Monday, 31 March 2014

Letting go of "Busy" as a Status Symbol'll admit it. At times, I love being busy. I love the feeling of being engaged with the world. I feel a sense of inspired flow, connectedness and purpose. But then there are times when my body wants to slow down, when it demands self-care, compassion and patience- and I've waited to long. I held on to "busy" when it no longer fulfilled me.

Today I was able to slow down and come back to fulfillment. Two things I've learned about fulfillment: its connected to the heart and it happens in the moment. The process of coming to my heart required me to create space.

Unplanned time.

Time to let go and be still.

Time to look inwards mindfully: "What do I need right now?"

And when in the past the answer would involve planning and action, today it was about having the courage to slow down, be with my truth and honor stillness and space.

Busy is not unhealthy, in fact we can be thriving greatly when we are busy. But its when we become attached to busy that it can become toxic. When the intention is to be busy as a way of hustling for our self-worth, then we know its time to put the brakes. When busy becomes more about pleasing people and appearing put-together and accomplished than feeling good, then its time to let go.

I've finally realized that the only time "busy" is healthy is when my body is in full agreement.

It can be tough sometimes. Our society tends to value the accomplished, productive and extroverted. And while productivity can work in our favor, its actually productivity itself that demands rest. Downtime. Time alone.

Let's let go. Let go of the "shoulds" and the unnecessary pressure. Because while sometimes we love the rush, we also love the stillness. Let's let go of the need to please and do what feels good, give ourselves what we need, when we need it. Because at the end of the day, its all about how we feel. And whatever it is we choose to do, the intention behind the choice is what counts.

I'm sure I will be writing more about honoring the part of ourselves that revels in stillness and space. Until then, here's a quote that has always rung true for me.

"Create a life that feels good on the inside. Not one that just looks good on the outside."


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

What is Quality of Life?
Once I started experiencing the kind of life I want, I realized this: it is simply not possible to "unlearn" something we physically know. When know true happiness and fulfillment, when we know ourselves and the things that provide this physical experience for us, there is no going back.

Once we've tasted greatness, there is no more mediocrity.

It's happening. It's real. When my body came to know the experience of feeling truly present (mindfulness played a huge part in bringing me to a more connected place, one where I am in touch with the voice of my heart and the needs of my body), I realized that going back was simply not an option anymore.

A few things happened, leading me to quality of life.

I broke down and realized my life experience was not one of expansion and abundance but of limitation.
I met some incredible, inspiring people who I feel so blessed to have in my life. (And began practicing gratitude, and realizing how powerful it is as a means of further expanding the positive in our lives)

I began taking risks, going on adventures, cultivated a mindset of abundance and put my dreams into action.

Sounds simple right? Well it is simple, but I would be lying if I didn't acknowledge that there has been challenge.

And while there is challenge, we always do come back to the bliss.

Once we know where our energy and fulfillment comes from, our level of focus is what will determine the quality of our lives.

Are we able to say no to people to the environments, opportunities and people who are not adding to our happiness?

Of course.

And how do we stay focused in our decisions? By being aware and making more empowered choices.
"This is to say make more choices, and make more empowered ones."
- Danielle LaPorte

Our happiness really is cultivated through the choices we make each day- from who we choose to spend our energy on to the kind of work we engage in.

I also realized that not choosing is also a choice. The magic happened when I realized how inspiring, empowering and liberating it feels to take responsibility for my choices. Coming from a decisive, empowered  place in my life became less about making the perfect choice (it doesn't exist!), and more about practicing the art of choice-making and learning through this practice- in doing this we learn more about ourselves, what is working, what isn't and ultimately what we want more of.

Now I'll leave you with a question.  A friend of mine who is also an incredible role model and inspiration (you know who you are!) encapsulated  "Quality of Life" beautifully in one of our phone conversations. I was finding myself challenged with a certain part of my life. What I learned from this phone conversation really put things into perspective.

"If we want to live a high quality life, we need to ask ourselves high quality questions." When my friend said this, it clicked.

So I asked myself, "Is ____ incredible?" Immediately I found perspective, I realized what wasn't contributing to my happiness, and of course this naturally pushed me towards the necessary action that create change.

Fill in the blank with something in our lives that we are not sure is contributing to our happiness- a relationship, living situation, job, environment, plan- because when we ask high quality questions, the answers become simple.

And sometimes acknowledging how a situation is really making us feel is hard,but with the same token- I've realized that it is through acknowledging truth that we become aware, alive and propelled to take positive action.

Are you ready?


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Reconnecting with the Heart I started writing this post, I found myself typing and retyping the first sentence multiple times. I didn't know where to start, trying to emphasize the importance of one thing without downplaying the other- this is balance.

Then I realized that its because I want to emphasize the importance of rest and reflection without devaluing the importance of structure and accomplishing our goals. The truth is that we need both. 

But often we give more respect to productivity and accomplishment during times when what we really need is time to recharge and reconnect with our heart. Soulcharge I call it- time we create in our lives to focus on filling our cup and recharging our soul, as well as the specific practices we do to make this happen- booking a trip, preparing a nourishing meal and many more.

Especially during the winter, the body needs more rest and care. Nourishment. Compassion and love. And we can tend to push ourselves. More than is healthy. And this pushing is really not even necessary I've found.

In the past few weeks, there were times when I felt quite burnout- I was focusing on work and giving to others more than I was giving to myself.

And then it clicked as I've learned again and again: it is only by taking time to love and care for ourselves that we can truly give to others. That we can give to others without compromising our energy. We are better able to help others because instead of our energy being forced, it is sustained, inspired and grounded.

And upon realizing the importance of this truth, I came back to my heart.

And then it came to me: mindfulness. Mindfulness changes the quality of our lives.

Its about getting back in touch with the present moment, our body and the breath. Its about present moment awareness and checking in with how we feel right now.

Overworking can create misalignment- our head gets ahead of our heart (Ironic, I know!) And when our head is ahead of our heart, we lose touch of the here and now. Mindfulness brings us back to the present moment where true fulfillment lies.

Where we realize that nothing really matters more than our health and happiness, that we live a life that is full of abundance, connection and nourishment.