Hi friends! How is your Monday going and how was your weekend? I had a very mindful and reflective weekend over here. If you missed my last post, I participated in an immersion program on Friday evening and all day Saturday entitled “The Contemplative Path to Heath and Well-Being” with Alive and Well Women. I was lucky enough to meet some wonderful women through this experience, and I’m very excited that I get to spend more time with them every Thursday evening this month! Coming off the heels of this eye-opening experience, I am thinking about how external factors contribute to our self-image and connection with our Center. This weekend, we discussed that our Center is where we find confidence, power and wisdom. In other words, when we operate from this place, we feel as if we are connected to our authentic self. If you have even been here, you know what it feels like. It’s different for all of us, but usually it feels like a spark, a burst of excitement and you may feel like things seems a little brighter and more hopeful. You may feel like dancing, sometimes in public, (maybe this is just me?!) but the point is that you are whole, loved and free. It’s the best! It’s also how we are meant to live and is completely attainable. But, many of us, including myself, have spent too much time looking for our Center in the wrong places.
The media tells us daily what we should eat and drink, the activities we should do, how we should look, what we should say and who we should be. We should be eating a paleo diet or we should be eating a vegan diet. We should drink a glass of wine a day for the antioxidants or we should have no wine at all because the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. Too much cardio is bad, so stop running and lift more weights. Only participate in exercise that gets your heart rate up. We compare ourselves to others and think that every body can achieve a six-pack or suddenly, the perfect potion or magical healthy lifestyle is going to make us grow 5 inches taller and completely erase our genetics and the fact that we don’t live in a bubble of perfection. There are so many conflicting messages and it’s no wonder why we aren’t connected with our bodies. This environment breeds disconnection and self-doubt and shame. What we SHOULD do is tune. it. out.
The good news is that we can find our Center without spending a dime, leaving our homes or even leaving our own minds and bodies. There are entire industries devoted to making us feel like we don’t have any of the answers and that we need someone or something to set us straight. The answers, my friends, are definitely within us and have been the whole time. Through silent reflection, proper rest, time spent in our natural state and mindful meditation, we can begin to uncover our true selves, who we really are and what we really need. This starts with small check-ins as we go through our daily activities. Before we sit down to eat a meal, we can judge how hungry we are or what we feel like having to eat (not what we SHOULD eat). We can ask ourselves if we want to be outside in nature or if we prefer taking a particular class or spending time in the gym that day. We can mindfully chose how we spend our time and who we spend it with. I’m here to tell you that you have more power than you think you do. All you need to do to tap into it is slow down and spend time getting to know yourself. Ask lots of questions and refrain from seeking the answers from places and people that don’t have them, at least not for you.
Let’s spend some time this week in contemplation together. We can start small….5, 10, 20 minutes every day with ourselves. You can journal, create art, go on a walk….whatever helps you find your Om, or your Center. Let me know how it goes!