Take in Life.
I recently was asked to participate in a portrait project that looked to capture 365 personalities over the course of one year. My criteria in order for me to participate: I wanted to in nature and I wanted to capture my presence of Oneness. It was important to me to attempt to capture my connection to the greatness of the Universe and the totality of life. Take a peek and see if the camera picked up on that.
Practicing daily gratitude has been part of my life for 9 years. This gift has shifted my state of being from a victim to seeker. Find gratitude daily and your life will change dramatically–fasten your seat belt because it’s the ride of your life.
I awake every new day in joy. I rest in the knowing of eternal goodness and evermore there is a song in my heart as it overflows with the acknowledgment of good.~Ernest Holmes
Pause. Stop rushing to get to the next task. Stop hurrying through the things you enjoy with the intent to take in more. Just stop. Hit the pause button. Breathe. Feel the aliveness and goodness of this moment.
In a culture of constant hurry, it is imperative for the well-being of our soul to stop and take notice. Take in this moment and see the good.
Imagine for a minute how your life might be different if you stopped hurrying and instead you moved through each task with grace and mindfulness? Imagine if you stopped hurrying and smiled more. Imagine if you held your lovers hand a minute longer. Imagine if the hug from your child lingered.
Stop rushing. See the goodness.
I have come to learn that a practice can look like many things, not exclusive to Yoga postures, meditation or pranayama. Rather, the practice can be in the form of steeping the first cup of tea, walking in the morning, preparing a wholesome meal or petting your furry friend. Really a practice is anything that has the potential to become a mindful habit.
For me, I begin each day with a walk regardless of weather or commitments. I choose to make the time to connect with nature and myself. During the seasonal changes I find I am in most awe of my surroundings. Witnessing the budding of leaves and the bright specks of color dabbled in a field is magnificent to the eye. Each day that I mind fully walk there is more and more aliveness and more reminders of the moment. This is practice.
How do you practice each day?
During times of change it can be extremely challenging to maintain an even keel when it comes to emotions. Sometimes the change of season can bring up some hidden sorrows or internal commotion. There are thousands of suggestions for managing the changes and the subsequent onslaught of emotions that can come. Here is a list of my tried and true remedies for those times:
1. Write down your feelings. Buy yourself a small journal or notebook and spend some time each day writing down what you are feeling. Often I hear people say that they want to journal but do not know what to put down on paper. Start with some self-guided questions–what am I resisting in my life today, what are my fears, what brings me joy, or what am I thankful for today? After a few days or weeks it is useful to go back and read what you were feeling and see that even feelings change. That is a good thing.
2. Take a walk. Just get up and move. A brisk 20-minute walk can do wonders for feelings of sluggishness and sadness. Getting the blood moving and the fresh air can invigorate your body while clearing out any cobwebs in the mind. As you walk, take the time to notice the beginnings of nature’s changes and all her glory. Notice how she easily opens up to the new season through the buddings of leaves and flowers. Learn from this wise teacher.
3. More than just a good smell. Of our five primary senses, the olfactory is the only one that transmits information directly from the nose into the limbic center of the brain, the seat of emotions and memory. Recent brain scan research has shown that different scents affect brainwave production; for example, with some increasing alpha (relaxation) waves and others affecting beta (alertness) waves. Lavender and lemon both effect serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23524167, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16780969. Depending on my current mood, I choose essential oils as a quick way to alter either sluggishness (peppermint or any citrus oil) or anxiety and restlessness (lavender or any tree/root oil). Shop for oils or open a wholesale account here: http://mydoterra.com/staciewyatt
4. Unroll your mat. If you do not own a yoga mat, no biggie. Just find a space and bend your body. Stretch your limbs and BREATHE. No need to worry about the “right” poses, your body knows exactly what it needs and when you listen, you will know how to bend and how to stretch. Learning to trust your intuition and offer your body what it needs is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Being in nature is so important to me. I consider the benefits to be so great that I find myself craving the trails. Here is what I think nature does: