on to tension somewhere in the body? Exhale and imagine it melting away. Do this throughout the day, whenever you have a moment. Standing in line, waiting on water to boil, while your dog takes a crap, during a commercial break…etc.
Breathe and let go.
Sunday SEPTEMBER 16
Do you start your day with a large glass of water?
Have you noticed what you drink to start your day?
Before gulping down your usual coffee/tea/juice/soda/etc pour yourself a tall glass of fresh water and drink.
Every morning. Give it a try. Change up your routine.
Sunday SEPTEMBER 2
Read something, every day for these next two weeks.
Not on a screen.
Pick up a book, a magazine, a recipe card, etc.
Hold the words in your hands for 1 minute, 5 minutes, maybe an hour. Let your eyes rest on the letters and have a break from the light of a screen.
Sunday AUGUST 19
Reaction vs. responding…
Sometimes reacting quickly is totally necessary for safety purposes. Often times a quick reaction can escalate a stressful situation and make things much worse very swiftly.
Notice how you respond to situations that aren’t ideal but also aren’t life threatening. Can you take a beat a respond rather than instantly react?
Reflect on a past situation where perhaps a response would have been more beneficial than the reaction that took place.
Practice responding. Practice checking in. Practice not reacting. Practice.
Sunday AUGUST 12
As the season changes and summer makes the transition to autumn a sense of unsettling can arise.
The summer is winding down.
This week plant your feet, stand tall and breathe deeply. Do this daily and notice a sign of change as you do so. A yellow leaf, cooler morning temperatures, fuzzy fireweed stalks…etc.
As you inhale feel gravity gently pulling you downward, securing you to the Earth.
As you exhale let go, of expectations, of summer plans not achieved, of worry, of doubt. Let go of all that is not needed in the next season.
Sunday JULY 22
Calm in Chaos.
Sometimes the daily grind of life can feel totally crazy. And overwhelming. And impossible. And even a little boring and repetitive.
Finding moments of calm amongst the chaos is necessary to achieve some sense of balance and peace.
When you find yourself in a moment of madness pause and look around. Locate some aspect of what is adding to your overwhelm and turn it off (even just for a moment).
Is NPR pissing you off? Turn off the radio.
Is that sink of dirty dishes pushing you over the edge? Leave the kitchen.
Are the kids running around making you crazy? Go outside or (gasp!) let them watch a 10-minute show.
Removing or pausing some of the stimuli that is piling up can help calm things down so you can catch your breath. Stand still, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 rounds of breath. This can feel like a reset, a moment to cultivate a bit of calm amongst the chaos.
Sunday JULY 15
What’s your favorite color?
Is there a color that when you see it out in the world its makes you smile? Take a moment today and think about that color. Find it somewhere in your home and keep it in your mind’s eye. When you’re out living life and feeling overwhelmed look for your color and take a moment to smile.
Let it bring you that moment of joy.
Saturday JULY 7
How do you react to moments of stress? This week take note. Perhaps you handle it quite well and are able to be calm and work through it. Perhaps you scream and stomp your feet (physically or internally).
Notice, without judgment. If your response to stress stresses you out notice and acknowledge. The next time something challenging comes along take a deep breath before reacting. Notice if that helps and move though it with a bit of calm.
Saturday JUNE 23
Wake up. Breathe. Three full rounds of breath. Fill up. Empty out. Three times.
Before you jump up, roll out, stretch or fall out of bed. Breathe. There is time.
That is it.
Saturday JUNE 16
Walk for walk’s sake.
Go for a walk. Every day this week. Breathe deeply. Look at the sky. Notice the ground beneath your feet. Do this alone. Take 2 minutes in your driveway, 60 minutes on a trail or anything in between.
Claim this time for you and you alone.
Walk, for walk’s sake.
Saturday JUNE 9
Check out to check in.
A lot of time goes into social media. This is what it is. Not bad, not good. Take a few moments and check in with yourself regarding your social media consumption. Has engaging with it become a reflex rather than a conscious activity? Whatever the answer acknowledge it. It is what it is.
This week create a goal of checking out. Keep this realistic. Perhaps your business depends on social media engagement and checking out completely is not an option. If so choose a reasonable few times in the day to truly dedicate to the task of posting, responding, etc. The rest of the day it is off limits. For one week. Notice the quality of your engagement and the quality of your time away.
Perhaps you can make the choice to only check in once a day and leave it for the rest. Maybe you can avoid all contact for an entire week, or simply disconnect every other day.
When the week has passed and before diving back into old habits take a few moments and notice. Did your mind relax and clear a bit? Did you find your time engaging to be more meaningful? Take note. Remember this experiment whenever you find yourself lost in an endless scroll or reaching for your phone while standing in line. Take a big breath. Look around. Check out to check in.