Conquering restlessness, anxiety, and fear.
I never understood the point of ritual. Repeating the same, small action every, single, day - I always thought it would feel like dragging my feet through mud, binding and pointless. But the more I resisted future plans and routine, the more my energy divided and scattered. I grew anxious, less productive, and frankly, all over the place.
Opening up to 'ritual,' to the potential of finding consistent stillness, brings many gifts. It's no different than making your bed in the morning, ritual connects us to ourselves, increases mindfulness, and sets a significantly positive tone for the day. Don't believe me, give it a try. The key here is to find silence and stillness consistently and ceremoniously. Ritual creates an opening for personal time and space that you end up looking forward to and that connects you more deeply to yourself, others, and our world. This will become your own practice, but if you need some ideas here are my favorites.
o. Candles / Incense: any white candle is suggested. I use them to welcome in the sun and the moon, reveling in the beginning and closing of my days. If i'm seeking more stillness in the middle of the day, I burn incense: Juniper Ridge's White Sage, Copal or the classic Nag Champa incense. The smell and time-limit encourages me to sit and breathe, knowing this time is now and will go just as it comes.
oo. Tea: ceremony has centered around tea since the 8th century in many different cultures. Sitting still and cozy, enjoying a warm drink brings me presence and calm. I repeat in the morning, middle of the day, and before bed. For immunity and digestion, ginger, mint, and dandelion root are recommended. Ayurveda suggests hot water and lemon throughout the day to prevent disease from breeding. I love Lion's Mane, Reishi, and Ashwagandha lattes for mood, focus and detoxification. When I have a sweet tooth, I treat myself to a Tumeric Latte. And sometimes, I'll even indulge in a wheatgrass based Bio Coffee. If you're looking for a mood booster, Dr. Juliana King shares her favorite mood boosting Hot Cacoa in episode 4.
ooo. Self Care: I've boycotted pants without elastic and my hair's grown wild, but that doesn't mean I'm foregoing dignity. We all owe it ourselves to maintain hygiene and take care of our bodies. Gandhi and the Yoga Sutras express the need for respect for our bodily vessels. So slow down, check in - what do you want, what do you need? Yesterday, I felt tears welling up in my eyes and rather than fight them back, I let them come. The sadness left just as it came. Ultimately, our connection to self is where love begins. Here's what I do! I drop Escents Stress Relief essential oil in the shower and breathe it in with the steam. I use my foam roller or Theragun (they're on sale!) when I feel trapped Qi in my body. In episode 3, Nora Coers, Ayurvedic Practitioner, recommends rubbing sesame oil on our bodies to increase circulation and hydration. I give myself foot rubs with this incredible aromatherapy lotion, that I also use on my clients in Yoga Class.
Wow it got really easy to adapt to laying on the couch all day. I've never felt lazier. And I miss human touch, something we all need as a species. Maintaining joy has not been easy in the time of Covid. We have to prevent our Qi (energy) from falling stagnant and getting trapped because this is how we lose touch with our bodies and our creativity. This is often manifested as pain, illness, and low frequency emotions. We've got nothing but time, so here's how I keep up my joy.
o. Nature: when we look at the color green (nature) we are looking to higher frequencies, which subconsciously inspires us to raise ours. The easiest way to keep a smile on my face is to be close to nature - stretch my legs, get some fresh air, maybe even earthing barefoot in the grass. We ne
ed the Earth more than she needs us, that's for certain. If you can't or don't want to get outside, plants are considered essential - bring nature to you! Plus they will help purify the air.
oo. Exercise: so many online classes and communities have grown from this change, it's beautiful. Follow your local yoga teachers! I love The Class by Taryn Toomey for getting my heart rate up and muscle toning, Glo for creative, reliable, expansive yoga - I love Elena Brower and Tiffany Cruikshank's classes, Kundalini for chanting, breathing, and manifestating - Ra Ma TV and Subagh Kriya, and Erin Telford's free weekly IG Live breathwork classes on Thursdays at 9am PST during the Quarantine (available for 24 hours).
ooo. Play: dance, skate, jump up and down, swim if you're lucky, laugh, eventually you'll find love. This is where we can take a page out of a child's book. I picked up my longboard for the first time in 10 years. I thought I'd give myself 20 minutes. 1.5 hours later, I felt like the kid in Space Jam shooting hoops until dark. We expand from play. Throw on ABBA and dance like it's New Years' Eve all over again. If you have Spotify you can follow my playlists here. Gather some friends and play virtual games like fyshbowl. Sing Karaoke on Youtube or really loud in the shower. Laugh at some memes, you get the idea.
Find what sparks joy and light within you, what makes you heart beat faster, your mind race, that thing that keeps you up at night, where your mind drifts to over and over, what are you passionate about? Find this and do it. This website is full of what inspires me but here are some new offerings that have become available to us since quarantine. It makes me so happy to watch the goodness that has come out of these trying times.
oo. Stories: I made a list of every book recommendation I've ever received and have been downloading audibles and ebooks ever since. Currently reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh and the Tao of Leadership by John Heider. If I'm feeling down I read about the good news going on around the world. When I miss humans I listen to other podcasts: Expanded with Lacy Phillips, In Your Feelings by Thought Catalog, How I Built This with Guy Raz and of course replaying Tapping In Podcast with me, Xeba.
ooo. Journaling: Our feelings are here to teach us something, but don't you ever suffer from not knowing what the F***k they're trying to tell you? Where they came from and why you're crying when you were just laughing 2 seconds ago? Yea, same. Clarity!!! That's what we are cultivating here. I set my timer for a minimum of 5 minutes and write, pen to paper, without stopping, without judgement. This is how I get really clear on where my feelings are coming from and what my soul wants.
o/. Meditation: I like the good ole fashioned way of setting my timer for 10 to 45 minutes and sitting in the same spot, with whichever mudras speaks to me, closing my eyes and breathing. Becoming a non judgmental observer of my thoughts, letting them leave just as they come. When I'm feeling exhausted or drained and want to relax I go to Solé Weller on Insight Meditation App and Lacy Phillips' Hypnotherapy on the Pathway. This is where all the magic happens, every teacher I know goes back to this simple practice: meditation.