Happy Monday! And happy belated Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating in the U.S. We hope you all enjoyed your weekends and are excited for the week ahead. For today's #MindfulnessMonday, we want to talk about acknowledging milestones.
Our lives are full of the chase right? We spend so much time setting goals and making plans and trying to get to the next step, and this is great. It's important to feel motivated and like we are moving forward. But, of course it is also important to be present and acknowledge where we are now and what we have accomplished. Unfortunately, so often we are so focused on the next thing that we forget to acknowledge the first thing we may have been working towards. For example, you graduate from a Master's Degree. That is a huge milestone, an amazing accomplishment that should be marked and celebrated. But, too often, these graduates are so focused on what's next - where will I get a job? Where will I teach? Where can I publish? And this results in us not enjoying and appreciating all we have accomplished.
And milestones don't even have to be major life events. Maybe you celebrated a big birthday. Some people like to shy away from those, but we say, celebrate! Take it as a day to look back on our year or years and think of all the great things that happened. We can also think of the less great things that happened and see how they led us to where we are now. And if we are not happy with where we are now, maybe use the reflections to set a different course. So often we are all so modest, we don't want the attention to be on ourselves, but there is a difference between being self-centered and having pride in one's own life and all its glory.
So, this week we encourage you to either take a look back at some of your life's milestones and feel joy for those accomplishments, or look forward to ones to come. And again, don't worry if they are not major life altering things. Maybe you cooked dinner for a group of people for the first time ever. Maybe you jumped back from bakasana (crow) to chaturanga without face planting (personally still working on that) for the first time. Or, maybe you turned 30. Whatever it is, acknowledge it. Appreciate where you are, where you have been and the next place you have to go.
Have a great week.
With Thanksgiving upon us (to my American friends), it is a time that we are asked to reflect on what we are grateful for. Although I am a HUGE fan of gratitude, I want to flip the switch on you and ask what are you NOT grateful for? What is your life really drives you crazy? Is it a job, a relationship, a financial situation, your body weight, traffic, the weather? It can be a host of topics and believe me, I can relate.
Sometimes it helps to focus on the things that we don't want to bring is closer to the things we do.
Can you eliminate this thing that you are ungrateful for from your life? Perhaps put a plan in place to get rid of it entirely. Maybe you hate traffic? Commit to walking or talking public transit to work a couple of times a week instead of driving. Seems impossible to cut it out entirely? Write down a 1 month, 3 month and 6 month strategy to work towards eliminating it. Do it, now!
Shake it Up.
Movement is the best way to shift our perspective (downward dog anyone?). Through activity, we rewire brains to destress, stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system which is the 'rest and digest' part of our bodies. When we are in this relaxed state, we are able to make clearer more fulfilling decisions.
Send Love to It.I know this may sound crazy, but it ACTUALLY works. When we send love to things in our lives we dislike, the energy shifts around it. Think about how much energy it takes to dislike something versus how love naturally flows out of us. If we intentionally shift our hate energy towards love energy, meaning send good thoughts to the thing that really got us riled up our energy towards it will start to soften.
Happy Monday! We hope you had a beautiful weekend. Our Mindfulness Matters team is currently bi-coastal (NYC and SF), but we have to say, we had gorgeous fall days on both coasts - so grateful!
For today's #MindfulnessMonday we want to share a quote that we have taken on as our personal yogi mantra. This mantra is, "do no harm, take no shit". Okay, so we know that the second half of that may not seem super "yogic", but that might just depend on your idea or definition of a yogi. If you remember way back when we talked about Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga and one of his universal observances being, ahimsa (non-violence). And that's why we say first and foremost, do no harm. Do no harm in action, speech or even thought. And within ahimsa, do no harm, we also take on the obligation to be compassionate. So, we work to be compassionate and kind and to do no harm to our fellow beings and to ourselves, but, that doesn't mean that we should just let people walk all over us. Just because we are being kind, does not mean that we cannot be strong in our convictions and fight for our beliefs.
We think people have this idea of yogis as these almost angelic beings detached from reality. But, we are here to tell you that there are some super badass yogis out there who spread so much love and light, but who are true to who they are no matter what the world tries to tell them. That stand up for their rights, beliefs and dreams, but they do so in a positive way without hurting others in the process. And, we love that.
So, even if you're not a yogi, we think this is a great message to take into everyday life. Be kind, be compassionate, be gracious, but be strong, be firm and stand up for what you want in this life. After all, you just get one.
Have an amazing week everyone.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.