Vad du gör varje dag frågor. Dina rutiner och vanor ställa dig i rörelse eller ta dig till ett stopp. De hjälper dig att må bra eller få dig att känna usel. Vad du gör på en daglig basis har en kumulativ effekt på ditt liv och har gjort dig till detta ögonblick.
Do something every day that makes you feel happy and healthy, and you can call it a practice. Do something every day that shifts you beyond your busy mind and wakes you up to your direct experience of being fully alive.
Practices are powerful when they’re done consistently. You can practice the piano or your golf swing. You can practice contemplative prayer, speaking the truth, or helping others. There are an infinite number of ways to practice.
Doing Stuff Everyday That Makes You Feel Happier and Healthier
You already have practices; you just may not label them as such — yet. You do stuff every day that makes you feel happier and healthier. Practices come in many different packages.
Here’s an example of a seemingly insignificant practice. I set up my coffee pot in the evening, so that when I wake up early to write, my coffee is ready to be brewed. This simple routine really supports me. It’s a small but significant treat. It’s a way to be kind to myself, and it makes me feel happy.
Examples of other seemingly insignificant daily practices are:
* Filling up the bird feeder in the morning to enjoy the birds throughout the day
* Driving to work in silence, giving yourself space to mentally prepare for the day ahead
* Walking around the block after dinner by yourself or with a family member to get your heart pumping
* Preparing a healthy lunch to take to work, so that you aren’t tempted to make unhealthy lunch choices
* Lighting a candle every morning to evoke a sense of sacredness in your day
* Reading a passage in a book of poetry or a spiritual text to relax you
* Working on your hobby in the evening, even for fifteen minutes, to clear your mind and help you let go of the day
* Getting up early to exercise and invigorate your body
* Connecting with your children by listening to them review their day
Showing Up For Your Life on a Regular Basis
There is a sense of calm about people who have crafted empowering daily practices. You may know a few folks like this, those who seem to stroll rather than sprint, like your gracious neighbor who cares for her flower garden every afternoon or your easygoing colleague who walks after lunch, rain or shine. How about your consistently kind friend who wakes before her family to sit in silence every morning?
Over the years, I’ve observed that poise and vitality seem to emanate from people who have established healthy daily practices. They somehow seem to be more productive, more engaged. They move through life with a calmness that makes them enjoyable to be around. They radiate a quality of excellence in the way they are living their lives. Though they may not realize it, these folks have learned ways to show up for their lives on a regular basis — they have discovered how to feel fully alive on purpose.
The Transformative Momentum Of Consistent Actions
I’ve been so inspired by the positive effects of my practices and in observing how daily practices help others that I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping people establish and stay committed to their own. I’m excited to help you do the same by introducing you to some of my favorite practices.
My intention is not to stress you out and add more items to your already overpacked to-do list. It’s to help you understand the transformative momentum that is generated by consistent actions. The goal is to be steady and consistent, not a slave to your schedule of practices.
I have practices that I do daily, such as meditation, journaling, and some type of physical activity, and I have practices that I do several times per week, such as yoga or strength training. I suggest you take your practice schedule lightly, because overcommitting is a sure path to failure, and believe me, I’ve learned that the hard way.
Here’s my take on what works.
Start small, stay steady, and build from there: When you’re getting started, it can be challenging to stay consistent with an unfamiliar routine. You may even feel clumsy. Success happens when you start small and stay steady. You’ll build a strong foundation from which you can deepen and expand your practice.
In other words, it’s better to devote some time every day — even if it’s just a little bit — than none at all. For example, sit quietly in meditation for five minutes, and do it every day until you can build to ten minutes. The same goes for moving your body and every other daily practice.
Timing is everything: In order to stay consistent, you will need an overall practice that works with your schedule, which I’m sure is a busy one. At first, it may be helpful to mark your individual practices on a calendar. An online calendar makes it really easy. Color-code your daily practices to make things fun. Synchronize your calendar with your phone to receive notifications. Download the Verge Mobile App for customizable practice alerts that will sync with your devices and online calendars.
