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3 Practices to Cultivate Contentment
Contentment is a state which many of us seek and often have difficulty finding. When we do achieve it, it is often fleeting and leaves us all too soon. Contentment consists of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. These four aspects can be consciously cultivated by following simple Ayurvedic and Yogic guidelines. Continue Reading >
Ugh, I stayed in the relationship because I knew how to manage the drama. I am not proud of this, and at the time I was not aware, but it is the truth. Have you ever been in a relationship—romantic, friendship, business, or family—where you stayed engaged despite how much energy and self-esteem were needed to pay the price of relating?
Many of us who are smart, kind, and open-hearted end up our own worst enemies due to our ability to “weather the storm” just because...why? Now that is a good question.
Ayurveda and Yoga give us some insight into the answer. The tendency to move toward an action or karma (in Sanskrit action is translated into the word karma) is created by waves of thought in the mind. These waves are created from the re-experiencing of deeply seated habits called Samskaras. The intellect moves toward these impressions and thus creates actions by the body (self). That action is imprinted in the mind and we reinforce our habitual behavior.
I am skipping a few steps, but the overview is what I want to build upon. For example, if my tendency, or vasana, is to be the caregiver or helper, the one who is stable, then I need the proper partner to support that habitual action; a drama king or someone in need. The more I find ways to support that action, the deeper I create the impression (samskara), and the greater probability that my subconscious mind will support me taking the action (karma) to re-experience that helper role for someone who is unstable.
Yes, this is simplified, but I want you to understand that all of us, unless we pause to digest, will simply replay our old habits. It is literally ingrained in our neuropathways!
So, how do we digest that which we don’t really want to know? We have to create time and space. Yep, sit with ourselves, go for walks alone, listen to our breath move in and out of our bodies, find the gate or passageway to go within. The only way out of habit is to create enough space and clear vision, to see the pattern so we can begin to deconstruct it. Then, if we are so inclined, we can rebuild a new, more desirable and functional pattern. In other words, rebuild the action (karma) to develop the tendency (vasana), which will lay down a new habitual action or neruopathway, one that brings our lives into better balance with our true nature.
How can we start to digest what is hard to swallow? Here are a few “to dos”—simple to understand and yet challenging at times. Make some space and give yourself time. Good luck friends!
- Start a daily routine... yep, the ol’ dinacharya.
- Walk in nature every day to begin to see yourself as part of nature; with her rhythms, subtle beauty, and ever-changing seasons.
- Try to be quiet for an hour a day (okay, start with 30 minutes)... this includes no texting!
- Practice deep relaxation once a week—yoga nidra or 61 points of light, maybe try a guided meditation—just get started!
- Buy your food at a local market with food grown in your region of the country. This helps us align with nature and the seasons. And getting to know the “six tastes of Ayurveda” keeps your digestion satisfied and helps you digest foods, thoughts and feelings!
- Begin to take Tranquil Mind tablets to support your efforts at creating space and ease in your mind. The only way to end a feeling is to become aware of it and this Ayurvedic remedy supports those efforts with its herbal alchemy.
- Listen to music, positive messages, or even vedic chants that soothe the soul and mind.
- Put some sweet smells in your environment; fresh flowers, rose and jasmine spritz, a patchouli or jasmine scented candle... the nose knows!
- Start each day, as the sun breaks the horizon, with a moment of deep gratitude. Put your hands to your heart and bow your head, remember today is a gift and so are you!
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The Power of Intention
Maybe you have been in a situation—like the start of a yoga or meditation class—where a teacher nonchalantly asked everyone to set an intention, only that request didn’t entirely make sense to all of the participants. These days, we toss around this idea of intention-setting very casually, but the truth is that it can be an incredibly powerful tool for manifesting our dreams. Continue Reading >
The Spirituality in Self-Care
“How can I be more spiritual?” is a question I hear regularly. I hear it from the mouths of some of my clients and students, and I sense it from the explosion of interest in yoga and Ayurveda. We are turning to these ancient sciences because we are ready for deeper connection, more meaning, and more truth in our lives. In my understanding, just the fact that we’re seeking is part of the practice of spirituality. Continue Reading >