The Power of Doing Nothing

I recently installed a news feed eradicator that replaces your facebook newsfeed with an inspiring quote. For me, this is a gentle reminder each time I log on that maybe I don’t want to lose half an hour of my day scrolling through the facebook feed. It’s been a game-changer!

This morning’s quote was from the wonderful Alan Watts:

Consider this, some of the absolute bestest things we can do for our health and wellbeing involve doing no-thing at all.

Think: sleep, meditation, fasting.

Our bodies are super intelligent.  We just need to get out of our own way occasionally.

We don’t often give much thought to the important role space plays amidst all-of-the-things-of-life.

We tend to focus on what we’re doing during the day, but not how we’re resting at night.

We might take great pains to eat healthy food, but we don’t necessarily honour the silent digestive process between meals, or pay attention to whether it’s working efficiently and effectively.

Truth is, the space between, is just as important as the ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ around it.  There’s a whole-lot-of-something going on in the nothing.

Most of us aren’t tapping into the power of daily doses of good-quality space.

If you’re curious about how you might benefit from more consciously doing less, run these experiments and see for yourself.

Let me know how you get on!

Create a Bedtime Ritual

Each night we get the opportunity to heal, restore, and recharge so that we can step into the new day at the edge of our potential.

 
Sleep is a veritable elixir. It repairs our body, regulates our hormones and emotions, and optimises our cognitive function.  
 
Did you know people who don’t get enough sleep find it much harder to maintain a healthy weight? That’s just one side-effect of not heeding our body’s signals for rest.

When we don’t honour this nightly space for quiet regeneration our body starts to wear down and quickly becomes inefficient.

If we want to experience deep energy during the day we need to experience  deep rest at night.

Make sleep a practice,  something you attend to consciously, and get better at with time. Create a conscious bedtime routine to get you prepped for a high-quality, nightly reboot.

Some ideas to make this a conscious practice:
  • Have a ‘digital sunset’: turn off all you electronics at least an hour before bed
  • Do something just for the joy of it: take a bath, read an inspiring book, give yourself a massage
  • Journal or meditate to release the day
If you want more tips on this follow my 10 day sleep revolution on instagram: 10 tips over 10 days to get more from your sleepy time.

Create Space Between Meals

Are you a serial-snacker? An all-day-grazer?
Until last year that was certainly me.
One of the major lessons I’ve been embodying recently as I’ve been studying Ayurveda is the need to allow sufficient space between meals. A healthy adult should be able to go 4-6 hours between meals without snacking.  A healthy adult also needs to allow a good 13-hour window of fasting between dinner and breakfast.
If we don’t give our digestive system adequate space and rest between eating it can’t do its job properly. We make it harder for our bodies to run efficiently and smoothly.  Because our body is part of us (duh!), if our body’s having a harder time than it needs to we too experience life as being harder than it needs to be.
If you’re waking up in the morning feeling stiff and congested in your body with a foggy mind, then this experiment for you.
I’ve had a bit of mental-morning-fog myself recently. I’m seven months pregnant and my digestion is mega-sluggish. I’ve been waking up with undigested food in my body and that’s been blocking my physical and mental channels.  Sick of the lack of mental clarity upon arising I decided to extend my overnight fast period from 13 hours to 15-16 hours to see what that might do.
Guess what?
My body cleared out the junk: bye bye sludge, hello strong digestive fire to blast out the mental fog.
The power of doing nothing. Don’t underestimate it.
Experiment with leaving space between meals (that means no snacking!) and ensuring you get a good fast overnight. You need an overnight fast to have a break-fast in the morning!

Sit in Silence

 Take some time to simply sit in silence.
More commonly known as meditation, this simple practice has massive payoffs.
Just like our digestive system needs space to breakdown, assimilate and eliminate the food we’ve eaten in order to be effective, our mind too needs space to simply be with what is.
If we don’t create some mental space we get mental bloating. Our thinking becomes less clear, more congested.
When our mind is constantly busy, busy, busy, and thinking, thinking, thinking, we end up unable to see the trees for the woods. We create more work for ourselves and more stress.
This practice is super simple (which doesn’t mean easy!) :
  • set a timer, even 1 minute counts
  • sit in silence and observe what is: observe your thoughts, sensations in your body, the sounds around you, notice it all without responding or reacting.

If you want more help with this one, here’s a tipsheet I made.

 Vibrant living

I’m half way through my first 10-Week Vibrant Living course and we are having a blast!We’re picking apart our daily routine

s and dialling in the habits of vibrant health. If you’re interested in joining the next group you can apply here.

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It’s In Your Hands

Our Life Is In Our Own Hands

The big lesson this year for me has been just how much control I have over how I experience life. It’s entirely in my own hands.

I choose daily, through the small actions, habits and routines I create, the sort of physical, mental, emotional and relational experience I step into.

The days string together like beads on a necklace to create the sum of our life.  Like an artist we design the necklace we end up with through our daily choices and actions.  Whether these choices are conscious or unconscious, we’re creating something.

