This quote has so much depth and meaning in it and really strikes a chord in me. Sometimes I get caught up in the smaller day to day stresses and forget the big picture - growth, change, discovery - learning along the way. Remembering we are meant for movement (physically + mentally) and transformations and challenges. What does this mean? How do we know what path to go down? We all have our own navigation system inside of ourselves for guiding us on the best path for us. Yes, it is beautifully and wonderfully individualized. We all have a purpose and when we listen to that inner voice we can begin to live out that purpose with such ferocity that it would seem impossible to go back to any other way of life. How does one go about doing this? How can you go from being overwhelmed or underwhelmed to feeling alive and free and creating a life you desire? The first step is to move towards a state of happiness within ourselves. Once we do this, we are able to relax a little bit, settle in to who we are internally, and begin to hear that inner voice and allow it to guide us.
So, I've create a list of 5 steps to help you! These techniques will help you begin to feel your power and strength and step into a state of more happiness - to live more out of love than fear, and to start to listen to that inner voice that wants to lead you towards healing and triumph and love. <3
1. notice beauty around you+ within you
Yes, there is beauty all around you. Beauty in the eyes of the person sitting next to you, beauty in the way a mother is calming her crying baby, beauty in the slow snowflakes falling from the sky, beauty is in the change in the weather and the invigorating new winds blowing in, beauty is in the person you are.... Do you get what I'm saying here? Beauty is all around us and beauty is within us. Step one = notice the beauty. There is a T.E.D. talk about how we FEEL beauty if you want to have a quick listen to hear another person's perspective and how beauty if felt in the body - CLICK HERE. The video is about 17 minutes in length which could be perfect to listen to on your commute :)
2. Spend at least 5 minutes a day in complete silence - doing nothing but being
Set aside 5 minutes that you will be alone, in silence, with nothing else going on to start your journey of BEING. Work yourself up to 20 minutes a day of this - called meditation. When you do this practice, find a time that you can build into your schedule to make a routine. Is is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? The last thing you do before going to sleep at night to help with a more deep and restful sleep? Is it how you unwind after work each day? Pick a time and stick with it. You will be amazed how you look forward to this time each day and begin to feel the benefits of this practice. All you need to do is sit, close the eyes and let the other senses take over. Thought will happen, begin to watch them without judgement and without attachment. Notice the thoughts enter and the thoughts leave. Make sure that you have these sacred 5 minutes a day. Allow yourself the space for change, for growth, for love. Increase the time as you're able to sit with straight posture longer, eventually reaching 20 minutes. There are off the chart medical benefits to this, which you can read about of course, but I think the best way to learn about it is to feel the changes in yourself. Create the habit today. Check out this blog Here that goes into 26 scientifically proven benefits of meditation. Want to do some mindfulness training? Click here to schedule a private session.
3. When you are noticing a feeling you have that you do not like - think of the feeling you would like to feel instead and simply repeat that feeling to yourself
Does this one sound too good to be true? All you have to do is replace how you feel, ie afraid, with the way you want to feel, ie confident, and focus on the confident word and you will become more confident right then and there? Well, the answer is yes! The key here is to be able to recognize how you feel and that you want to change it. From there you can replace the feeling word, focus on the new feeling, and voila! You begin to feel different immediately.
Want another example? Okay, so you are sitting in traffic and you can feel your blood pressure rising, and heart beating faster and immediately you think how much this sucks and you hate wasting your life in traffic! Now, is that REALLY how you WANT to feel? Remember, you have control over how you feel. Perhaps instead you remind yourself that you would like to feel centered and open to the universe. Bam! Just like that, from changing your thought power to how you want to feel, you will begin to feel differently. Want to read more about this process? Check out Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map book and begin to recognize your four core feelings of desire. This is amazing and powerful stuff.
4. Express gratitude daily whether to yourself, in a journal, thank you cards, or aloud to a loved one.
Sick of hearing about this express gratitude blah blah blah? Well, there is actually a reason you've heard so much about it - it works. An example is in a book I am reading right now called, Maude, and they are in the middle of The Great Depression with a broken down car and miles and days to walk without having food or money before getting to a relatives house. While they are sleeping under a tree one night Maude prays and gives thanks that it is not raining and that they do not have holes in their shoes. She could have thought about all the things she didn't have and that were going wrong, but instead she focused on what she did have and gave thanks for that in her thoughts and prayers. This is how she was able to move forward, remain alive, and stay hopeful. We all have the ability to do this type of re-framing of our thoughts, to focus on what we do have rather than what we do not have - to feel gratitude. Click here to read 31 benefits of gratitude.
5. When in stress or fear, take 5 deep and full abdomen breaths
Our breath sends signals to our brain constantly. When we are afraid our heart not only beats faster, but our breath also becomes more shallow, irregular, and speeds up. Noticing these sensations and then replacing them with 5 deep belly breaths immediately calms us down. It's important to be in a state of calm because it allows your brain to function at its highest level. Under stress the blood flow is restricted to the top portion of the brain and kept in the lower area in order for survival. Now if we are being honest most of us do not need to be in survival mode very often in our lives. Bring the self to a place of calm helps us use the part of the brain that make us different from animals. Five deep belly breaths - or more if you like - will help with this. A belly breath is when the air goes all the way down into the abdomen and the belly expands and contracts with each cycle of breath. When you inhale the belly fills with air and expands, when you exhale the air is pushed up and out of the belly which contracts. If you are interested in diving deeper into the anatomy of how belly breathing works to increase the parasympathetic nervous system and why it's important to increase parasympathetic tone, click HERE.
I have found that these 5 methods are powerful tools to use towards happiness. I've written a blurb about each as an introduction and encourage you to research further, and most importantly to experiment for yourself and notice the changes! Personally, I've felt them working in my life, seen how they affect the lives of others around me, and I've read a ton about their effects as well. These 5 methods are a manageable and effective way to start feeling happier today!
May these help ease some of the tension in your days, and lead you towards the path that you were meant to live. Remember, you are wildly powerful, you have a deep sense of purpose within you, and you are loved. Here's to beautiful you and your transformations! <3