Well, looks like we have successfully made it into the second month of the year. How do you feel? Did you stick to your resolutions? Do you have uncertainty or doubt about any of the goals and intentions you set forth? Or is it all pride and patting yourself on the back?
I'm a mix of both. I had my ups and downs, but thankfully, I had a few more ups than downs. I'm a little surprised at my ability to have remained as disciplined as I did. One of my main intentions for this year was to start fresh and set myself up for success by creating a somewhat regimented morning routine for both weekdays and weekends. The sucky (or I guess not so much anymore) part of that, is that it requires me to wake up at 430am on work days. Yes, you read that right. Before the sun is up. I'll speak to the spiritual benefits of waking up during that time in a later post. But, it took a lot of coaxing for me to get where I did this year so far. I'm generally a morning person, so the waking up part doesn't get me so much as does the love for staying in bed. I love being cozy and warm under my comforter and sheets. There's nothing worse than trudging your way into a cold bathroom, just to get your day going while you're half asleep.
It takes a lot of discipline. Again, I've surprised myself.
One of the 5 niyamas of Yoga is tapas (not pronounced as the yummy little dishes from Spain, but tu-pas). Very loosely, this term is often translated as austerity or discipline. The root of tapas in sanskrit (tap) means to burn. Any austerity requires an immense amount of burning in a few ways. One, there needs to be a burning desire to go through whatever discipline you want to set in your life. The other aspect is that through devout discipline, your quite literally burn through bad or old habits to make room for those that will aid in your spiritual growth. Both of these aspects are important in order to continue on the path of spiritual progress.
A lot (if not all) of my morning workday morning routines are intended to create intense tapas so that I may become closer to my ultimate goal of understanding and realizing the Universe. Many bad habits have to be broken for me to continue one step closer each day. And laziness is one of them. It never got anyone anywhere.
My desire to become incredibly disciplined is to cut that habit out of my life completely.
The biggest challenge is yet to come. The ability to keep up the momentum into the months of the new year tend to be a struggle for most (I hope I'm not alone in this!). I wanted to share a little chart that I created with all of you in hopes that we can track our progress together!
There is beauty in community working together to help each other achieve incredible things.
I created this chart for me to track my goals. It's nothing fancy, but simple enough to use on a daily basis. Simply list out the habits you are trying to implement in your life on the left.
Write in the month on top. And for each day of the month, give yourself a check mark or even better a GOLD STAR for completing your task that day (everyone deserves seeing gold stars for achieving their goals!).
This chart is free for you to have and use day in and day out the rest of the year!
What goals are you trying to accomplish this year? Share below! Keep up the momentum. You can only go up from here!
“Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal momentum of the human soul and mind.”
The heat is on! Summer is right around the corner, and it seems as though we just skipped spring altogether. As much as I love the heat and everything that comes with the summertime, I also know that it can take a huge toll on my skin. Dry, chapped, sunburnt, and constantly looking red—none of which is appealing.
Thankfully, Ayurveda—the sister science of Yoga, has given us the exact tools we need for beautiful, glowing, and healthy skin. The best part? Most of these tools can be found right in your kitchen. The other beauty of Ayurveda is that it uses the easiest to find, simple ingredients that make the biggest impact on our overall wellbeing and health.
Keep these on hand, either in the kitchen or your bathroom, to combat the harsh heat to your skin.
Some other tips to keep in mind:
Enjoy all that summer has to offer, without the burnout! Here’s to beautiful days spent out in the sun and warmth
Another book for me to share with you guys! I've been on this kick with books this year. My goal is to read a minimum of 7 in 2017. So, naturally, I have a lot of books to share. This one is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I'm sure many of you have heard of this one, but I just wanted to give you a quick rundown of what it did for me.
The whole premise of this book is basically a way of parting with quite literally stuff that is excess in your home. Marie Kondo helps you create a relationship with all the items in your house to see whether or not they spark joy in you or not. It's pretty cool how she has set up the whole theory and process. You go category by category dumping all of your contents onto the floor, picking up each one, and seeing whether or not it has a value in your life. The way she goes about it is quite amazing.
Although I haven't gone about the whole process of tidying and discarding all of my excess things, I think this has really put a lot of things into perspective. I've been dabbling with minimalism in learning more and more about it. Again, I am in no means a minimalist, and I am actually far from it. But, at the end of the day, the message is something that I hold near to my heart.
One of the 8 limbs of Yoga talk about santosha or satisfaction. Am I truly satisfied with what I have in front of me at this current moment? Or am I constantly reaching out for more and more and more? It's a hard balance for me. I swing from one extreme to the other. One of my 2017 resolutions was to decrease my extra spending significantly. Have I been successful at it? Eh. Kind of. I won't lie and tell you that I didn't have a weekend of splurge here and there, but with that intention in the back of my mind, I've seen major improvements.
The key thing for me is living as true to what the Yoga Sutras say. They are a great tool to help guide us through this very external sensory world, allowing us and helping us go deeper and deeper inside.
With all of this said, it's a process! I am neither advocating for everyone to turn into minimalists, nor am I saying that everyone should go and buy everything their hearts desire. At the end of the day, we have to do what feels right. In order to understand what that really is though, is we have to take those extra steps to go internal and dig deep within us.
I highly encourage you guys to read this book though! It was a great perspective on all of the stuff we have around us. Ask yourself--does it truly bring you joy? What I'm thinking...probably not every single thing like you thought. See for yourself!