I hope everyone had a safe New Years Eve and are ready to face 2015 with a heart of gratitude and love. <3
I wanted to share with you 5 new habits that I acquired during 2014 that I feel have made me healthier and happier. It’s hard to be happy if you are unhealthy or in pain so I’ve started with 2 of my favorite (and easy to implement) habits to add to your morning routine.
1 – Drink more water in the morning – Would you go for 6-9 hours during the day without having something to drink?? Not willingly! Our bodies are over 70% water and all night long your body is working hard to repair itself and rid itself of unwanted toxins. The best thing you can do for it is to rehydrate after a long period of rest and repair. I had read about this before, but it really hit home when I read Organic Olivia’s post showing the Traditional Chinese Medicine wheel that explains what our body is doing during certain hours of the day. This made me change my wake-up drink from coffee to water. Every morning I have a 16oz (or more) glass of filtered water and don’t have coffee until 7am. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to activate my thirst response and I find I drink more water throughout the day. Did you know drinking the proper amount of water helps you lose weight (and keep it off), helps your skin stay clear and youthful, and helps your body to naturally detox itself? Those are just a few of the benefits of being properly hydrated.
2 – Scrape your tongue – Yep. Scrape your tongue. I went to an Ayurveda workshop in Ballard and the facilitator sent us home with our very own tongue scraper. Scrape your tongue first thing in the morning upon waking, then brush your teeth. If you are unfamiliar with them, they can be made of plastic, stainless steel, or copper. I have a stainless steel one, but I’ve heard copper is supposed to be pretty good for you too. Avoid the plastic tongue scrapers. Benefits of tongue scraping: removal of ama (waste removed by the body while you sleep that covers your tongue), better tasting food, and a healthier mouth and body.
3 – Journaling – I used to journal when I was younger and I gave it up because it made me uncomfortable. I now know that it was making me uncomfortable because I was uncovering things that needed to be addressed. This was probably 10+ years ago now and I just started to journal again during 2014. This is a magnificent tool to help anyone be happier and can be a helpful guide on the path to self-realization. When I am in touch with myself, I am better able to show up in ways that are beneficial to all those around me. Conversely, when I spend too much time in my own head analyzing and judging my situation and life, things don’t go as smooth.
4 – Meditation – I remember before I started meditating how intimidating this word was for me, but now that I meditate almost daily I see clearly how I had built it up to be something that it’s not. If you feel intimidated by the idea of meditating, don’t know how to start, or think that you won’t be able to do it, you’re not alone. Personally I feel that the best way to get started meditating is doing a guided meditation. There are some that guide you through a total body relaxation that can be quite nice and will keep you out of your head. Once you get comfortable doing a guided meditation, I suggest switching to personal meditation to music. Some of my favorite artists for meditation are Deuter, Liquid Mind, and Steve Halpern (check them out on Pandora or your other favorite music app). Some nights I still like to listen to music as I meditate, but most nights now I just prefer silence. And remember, it’s a meditation practice. It’s not going to be the same every time and sometimes you won’t be able to sit still, quiet the mind, or focus on your breathing – no matter how hard you try. When these things happen, it’s ok. Acknowledge what’s happening and be kind to yourself. Say a “thank you” to God/Spirit/The Universe and our incredible planet and let it go.
Lastly, please know ANY time is a good time for meditation. Don’t think that if you don’t start your day with mediation you are failing. As a parent I understand the need for sleep and simply not being able to make a morning meditation happen. Meditation in the afternoon or before bed is still amazing and I can tell you from experience you will still see amazing benefits.
5 – Choose Happiness – Yes. I know this is a big one. Some people think the idea of choosing happiness is hogwash, and to those people I would ask: why are you giving away your power? I know that is an in-your-face question, but this is what I truly believe. When you rely on other people/situations/things to make you happy, you will always be let down. The only constant is change. When you are relying on things outside of yourself to make you happy and those things change, your happiness is now at the mercy of those things outside yourself. Your expectations are now attached to the outcome of a certain situation, conversation, or even meal. Fill yourself up spiritually with the love that is already abundant within and you won’t be disappointed when things don’t go a certain way. Learn to see each situation for what it is without attaching your thoughts or feelings to it and remain equanimous to lifes certain ups and downs. Remain in your power by finding & creating your own happiness within, then shine that light on others while they are in darkness.
Hint: Happiness is born of gratitude. You will never be happy if you cannot be grateful for your current blessings.
Spoiler Alert: True happiness is only found within and once you realize and accept this, you lay the groundwork for JOY.
Did you make any changes in 2014 that you’d like to share?