Okay…hold up… before you take that next bite or step or send that next text stop for a second and ask yourself this question… Who am I, really?
Oh and I get that it's the New Year and you probably have some resolutions to make or work to get back to, and I imagine with all the excitement around the beginning of the year you might be thinking…ain't nobody got time for these questions!
But let me assure you that taking a few moments to ponder this question… is going to be the key to having the New Year (and the life) you really want.
So allow me (and Ayurveda), to tell you why…
One of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda (the ancient Indian system of health and living) is that (and I'm paraphrasing slightly here)…
Everything you come into contact with has the potential to create balance (health, happiness, the good stuff) or imbalance (discomfort, disease, general cruddiness).
Your food, your friends, your family, your job, your music, your city, your house, your exercise, your ideas and thoughts, the seasons, and yes even your favorite sweater all have a small or big part to play in your state of health.
Now that's a powerful little statement, right there, but when you think about it… it makes sense. The key to tipping the odds in your favor is…
- Knowing what balance looks (and feels) like, and
- Knowing what brings you balance.
And this, my friend, is an impossible task… unless… you know who you are.
Some say balance is overrated but ultimately the pay off for knowing who you are is having a clear picture (a map if you will) of all the things, people, and experiences that create joy, power, resilience, confidence and success in your life.
That same map will also let you know what stands in your way by pinpointing where the land mines (like fear, anxiety and anger) are buried so that you can maneuver your way around them.
And with that in your back pocket, you'll have the knowledge and vision you need to make healthy choices. You'll also be in a position to dance with life a little more, instead of playing tackle football with it… A skill that's immensely valuable at times when life gets a little intense … like say… the New Year!
I know what you're thinking … So how do I start to get a handle on “Me” without spending a lot of time (and money) in therapy.
Easy, try this…
1. Pay Attention
What makes you smile, cry, squirm, feel good in your body? What pisses you off? What makes you cringe, or anxious, calm or physically ill (don't worry so much about the why). Resist ignoring these things or passing them off as unimportant. These experiences, reactions, and sensations are the building blocks of you. They are the clues your mind, body and soul give you for finding your path in life. They are important.
2. Discover Your Dosha
Ayurveda holds that everything we do is in accordance with our true nature. And our physical, mental and emotional characteristics are a result of the functions and interaction of three energetic forces, Vata – the energy of movement, Pitta – the energy of transformation and Kapha – the energy of cohesion. These three forces are the natural intelligences that define everything from your bone structure, to your favorite color. And each of us is a unique combination of them. Understanding (and embracing) your own personal combo (or dosha), gives you insights and power for interacting with everything (and everyone) around you! (the simplest way to discover your dosha is to take an online quiz or test or even better ask an Ayurvedic practitioner to help you!).
3. Don't Hold Back
It's no secret that we've spent most of our lives being taught (in one way or another) to reign ourselves in. To hold back, observe the “appropriate”, step in line, yada yada. And if you've ever wondered why you're such a mystery to yourself (and others) … BINGO! So don't be afraid to trust and express yourself – it's actually your ticket to happiness and good health. You will surprise yourself in ways you never thought possible!
4. Pay Attention
Oh and did I mention you should pay attention? Once you start to get a handle on your true nature, it's time to watch how it works for (and against) you. What are your tendencies and interests ? What are your typical reactions and the results of those reactions? And while you're at it, definitely consider this: Everything is connected so an emotional or mental experience might produce a physical result (e.g. sadness causing a stomach ache, or constipation resulting from anxiety) and vice versa. So approach it with the mind of a sleuth and you'll discover so much more.
So now I imagine you might be thinking… Is all this trouble really worth it? Hell yeah it's worth it and so are you! How do I know…?
I know because for me, this process of self discovery and finding out my dosha, has been like turning on the light. Lots of things have started to make sense (finally!). Now, more often than not I can see things coming from a mile away; Things like colds and flus, rashes and headaches (even weight gain and anxiety), AND I'm able to do something about them before they take hold. But almost better than that, I feel like I've got more of a say in what happens in my body, and that flows into to all the other areas of my life. And BAM!, look at that…I'm queen of my world!