I wonder sometimes why it is so hard to adopt a new practice every day. After all, we have so many activities that we do daily with scarcely a second thought. Some, like eating, our bodies remind us to do, and some, like getting dressed, society dictates. What are some of your other daily practice? Do you have practices you would like to begin but don't seem to take on? This month, learn about my friend Mara's (www.wholespirit.com) practice that she has turned into a year long daily program of journeying or meditating each day. I am excited to participate in this program that begins on June 20th.
Dr. Seuss said: "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." I think, especially in the complicated and often vitriolic environment we see in the news, it is too easy to forget to shift to some of the simpler answers and to realize that they can make all the difference. I hope the content below helps you to find some easy answers.
Does a Daily Practice Sound Like A Drag?
I do a lot of â€œspiritualâ€ work, and, even to me, a daily practice sometimes sounds like a drag. Itâ€™s not necessarily the practice itself, but the idea that I have to do something. It brings out the little girl in me, who used to say, â€œYouâ€™re not the boss of me!â€
But hereâ€™s the thing. Iâ€™ve seen tremendous benefit in my life from doing things every day that help keep me grounded, calm, and connected spiritually; some of them are intentional (like meditation and shamanic journeying), others are more free-form and fun (like lounging around outside with my dog or watching the birds).
One of the key things is to find some joy and/or meaning in what you do with your daily practice time. Mix it up so you stay engaged: mix the things you know are good for you with the things that make you smile. Hopefully there is some overlap! Here are some ideas I suggest to my clients:
Be in nature. Research shows an incredible array of health benefits by just being outside. Lie on the moss, walk in the woods, or swim in the ocean.
Give and receive love. Spend a few moments focused on your heart and the calming, happy feeling you get when you pay attention to sending or accepting love. Hint: Pets are wonderful assistants for this practice.
Tap into your creativity in new ways. Make a meditation out of your baking. Garden mindfully. Dance yourself into an altered state.
Breathe. Simply take a few minutes throughout your day and pay attention to your breath.
Each of these practices can make a big difference in the tone of your day, and donâ€™t have to feel like a burden. Because I've seen such benefit in my life from a daily spiritual connection, I wanted to make it easier for others to have the same benefit without the pressure and with some variety. So I developed a program called 365 Journeys: Shamanism for Every Day. With 365 Journeys, a journey topic is delivered to your inbox every morning for a full year. My background is shamanism so for me it takes the form of a journey. For you it might be a meditation, or a moment of prayer or contemplation.
There is no pressure to do this each day. It's there if you want it and can be saved for later with simple subject headings. You can come in and out of the practice as you like. The topics range widely from light to in-depth, and they are tailored to seasonal and personal cycles.
This full year of journeys helps you learn, heal and evolve as you connect to your own sources of wisdom and restoration. And itâ€™s only $36.50 for the year!
The program of daily journeys starts June 20th.
â€‹Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or you may sign up for my program here.
Wishing you a peaceful heart,
Facebook Page Mara Bishop WholeSpirit
Tasting your food
As long as we are thinking about daily practice, let me suggest just this:
Take an extra moment to enjoy that sip of water, feel it as it cascades over your tongue and down your throat, almost like a waterfall.
Savor that taste of food, maybe try chewing a bite twenty or thirty times.
As you are selecting a food option, take an extra moment to ponder your choice. If you are at the grocery store, check the label to see if it is organic or read the ingredients. Consciously decide if this is something you want to use to fuel your body.
As you are preparing food, be fully present, stir love in along with the ingredients, smile as you cook, take a deep breath through your nose and enjoy the delightful aromatic flavors.
Do just one of these and see if it makes a difference. If you really taste your food, does that then lead you to make healthier food choices? If you really taste your water, do you find yourself craving more water? If you are fully present while your cook, does the end product taste better?
If you find you enjoy whichever of these you choose, then, perhaps, do it again tomorrow, and then again the following day.
Avoiding a toxin
It is not possible to avoid all of the toxins in our environment. Simply trying to understand what they are can feel overwhelming or disheartening. Instead, just for today, pick one toxin to avoid. Perhaps:
Clean with vinegar and baking soda.
Use coconut oil as a moisturizer.
Make a home made do-it-yourself deodorant with coconut oil, olive oil, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder.
Step away from a car or a bus's exhaust system as you are waiting to cross the street.
Leave a store where the artificial scents are causing your eyes to water or your nose to twitch.
Spend time in nature where the smells you encounter are in their original, intended form.
My friend Emily suggests that to make a habit stick, tie it to something you are already doing. If you choose to do Mara's program, perhaps do it each day after you brush your teeth. If you are cleaning anyway, then use natural cleaners instead. You are already eating and drinking. so perhaps minor adjustments in that area are the easiest to adopt.
They say it takes twenty-one days to create a new habit (and, no, I do not know who they are). Email me and let me know how it goes for you.
As the president of Break Through Academy, I work with individuals and groups to help them achieve their life goals through making choices to eat well, avoid toxins and be happy. As a strategic planning consultant, I work with organizations to improve performance through incorporating health and wellness into the fabric of their culture.
I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a strategic planning consultant, a distributor of Pure Haven Essential products, and a HeartMath coach.