Happy Monday my loves!
You know what I find really interesting? Well, scary actually. The more I use mantras, practice yoga, and meditate, the more work I feel like I need. Isn’t that the opposite of what should be happening? HAHA!
Or so I thought…
Tuning in instead of numbing out is beautiful. Beautiful, but damn scary. Sometimes I find myself saying, Where the f*ck did that come from?? The truth is, we are all pretty skilled in drowning our emotions, cutting off from the truth, and daily-grinding our life away (while waiting for the weekend).
I know there has to be more than that.
I am not saying that we should all quit our jobs, sit in a circle holding hands, and meditate on our flawed human existence. Or, that we should all leave our day job and lounge on the beach in Bali, living entirely off sunshine, mango, and yoga. (For those of you that know me, this is still my ultimate fantasy)
What I am saying is that I believe in “mini escapes”, at least to start. For instance, 10 minutes of meditation and a really delicious, slow, first-thing-in-the-morning downward facing dog. Or, a walk in cold grass with your bare feet while listening to your favorite song. Or, eating so slowly that you really taste every. single. bite. Or, watching a sunset and then having a quiet evening of candles & calm with no screen time (bye-bye iPhone for a few hours).
From mini escapes, I have gained insight into what life could be about. I have seen the child-like Hali that wants to be expressive, silly, wild, and happy. I have found myself dancing to a song in Costco, drumming in front of strangers in the park, and saying things like “Nature is so incredible. Look at how perfectly the branches of that tree are blowing in the wind.”
Ok- I know this sounds ridiculous and hippie. The point is, I used to ignore what was around me. I used to feel pushed around by life and feel that it was my right to complain my day away. I felt sick all the time. It was as if my negativity was steeping my insides all day long. Like there was a dark, pessimistic, self-centered, bitter tea brewing inside me every day. I remember one time my partner asked me why I called my Mom just to vent and barf all of my problems in her lap. Naturally, I got pissed. I thought he was attacking me. It is now that I see just how real and necessary that question was. When I wasn’t spewing my negativity I was internalizing every emotion, thought, self-hatred filled statement, and worry.
So, back to the mini escape. Once you find some sort of solace in these new moments of centering/mindfulness/calm, you can pick and choose activities that fuel you. For example, maybe you will find that your two hours at the gym aren’t giving you the peace of mind that you once thought they did. Maybe you will find that your body craves long walks with your dog and bouts of meditation. Or maybe you will find that your body craves a smoothie instead of a bowl of cereal. The information you extract from a mini escape is completely personal. I have learned to be 100% skeptical of anyone telling me what I should be eating, how I should be moving my body, or how I should be feeling. How can anyone know these type of things except me?! Once you start to listen in, something (I PROMISE), something will come up. Even if what you hear/learn/extract is something very tiny. For instance, maybe you hear that your neck is tight or feel that you hold your face in a chronic frown. Or maybe a strange emotion pops up in the form of tightness in your back and belly. Quite possibly, when you slow down, things that you once repressed, ignored, or fought, will creep in. Let them in.
When the mini escape shook me enough to dive deeper, I found that my thoughts during the day changed.
My internal monologue became less harsh. I started to care about myself a little bit more. I noticed when I was criticizing myself for no reason at all.
Thoughts like this come into my head…
How are you really doing? How are you treating your body? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you keep waiting for the weekend to come? Are you surrounded with supportive people that fuel you and inspire you? Or, do you spend time with people that drain and deflate you? What have you done for someone else lately? Are you living in the moment? Are you living fearlessly? Are you clinging to the past? When was the last time you said something real (really, really real) to someone you trust? Why are you so afraid? How are you sabotaging your dreams? When was the last time you felt entirely unselfconscious?
One of my favorite thoughts the other day was this:
Are you being unapologetically you?
What is your answer to this? Unfortunately, my answer wasn’t that pretty. It was an immediate laugh and a “NO”. Then, the more I thought about it, my answer was a little less depressing. My answer is this: for the first time since I can remember, I am expressing more of who I actually am. I am apologizing less and smiling more. I am appreciating my body a hell of a lot more. I started spreading those lovely You Are Beautiful stickers around and realized that I needed to hear and believe those three little words just as much as the person next to me.
Do you ever get a compliment and then immediately say something crappy to off set it?
Complimenter: “You look great in that dress”
You: “Oh god, thanks, I feel kind of bloated and this dress is old and I really need a tan & & & & ….
How amazing would it be if we could all be unapologetically, us. If we could take compliments with a smile and give compliments freely. If we could all start to tune in and find a daily practice that feeds our soul, instead of just commuting to work with sleep in our eyes and coffee on our mind. If we could find something we love to do, something that fuels us and excites us. If we could stop waiting for the weekend and realize that every single moment we are waiting for the day to pass we are missing out on this incredible gift of LIFE.
Here is to a different kind of Monday.