I've been sitting with this blog idea for months and it's time for me to take the leap and simply put it out there. Many of you follow my monthly Facebook Live posts where I share tips and ideas for daily routines, managing pain, and moving into your more authentic self. However, some of my students and clients have asked for the information in a different format, since not everyone is on FB. So, here it is...the first installment of "Life's Little Box of Tools." Each month, I will highlight lessons in hopes of inspiring you to create your own personal practice.
What is your personal practice and why do you need one?
A personal practice is like a compass through the uncharted waters of life. Good times, stressful times, times of grief/loss, or even times of celebration, all require a personal reserve of energy. But, when we're running on little to no go-go juice, staying fully engaged in our experiences can feel unattainable. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you wake up looking forward to the day or do you wish you could just stay hidden under the covers?
2. Do you approach your to-do list with creativity or with the feeling of overwhelm?
3. Do you feel supported by your environment/friends/family or sabotaged with every action you take?
4. Do you fall asleep with ease or do you spend most of the night watching the clock?
I think you know where I'm going with this. But if our answers to the above questions are always the later, how do we find the energy to experience something different? Sometimes, it takes small steps to adjust our course and feel more aligned with life. These small steps are the makings of a personal practice.
Finding which tools to include in your practice takes, well...ah...practice! In these blog installments, I'll make plenty of suggestions but you need to try them on for size. Tools that fit one person won't fit everyone. Before dismissing something simply because it feels "uncomfortable," treat each one like an experiment. Use it for a week and track your energy. Tune in to the subtle differences happening in and around you. Ask questions and get support from a friend, loved one, or even a coach.
So, for this month's personal practice suggestion, I'm asking you to start where you are. Don't change anything! Just make a list and notice what you do on a daily basis. Use the following list to observe your current routine:
1. Upon Waking Up
a. How do you spend the first 30 minutes of each day?
b. Is it always the same?
c. Looking at these repetitive actions, which ones are indispensable? Brushing teeth, a cup of coffee, etc.
2. Midday Check-In
a. Do you have a set time for lunch? If so, how long?
b. How much energy do you have by noon, by 2:00pm, and by 5:00pm
c. Do you have any routine activities you like to do from 10:00-5:00?
3. Evening Rituals
a. Do you eat dinner at a regular time?
b. How do you wind-down from your day?
c. What do you do the last 30-60 minutes of your day before going to sleep?
Some of you are answering these questions on the spot but I encourage you to spend the next week really observing your habits and tracking your energy. I know, it seems tedious but let me ask you this. If you wanted to use Google Map to find out how to get somewhere, wouldn't you have to put in your starting location? Let's find out truthfully where you are right now. Then the course correction to the destination can begin.
I'll be talking about this Thursday, May 4th on my Facebook page Live. Join me or tune in for the replay to post questions or share your journey. Look for the next installment the first week of June. Until then, happy observing!