Hello and Happy 2018!
Like many people, I appreciate the freshness that a new year brings. Years ago, I decided to forego formal resolutions and chose words that I felt represented what I desired for the year ahead. Technically these words are like intentions, but from a more emotive and embodied space within myself. This serves as an invitation to meet the relationships, opportunities and circumstances in my life with these as my guideposts.
Admittedly, I started setting intentions/choosing words because it felt easier than having to commit to resolutions. But, because of my meditation practice over the last several years, including my years dealing with cancer, I’ve become aware of the powerful force of how presence can fuel our intentions.
While it can seem like a very innocent act and wishing exercise, the truth is with any form of intention, is that it is a very potent call to action for the universe to start conspiring on our behalf. What I’ve reluctantly realized over the years, is that in order to call in something new and different, that which no longer aligns needs to dissipate and release. This can sometimes feel like we are moving in the opposite direction and like we are taking a detour of what we may have intended for our intention.
But, I’ve discovered that the opportunity exists in meeting these perceived detours as ways of clearly seeing that which no longer serves where we are energetically desiring to go. These detours aren’t punishment, or a sign that we did something wrong, or that we are destined to have a bad year. Rather, I believe, they are gentle nudges from the universe that we are moving towards the direction of that which we called forth, it’s just taking a bit of a different path than we may have imagined.
I like to think of these moments as energetic pit stops. An opportunity to clear out the clutter in our body, minds and spirits, fuel up with the nourishment of presence and stillness that meditation can provide, and recalibrate so we are moving from a place of clarity and connection.
The intentions I set forth just a month before my cancer diagnosis were peace, laughter, love, kindness and equanimity. While I admittedly had a utopian vision for 2013 topped with a pretty pink bow, never would I have imagined cancer would be the path to embodying these intentions so fully and that pretty pink bow would actually represent being a breast cancer survivor. It was an unimaginable detour that not only inspired my book (available in May 2018), but helped me to appreciate what true ease, genuineness, and delight (my 3 words for 2018) mean in my life.
So if you are noticing a few detours or frustrations making an early showing in 2018, I encourage you to take it as a good sign that you are clearing the way for the road ahead. In the meantime, here are a few tips I like to tap into to fully embrace the pit stop with ease and kindness.
Encourage flow with some extra hyrdro-oriented self-care
Use water as a tangible reminder of flow to help flush out that which is ready to move and finding ways to nourish yourself with h2O as your guide
- Drink more water – Staying hydrated keeps our bodies nourished so our spirits can more fully integrate. Try drinking a glass first thing in the morning and before each meal as a way to boost your water intake.
- Take an epsom salt bath – A great way to help wash away the day. Imagine releasing everything that you want to let go of down the drain when you are finished.
- Take a body scan shower – As the water pours down through the crown of your head, imagine the water as a waterfall of light cleansing you of all old energy that no longer serves.
The breath is the ultimate reminder of inhaling new and exhaling old and how our breath cycle sustains and nourishes us.
- Simply observe your breath – Note the quality of the breath in any given moment (smooth, choppy, shallow, deep) and acknowledge the fact that you are in fact breathing without any concentrated effort.
- Notice the pause – Take a few deep breaths. After a few cycles, become aware of the natural pause that exists between the inhale and exhale. No matter how fleeting, the stillness of the pause is always there and naturally leads us to our next breath cycle.
Bank the good
It’s so easy to recognize the hardship or how things don’t always work in our favor. But just like a new seedling that needs care and attention to blossom into the flower, when good things happen, we need to nourish them with equal amounts of care and attention.
- Make note of any coincidences – Whether thinking of someone and then they send a text, or even having an idea come to fruition, these are signs that you are tapping into your guidance and flow.
- Notice when you feel good – When you find yourself in a good feeling situation, take a moment to connect with the sensations in that moment so your body can begin to recalibrate and be more open to recognizing and receiving when the wins show up.
- Keep a gratitude list – Write down 3 things every morning or evening, and keep it simple. Doesn’t mean you can’t list meaningful shifts, but don’t discount the easy stuff too.