Happy 2018, friends -
So much energy and excitement has come with the start of 2018 - there's a lot of discussion around intentions, resolutions, resetting, cleansing, shedding, detoxing, getting healthy, learning something new, and starting over. It can be hard to stay focused in the new intentions that you've set, though, and you might feel a lack of center and grounding when it comes to moving toward what you really want to cultivate.
I love this seascape by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. To me, it represents expansion, space, symmetry, alignment, balance. Every time I look at it, my body relaxes, my mind softens, my vision is expanded, and I'm transported to a more centered place. And when I think of 2018, CENTERED is where I want to be - in my own wellness and encouraging that of others, too.
This month, my friend Oceana (amazing acupunturist & yoga teacher) and I have been leading over 40 people through a Cleanse and Restore program, and there have been lots of wonderful discoveries, growth, connection and transformation throughout the month. I'm excited to be reminded that joining together and supporting yourself holistically with new self care practices, mindful food choices, supplements, lifestyle adjustments and connecting with others has created some powerful shifts. Think about joining us for the next one April! Spring is a great time of year to refresh your wellness intentions and give your body some love. Start date will be April 23rd. So, put it in your calendars and make a plan to join us! (Check out my December blog post for more details).
Back to the idea of CENTERING.....Instead of giving up when you start to feel off balance which so commonly happens, I encourage you to try cultivating practices that center you and keep you grounded all throughout 2018 and beyond. Staying centered is an important component of your mental and emotional health and has a huge impact on your wellbeing. When you start to feel off-center, you might start stress eating, or sleeping less, or maybe you don’t get any physical activity or self care. Sound familiar? I’m sure it does, because when you’re feeling ungrounded and out of focus, one or more of your habits, especially the new ones you want to cement, are bound to fall away. **This not about being “perfect” and having everything in order, instead it’s about using all of your tools to feel healthy and well in 2018.
Here are my 5 go-to’s for maintaining an expansive and centered view while encouraging everything else this 2018 - work, relationships, well-being - to fall into place.
1. List your non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are those things in your routine or your lifestyle that are must-do’s that you prioritize to stay well. Take time to reflect on your lifestyle and decide what things you need to feel 100% and at your best every day. This could be making sure you get some kind of physical activity, at least 5 minutes of meditation, journaling, telling your family/friends/significant other “I love you”, walks with your pet, time away from your devices, etc. You know yourself best and you know what what works best for you.
2. Create routines. Do you have a morning routine? Creating and practicing a routine is one of the most powerful things you can do to train your body to stay centered. There are many different kinds of routines – morning, evening, workout, workday - but a morning routine sets your body and mind up in a specific way each day. There’s great power in starting your day feeling calm and in control.
3. Schedule your healthy habits. Whenever you're trying to cultivate new habits whether it's drinking more water, getting more exercise, practicing yoga more often, or writing in a gratitude journal every day, it's too easy to forget to do them unless you've allotted the time for them. So, at the start of each week, make sure to look at your calendar and put those activities in.
4. Mindfulness meditation. This is a truly powerful practice that I recommend time and time again to my clients, friends, family - everyone. It improves concentration, cultivates resilience, decreases stress, and improves our ability to get and stay centered. One of my teachers, Sharon Salzberg, says, "If you are breathing, you can meditate." And it's true! I'm so excited to be participating in her Meditation Challenge again this year February 1-28. It's not to late to join me and the 20,000+ other people from around the world committed to starting or deepening their meditation practice. Sign up here and let me know. I'd love to support you!
5. Enlist support. If you've made intentions for this year, but you haven't told anyone about them, you're missing out on the power of accountability. Call up your friend, join a likeminded community, tell me. That's how we move forward, so don't be afraid to reach out. In the cleanse program I was writing about earlier, one of the most helpful and empowering aspects of it has been for the 40 of us to join together as a community to share goals, struggles, updates, care and motivation with each other. There is definitely success and power in numbers.
So, for this new 2018, center yourself. Focus on your well-being. Expand your horizons. Make these things priorities. You deserve good health and you deserve to feel well.
Happy 2018, friends -