Overuse of technology can leave us feeling as frazzled as our busy minds do. It can, on the other hand, be used wisely. Used mindfully, your devices can be extremely helpful in keeping you on track with your practices. Whatever works for you is what’s right for you. We’re all wired differently, so don’t force yourself to use technology if it is going to cause you more stress.
Stay flexible: Life happens. Kids get sick. Snowstorms create havoc in your work schedule. As you become consistent in your practices, you’ll find ways to maneuver around the changes in your schedule. You’ll learn to shift this and that to make sure you practice, or you may even decide to skip practice that day.
As you deepen your commitment to your practice, you actually become more flexible and less rigid. If you can’t get to the gym one day because of a bad head cold, it doesn’t become a huge problem.
Remember the “why”: Having clear intentions of what you’re doing and why is like walking around with a compass in hand, directing you toward your true north. Remembering why you’re committed to your practices can be of great support in staying consistent.
It’s helpful to keep a list of the ways your practices support you in living “on the verge” every day. Here are a few to get you started:
* Shift beyond your busy mind
* Show up in this moment
* Recognize direct experiences
* Become familiar with how your mind operates
* Glimpse your natural state of clear mind, bright body, and open heart
* Experience being awake and fully alive
* Drop your drama
* Embrace life fully
* Recognize when you’re resisting
* Be kind to yourself and others
* Experience the world in high definition
* Access high-voltage energy
Keep building momentum: Like the process of building strength in your body, the more you practice, the more skilled you become. As your practice becomes a routine in your life, it will inspire you to stay committed.
You keep practicing because your practice empowers and energizes you. This momentum becomes your “why” and your fuel to keep practicing. Consistent practices build momentum, and momentum builds on itself.
The Right Attitudes
You can also support your commitment to practice by adopting the right attitudes right from the start. Practice attitudes are reminders to stay with your practices. Think of each attitude as a coach standing on the sidelines encouraging and inspiring you.
The following attitudes can help support you in staying committed to your practices.
Keep it light: There is no better way to fail at anything than to beat yourself up about not doing it or doing it poorly. There’s nothing more important than being gentle with yourself as you practice. Also, a little humor goes a long way, and having a good ol’ laugh at yourself every once in a while keeps your heart open and light. Being as kind to and supportive of yourself as you would be with a child or a good friend is a great way to stay in your practices.
Drop all expectations: Dropping expectations for how you think your practice should feel opens up the door to experiencing what you are meant to feel right now. Allow your practice to unfold one day at a time. You will be amazed at what emerges.
Let go of perfection: It’s called practice, not perfect. In fact, there is nothing to perfect with your practices. They’ll continue to change and evolve. Learn to relax and enjoy the ride. In fact, the more you can enjoy being a beginner, the fresher your practices will remain.
Don’t judge: It’s much easier to read about this attitude than it is to execute it. Judging is a deeply rooted human tendency. Unfortunately, it’s also a destructive one. Your practices are a great time to practice not judging! Allow yourself to mess up in your practice. Let yourself drop the ball. If you fall asleep in meditation, just open your eyes and try again. If you forget to pause and breathe before screaming at your child, put your hand on your heart and then give your kid a hug.
Acknowledge yourself: You may find it awkward at first to call your evening walk around the block a practice. But if you look at the benefits of your walk, such as getting some fresh air, connecting with your neighbors, and getting the kinks out from sitting all day, you’ll give this simple routine the power it deserves. Acknowledge that walking around the block every evening can make you feel energized.
Taking care of your well-being is a big deal. Feeling awake and fully alive is a verkligen big deal!
© 2016 by Cara Bradley. Printed with permission of
New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com
On the Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine
by Cara Bradley.
Cara Bradley is a yoga teacher, mental strength coach, life-long entrepreneur, and former pro-skater having devoted more than three decades to movement disciplines and personal transformation. She is the founder of award-winning Verge Yoga Center and co-founder of a non-profit, Mindfulness Through Movement, providing programs to schools in Philadelphia. Cara also teaches mindfulness-based programs for corporations, universities, and sports teams and is an "ambassador" for Lululemon Athletica. Visit her website at CaraBradley.net