Taking Responsibility Means Increasing Your Ability-To-Respond

One of the key components of being on the yogic path is taking responsibility for ourselves, for our health and wellbeing and our experience in life.

Taking responsibility means awakening to and increasing our ability-to-respond. Not react, or be swept away with the prevailing winds of our culture, but to consciously respond to what we see showing up in our lives.

As an example, one practice I have as part of my daily routine is to examine my tongue as soon as I wake up.

Our tongues are wonderful informants. They reflect the state of our inner universe. By looking at our tongue in the morning we become aware of what’s going on inside.

At the moment I have a lot of ama. Ama is the ayurvedic term for toxin, it’s basically undigested ‘stuff’, often food that hasn’t been properly digested either because there was too much of it, or it was too heavy, or not right for our constitution, or maybe just eaten too late at night for our body to digest. Ama can also be emotional or mental.

According to ayurveda ama is the root cause of all disease. All of it! So when you see ama in the morning on your tongue (think white gunky coating) you want to PAY ATTENTION!

When I see ama on my tongue in the morning I have a choice. I can ignore it. Or I can choose to take responsibility for what’s going on within me and respond accordingly. I can alter the actions I take for the rest of the morning and the day to deal with the ama before it builds and leads to sickness or disease. It’s in my hands.

If You Don’t Steer Your Own Ship You’ll Be Swept Along By The Prevailing Winds of Our Culture

When you don’t take your health and wellbeing into your own hands, when you don’t sharpen your awareness to the signals of your own physiology, when you don’t take full responsibility for yourself, you get swept along by the momentum of the prevailing culture.

If we had a culture that supported optimum health that might be OK. But that’s not the reality we find ourselves in.

There are so many unexamined assumptions in our culture around health. That degeneration is a ‘normal’ part of aging. That sickness and disease are sometimes just random and inevitable.  That our bodies become less intelligent as we age.  That stiff and creaky joints are just what happens when you get on a bit. That our senses will let us down, eyesight will fail, hearing will go. That weight gain is just what happens around middle age. 

There’s sometimes a recognition that these things aren’t entirely inevitable. But there’s almost a resignation under the weight of our current culture, a culture which makes it hard for us to function optimally. The momentum of our current culture doesn’t effortlessly lead to optimum health as the default outcome.

You Have To Choose Optimum Health

If you’re not making super conscious, counter-cultural choices, you’re probably on the standard track to accelerated aging and not on track to unlock the potential of your human physiology, the potential of your biochemistry to experience peace, bliss, and ease as you move through life enjoying vibrant health.

As an obvious example, we’re surrounded by junk food. It’s no surprise then that a survey for health care for England found that 25% of adults are obese. Not just overweight but obese. 17% of children are now also obese.

Our environment doesn’t support us in thriving. You have to choose thrive. You have to go against the grain. You have to take matters into your own hands.

Join/Create a Sub Culture

But it’s difficult to go against the grain, right?

I’ve been going against the grain a lot this year. One habit I’ve nailed this year is going to bed early.

The benefits are manifold. If you go to sleep before 10pm you experience a much deeper level of rest. The hours between 10pm-2am are the most rejuvenating. It’s when our body naturally detoxes. When we’re asleep during these hours, as nature intended for our physiology, our hormones work optimally. We feel well rested when we wake up, we experience a deeper energy, we’re better able to regulate our emotions and our weight. I could write a whole blog about the benefits of this. I did.

Many scientific studies have shown that people who go to bed after 10pm have a much harder time maintaining a healthy BMI (here and here and here). I don’t know about you but I for shizzle don’t want to make it harder for my body to do its job properly. It’s not efficient. It makes no sense. And so I go to bed early, I feel awesome. The sheer simplicity of what we really need to thrive is quite refreshing.

Yet making this sort of shift isn’t always easy. Our culture is geared around eating late in the evening and going to bed later. Only children or frail old people go to bed at 9pm, or so the underlying belief goes.

I’ve had more than one overweight person mock me for my bedtime. Basic self-care is practically a radical concept in our culture. Isn’t that bonkers?

But there is a solution, besides fighting upstream solo (a frankly thankless task). Join a subculture, build a tribe around the sort of life experience you know is possible. My lucky break this year has been finding such a tribe.

I got myself a yoga and ayurveda coach and joined her community of people who are gung-ho about feeling awesome. They’re willing to experiment, to change, to go against the grain, break out of existing patterns and set new patterns, better patterns, in motion. We have a culture around prioritizing self-care so we can show up for ourselves, and others, at our best.

Being part of this group has fueled my well-being journey this year about a million-fold. Yep, a million-fold.

Once you experience vibrant health, there’s no going back.

People can laugh at me all they want for going to bed early and waking up before dawn to take the best hours of the day for my self-care and personal evolution.

Once your body gets a taste of how good it can feel, a taste of what’s possible, given the right daily routine that supports your optimal functioning from the inside out, there ain’t no going back. Your body knows.

The suffering you previously experienced as ‘normal’ becomes acutely painful. You can’t ignore it anymore.

I know I’m not alone in my desire to evolve into better ways of being. There’s a huge sub-culture of people who are sick of their own excuses and ready to step forward, empowered to craft a better way of living, with their own hands. 

