As we continue to gain more daylight, growing every little bit more until the equinox – when the day and night are equal – I want to focus on bringing more balance into your life.
Now I know that balance has gotten a bad rap lately as the overused “work-life balance” shtick has fully run its course and then some. However, I’m going to posit that there are many types of balance. Some literally mean equal – as in the equinox, which is Latin for “equal night”, and others are more about being in harmony.
This month we’ll talk about how keeping a harmonious balance in your life is critical to enjoying the highs and coping with the lows.
First off – tools to balance your mind and body!
At the beginning of this year, I started a new morning routine. It’s from The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrond At first I thought it would be just too much work and trouble, even for the purportedly amazing benefits, but I was willing to give it a 30 day try (as per his challenge). I’ve managed to stick with it right through to March already and it wasn’t as hard as I’d expected to add this routine into my morning. I like to take things easy upon waking up and this allowed me to slowly wake up and get moving in my day.
Part of the miracle morning (there are 6 steps, I’ll tell you more about that later) is silence and exercise. For the silence part he recommends meditation. Since I’d already been dabbling in meditation over the past year I thought, sure why not? That’s easy enough.
“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.” – Jean Arp
Usually I prefer guided meditations that help you focus your mind and take you on a little journey. However, I thought listening to someone else talking me through meditation doesn’t really count as silence. Therefore I tried to do a more stereotypical “clear your mind of thoughts” type of meditation.
One of my favorite apps is Calm (website is Calm.com). They have beautiful nature scenes that make you feel like you’re really at the beach, or in a flowering meadow. Calm does have guided meditations (more options are available for subscribers) but I usually use the timer feature.
I will admit that I’ve found it difficult to keep my mind easy breasy. But meditation is not meant to clear all your mind of thoughts, it’s really about keeping you in the present and not getting carried away by those thoughts. This is a problem for me at times, for as an Aquarius, I think – A LOT.
Rather than trying to tame my thoughts I simply envisioned them as clouds in the sky, and me lying in the meadow watching them float by. I could then acknowledge they were there and let me move along. That has helped my meditation practice greatly, and it’s easier to bring my attention back around to the present moment.
The trick with meditation is – there is no trick. Just do whatever works best for you to stay aware of this moment.
If that means breaking the supposed “rules” of meditation, then do it! Just keep yourself aware of the moment you’re in. After all it’s all we have in the end.
Next was figuring out how to incorporate exercise into my morning. Since it was cold outside the last few months, my usual morning walks weren’t that appealing anymore but I definitely wanted some kind of activity first thing to get me going. Coincidentally, I had been introduced to Yoga with Adriene just a few months before and she was the answer to my Miracle Morning exercise problem.
Now, if you’ve not seen Yoga with Adriene yet, then stop, go to Youtube and check her out now. Go on, I’ll wait. 🙂
Okay, now you see how awesome she is, let’s talk about Yoga Camp. Adriene did a 30 day Yoga Camp challenge that is sure to get anyone off the couch and onto the mat. FULL DISCLOSURE – I technically haven’t finished the camp. I’m like 4 sessions off, but I did do yoga every day for 30 days, so I’m taking that as a win!
For me, YWA was a goddess-send. I’ve been doing home yoga for the last few years with the paltry few DVDs I owned. But here was something that changed and updated and kept being interactive without becoming routine (I did the yoga DVDs so much that I can repeat what they say before they say it). Don’t get me wrong, starting out with something was better than nothing, but I needed more variety and I found it big time!
What I love most about YWA is that she’s so real. She says dorky things and then laughs at herself. And I find myself literally talking back to her like she would hear me! Yeah… talk about awkward gals. Oh, and bonus – even Leo likes watching her too!
Also, she knows her audience are all real too and all unique. She gives tons of choices and makes you feel like you can do yoga no matter what your physical state or experience is. In fact, I now say I have a “yoga practice” because of her. Whereas before I would say I “sometimes do yoga”.
But now I’m not afraid to try new poses or stick to my favs. As long as I do something, every day then I feel good. And when I happened to skip a day I could tell something was off. I haven’t skipped since. Even it’s just literally one minute and one pose, I still do something to help keep myself balanced mentally and physically.
“I always think I look better after a yoga class. It’s the same as a massage. We look so amazing after a massage because we’re relaxed.” – Andie MacDowell
Whether you’re a full blown yogi or an interested novice, Yoga with Adriene will help you keep your body and thus your mind in harmony. (If it sounds like I have a girl-crush, it’s because I do. I think we’d be besties if she knew I existed.)
So there are just two ideas to help keep you on an even keel. What other tools do you use to stay balanced?
Looking for a way to connect to the Moon? Check out my 4 steps to New Moon and Full Moon rituals!
Need to set intentions that really end up manifesting your desires? Then use the New Moon Intention Ritual to do just that! Know you need to let go of a lot of old baggage before the good stuff has space to come in to your life. The use the straightforward and vastly uplifting Full Moon Release Ritual to make room for all the new blessings to come!