The New 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 to refocus their attentions on creating a happier body, a healthier diet, and more abundance?
Thing is, while we're in love with the idea of making resolutions, the execution…Well, that can get a little sticky. Because the truth is resolutions don't go deep enough.
See, resolutions are life's surface dwellers. They take detours around our motivations for living, loving, or being, and go straight to action. And action works fine…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 waivers and the wheels fall off. Sound familiar? The good news is you have choices. So why not make this year different?
Wisdom from the Past for Your Brightest Future
This year, rather than swimming around on the surface of the health and happiness pool, dive a little deeper to see what's underneath it all.
Connect with what you're really about, using the energy of opportunity to make some unconventional but insightful choices that will support you far longer than your will power ever could.
Ayurveda is about living your bliss. Its ancient principles endure 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 core, we’re driven by the need for connection, nourishment, inspiration, and love. So take some advice from the ancients, ditch the resolutions, and try these…
1. Know yourself.
We’re SO much more motivated by the idea of changing ourselves than we are by the idea of 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 isn’t as scary as it sounds, and opens your eyes to a world of possibilities. So start here. Choose curiosity over judgment, observe yourself through “love-colored” glasses, and embrace what you see!
2. 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 governing the digestion and metabolism 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 clearer and more connected you feel, the better your agni is functioning.
3. Create a routine around something that matters.
Three things that make routines 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).
Self-care is a great place to start, but your routines could be anything!
They don't need to be complicated or all-encompassing. Don't try to overhaul your whole life in a day, or even 21 days. 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 so, celebrate!
4. Embrace rituals.
Sadhana (Sanskrit for spiritual practices) are an ancient approach to celebrating the everyday.
They recognize the sacred in everything, invite us to witness the miracle of living with our eyes fully open, and make something as simple as cooking and eating a meal feel as significant as building a cathedral (with a lot less mess).
Sadhana are all about you. They are simple practices that connect you to your soul. Create them by asking, “How do I want to feel? “ and “How can I honor the spirit of my desired feelings in my thoughts and actions?”
5. Find your tribe.
There's nothing better than sharing who we are with the world, openly, authentically, and in all our crazy, messy, beautiful glory. So why don't we do it? One word…Fear.
Authentic self-expression thrives in an environment that nurtures it and 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 doing so is easier than you think.
If you can listen, practice empathy, open your heart, and push past your fears, you'll get a taste of the sweetness of authentic connection, and you'll be contributing something powerful to the world in the process.
6. Practice yoga. Every. Damned. Day.
Practicing yoga every day is more 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 opens your mind, body, and soul to experience life in the purest and most enjoyable ways possible. So find big and small ways to practice, every moment of every day!
7. Love yourself.
Every one of these suggestions is ultimately an act of self-love. Yet, none of them really matters 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 already got a non-stop, 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!