 

If you’re interested in consciously crafting the life you want, consider joining our vibrant living community. Our next course starts January 15th.

 

The Benefits of a Spring Detox

We get so caught up in the daily grind, moving through life on automatic, that we need to take time out occasionally to shift gears.  We need to take conscious breaks to step out of routine to examine our routine itself.  The things we’re routinely eating, the activities we’re routinely doing – are they supporting our higher vision for ourselves? Are they in alignment with what we want and need for ourselves? Do we even know what our heart’s deepest selfie desire is? Or are we on a treadmill mindlessly running on the spot full speed to destination nowhere?

It can seem hard, selfish even, to take time out for ourselves. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from yoga it’s that we are entirely responsible for ourselves and our experiences. If we don’t put ourselves first and fiercely defend our right to feel awesome and enjoy life, well guess what? Yeah no one else is queuing up to do that work for us.

A detox doesn’t have to be all about food, although giving ourselves a break to only consume foods that nourish us deeply is a wonderful and obvious place to start.Roblox Hack No Survey No Download

My spring detox this year has involved me giving myself permission to cut back on busy-ness and slow right down. A focus for me was simply to cut back on snacking between meals. I know I eat for many reasons other than hunger (stress, boredom, excitement even!) and I know this habit undermines me. When I snack I steal a little joy from my next meal, because I won’t be fully, truly hungry to properly receive the nutrients and nourishment.

It’s a good idea to plan a detox in advance. Clear the calendar and Warrior get everything ready so that the process is as easy as possible.

Dividing your detox into three phases is a good approach so as not to shock the body; have a preparing phase, going in deeper phase, and finally a chance to emerge back into regular life, hopefully with some new insights and health uplift.  Enter. Go Deep. Emerge.

For my entering phase I switched to living foods, i.e. raw foods. I focused on my snack habit and started to bring more awareness to when I was snacking, what my triggers were and how I felt after the cheap nfl jerseys snack-attack. I wanted to beat myself up for snacking in this phase as I’d hoped I could just stop immediately. But this has been part of весна my detox practice, being compassionate with myself and simply getting curious, without judgment, about what was arising.

For my going in deep phase I switched to juice feasting. Juice feasting means you can have as much fresh juice as you want. You’re not worrying about calorie restriction but rather giving your digestive system a break, because juice is super light and easy to digest.

I was really quite worried about the juice feasting. I seem to have a lot of fear around going hungry. I expected to get very ragey and ‘hangry’.  I was most surprised to find this wasn’t the case at all. The juices I made were choke-full of nutrients The and I found myself feeling deeply nourished without solid food. A revelation!  I was also able to stick to three large juices a day with no ‘snacking’ in between.

The point of dialing everything down to zero in a detox is that you can then see very clearly what’s optional. What extra snacks, drinks, meals, are we eating that our body doesn’t really need? What activities are taking up mental bandwidth without adding any actual value? What emotions are we stuffing down with chocolate and biscuits that would be better acknowledged? How much unnecessary weight/waste are we lugging around? It all becomes much clearer through a detox.

The problem with snacking as I’ve discovered is that it makes your blood sugar level constantly bounce around, up, down, PoE up, down.  Our digestive system never gets the opportunity to fully digest what’s already been consumed and move into the deep fat metabolism that makes us feel grounded and calm in mind and emotions. All layers of our being are interconnected; if the body is out of whack the inner, subtler layers will be affected too. I can see from this detox the negative impact snacking has on my mental performance.

It also means we’re out of synch with our natural hunger/satiation cycle. If we never allow ourselves to get fully hungry, how can we ever feel properly satiated?

As Tidying I experienced the benefits of not snacking I realised that the same principle applies to my relationship with the internet/social media. I’m constantly checking emails and social media whenever there’s a spare moment.  This has my mind constantly bouncing around on a superficial level.

From this detox I’m taking forwards the practice of not snacking and scheduling time to check email and social media. I need a little more space in my life to digest my experiences fully.

One final practice that I’ve been focusing on this detox is the practice of self-oil massage. As I cleared space in my diary from the busy-ness and social commitments I booked daily appointments with myself for a importantes self-oil massage followed by a hot soak in the bath.  In Ayurveda oil is linked closely to love. Self-oil massage is like enveloping our body in liquid love. It’s such a nourishing practice to amp up self-love and acceptance. It’s hard to articulate how it has such a profound effect but from just a couple of weeks I know this is a practice I’ll be taking forwards.  My critical mind has rarely been happy with my body as it is and I know I’m not the only one. Our culture promotes a subtle or not so subtly self-loathing of our bodies. Through self-oil-massage I’m massaging away the ridiculous notion that my body isn’t perfect as it is right  With the help cheap nba jerseys of this liquid love I’m accepting all of myself into a loving embrace.

Detox is a chance to step off the treadmill, cheap mlb jerseys pause, re-evaluate and open to experiencing new and better ways Magazine of being.  You pick up the thread of your life post-detox ready to continue living at a higher level.  Schedule time in just for you. What are you waiting for?