Where do I begin? Is there a beginning? Is there an end?! Living life in a global pandemic really has thrown us out of balance and off the straight and narrow. Throughout our lives, even without a pandemic on our hands we are all going to have our fluctuations of stress, comfort, peaks and desperate lows. These past months (almost a year) have been uncertain for us all, its shown us life in a completely different way, its highlighted our values and things we may have previously taken for granted. One of the most prominent things that has became a little overbearing is motivation... or lack of. When our world gets flips upside down, our routine no longer exists and we are trying to juggle 7 balls, homeschool 3 kids, wear masks, wash hands, clean the kitchen, don't leave the house, get exercise, study for uni, earn a living, walk the dog, oh and brush our teeth it can all seem a little bit TOO MUCH.
It's absolutely okay to feel as if your losing your mind, its okay to have those days of not wanting to get out of bed, its okay if you have a take away, its okay if you leave the washing up, its okay if you need to take a walk on your own, its okay if you need to get an early night. It's good to notice how you're feeling and it's also important to let an emotion or a phase ,episode, chapter, I personally refer to them as 'spiritual downloads' to run there course.
You know when you feel tired, your body aches and you feel as though your coming down with something...you need to do nothing. In your heart and body you KNOW you feel like rubbish and the best way to get better is by accepting it, rest and begin the healing process as soon as you acknowledge how you feel. How many times have you said 'Im okay', when you are actually 'not okay?'. The sooner we accept our predicament the easier it is to create action.
Here are a few tips to help you stay on track, always remember every single day you're moving forwards even if it's not a productive day, even if you're tired focus on the positives and allow them to guide you forwards.
Something that we have been focusing a lot on these past few weeks within practices has been acceptance, whether it's a sensation in a posture, something we can't do or how we feel. By accepting how we feel it can help us and others feel open and in control, embrace your emotions let them out or if you can talk to someone. Rather than holding in, let it go. Once we feel a little more open we can move forwards. If something is bothering you give yourself chance to ask yourself why. Acceptance allows us to loosen our grip on expectations and resistance.
PLAN YOUR DAY
Give yourself time to notice when you have your most productive times in a day. I know it may be you have a 'light bulb' moment just before you fall to sleep and you can't function in the mornings (this is actually me!) and that's okay! Upon waking or even the night before make a plan of action. Set your day around self care, meals are important, get your morning routine done, breakfast, shower and dressed. If you're homeschooling get it done in the morning as the day goes on they will lose interest and lose interest (speaking from trial and error with Gus). Get out for a walk after lunch, cook tea earlier and even work at night.
Notice if you're in sync with the natural circadian rhythm, did you know the best time according to tantric philosophy to practice yoga, meditate, conceive, write, get work done is actually 4-6am?. I'm sure we have all said to ourselves there aren't enough hours in the day, there are, we just need to utilise our time correctly. We are creatures of habit and do thrive on routine so despite what is happening around us stick to the foundations that you know and enjoy the free time if you have any.
GET OFFLINE. GET OUTSIDE
I've certainly noticed a huge increase in our 'technology time' over these past few weeks in particular, I'm constantly doing all my background work for classes, Will is working away and is online probably half the day, everyday, and now Gus is homeschooling online. This is something I'm not over the moon about (I personally despise social media and everything that goes with it!) But again, needs must and we have accepted that's the way life is at the moment. I cannot stress enough that when you're not online or working GET outside. We need to ground our bodies and minds, we need to get back to the basics, the fresh air, the calm, the weather (whatever it may be!) we just need the simplicity that the earth provides us. By taking real time out we can rest our busy minds, we can connect back to our inner child by paddling in streams, by walking through the mud and by getting off the well worn path. Rewild yourself and enjoy what nature offers, you will feel so good after.
Need more reasons to get outside? https://www.businessinsider.com/why-spending-more-time-outside-is-healthy-2017-7?r=US&IR=T
HAVE A CLEAR OUT
This is a BIGGY! Tidy house, tidy mind. This was probably something that you went wild on in the first lockdown... clearing out the house. Recycling, selling on ebay, tip trips and realising how much stuff you had was a little overbearing. Its normal to accumulate loads of stuff over the years but do you really need to hold onto your birthday cards every year? I know birthday cards are probably a rubbish example, something small.. but just think.. 1 birthday a year, x10-20 cards from friends and family... 34 years old... you get the picture. Whether you're holding onto cards, clothes, children's toys or garden furniture take a look at the bigger picture... is it all necessary, can you let go of some of it? Even better, can someone make use of it? If we haven't seen/used something for 6 months... do we need it? Getting rid of things you no longer need can be incredibly refreshing, sharing kindness and passing it along can feel so special and more importantly, the less we have, the more we appreciate the things we do have. This week I would like you to just put 5 things aside, two things to recycle, two things to pass onto someone else and one thing to throw away. By having more space around you, your mind becomes spacious too!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
A big part that not only plays a role in our motivation but can also help us flourish in general is surrounding yourself with positivity. This can be people, to social media accounts, to the music you listen too. Like breeds like, we are human sponges after all! There is a saying “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn. The environment that surrounds you plays a big role, it can form our behaviours, our speech, what we enjoy doing, our habits and our goals in life. We become a ....... of what we expose ourselves to, who do you look up to? What are you following on social media? Are they/is it something that inspires and motivates you or does it leave you feeling deflated and not good enough. We are very lucky that we are in control of our own lives and have a choice to make change, we do have the power to say no (no matter how hard that may be) we do have a choice to create positive change. So start taking note of everything that influences your life, does it have a positive impact or a negative impact? Will it hurt to unfollow or unfriend someone? No? Will they notice? Probably not! Surround yourself in positivity, follow and connect with people that inspire you, that make you feel good, that lift you up, that want to see you do well in life!! Our days do go fast and we should all bring out the best in each other, we rise by lifting others.
Its seems that right at this very moment we aren't actually connected to what we are doing or living in the moment. We are either reliving memories from the past or creating anxieties for the future. This is something I have mentioned in class and Yoga has this most incredible way of bringing us into the present. Just take a moment to close your eyes... and thinking about your future, what comes up? What does life look like? Now open your eyes and look around you, is this the life you want? Can you deeply connect and say you feel present in this moment? It's great to have an outlook on the future, I do think it's important for our personal growth but we need to be mindful not to fantasise about it. Setting ourselves up to an expectation we can become unfulfilled if we don't get there, we can be unfulfilled if it didn't happen the way we wanted it to, we can feel down right rubbish when we realised we wasted so much time being attached to it. Being present allows you to appreciate everything in this very moment, you live your day as if its your last, you smile and talk openly, you express your emotions, you don't hold yourself back, you spend more time with your children or relationships, you get creative, you call an old friend, you turn your phone off for the day, you read a book. Listen, move, taste, smell, kiss and feel with every inch of your awareness, what is more precious than that?
“It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one.”
- George Harrison
Next time you're feeling a little stuck or sorry for yourself, ride the wave, accept however you are feeling, ask yourself why you feel this way and BE HONEST. Express your emotions or feelings and reflect on how you can move forward from experiencing or processing. Plan your day ahead and get stuck into the big tasks and leave the trivial stuff, pay attention to the small details, your conversations and your daily routine. Take a walk to clear your mind, unfollow the negativity and inspire yourself with things that go you going!
Most of all,
You really are doing amazing.