Three Game Changers for the Journey Ahead
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
–Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
We are bounding through January. Despite the wet, grey, whiplashed days January offers on the heels of holiday indulgences, I freaking love this month. It yields a pristine sense of clarity and hope as well as a big fat slice of heaven for the introverted soul: fireside reading, killer movies to catch up on (La La Land, anyone?), warm beverages galore, and a proverbial blanket of white snow on the ground beckoning the young dreamer in all of us to let loose and explore.
The third Monday in January is a bit of a bear. Apparently, it’s the most depressing day of the year as it’s the day everyone ditches their shiny, steep new year’s resolutions, seizes the old sweatpants, and heads straight for that hidden Ben & Jerry’s pint (or pick your poison) in the sky. It’s the day we cave into the weighty shame of unmet, unrealistic expectations we heaped on ourselves about three weeks ago. They’re simply too hard. In fact, it’s such a let down, they’ve actually given this day a name: Blue Monday. Who knew?
Monday morning, millions of people woke up, looked themselves in the mirror, and saw the piercing failure of “not enough”. Once again, they couldn’t quite cut it. Their litmus test: a number on a scale, an unwritten novel, a half eaten cheesecake purchased the night before, or perhaps a pack of Camels that miraculously appeared in the kitchen desk drawer. The vicious cycle continues as we beat ourselves into submission with a new, “better” set of rules, checks and balances, what have you.
In light of this melancholy kind of blue, I thought it would be a great opportunity to ditch the idea of elimination altogether and give you some killer tools to add to your tool belt instead. After all, I’ve never understood this logic of giving up something delicious, like truffle fries, only to be met by a thin drip of green juice. It tends to make me really hangry, and backfires altogether. It’s also really isolating. I prefer the supplemental route: let’s add in practices, rituals, and tools that gently keep us on track and promote loving relationship with the totality of our beings: physical, emotional, and spiritual, as well as with others.
Today, I bring you three tools I’ve added to my daily routine (okay, maybe I’ve missed a couple here and there) as consistently as anything I’ve tried. Why? Because they’re fun and they work. Whereas you can find tons of research backing the validity and effectiveness of each one, I’m simply going to give you a quick layman’s account, focusing on the application and value I’ve seen within the last month. Each day, I look forward to my encounters with these tools and practices. They’ve been, in fact, game changers for 2017 already. You ready for this?
I know, I know. I know what you’re thinking. “I’ve tried that before and it’s too hard. I just can’t sit still.” Fair enough. However, from one who literally doesn’t like to sit much and is in her happy place walking for days down the busy streets of a buzzing big city somewhere, I’ve finally found a practice that works. Ladies and gents, I give you Headspace. It’s an app, its ten minutes a day, the first ten days are free to give you a taste of how it works, and then the journey continues with a modest subscription worth every penny. The helpful thing about this app is the structured, guided aspect. Led by a lovely guy called Andy with a super cute British accent, Headspace gently leads you through a daily practice that’s accessible, not too woo-woo (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and really effective.
We live far too much of life in our minds, yet we’re not often taught how to live there. Headspace has freed up so much energy for me that typically gets spent judging and reacting. Judging everything: my thoughts, my self, my bad hair day, my inadequacies, those I love, and on and on. I’ve noticed a softer inner dialog, increased energy, a better mood and outlook, among so many other things. This topic deserves a whole post, and I could go on and on, but do yourself (and your loved ones) a huge favor and start today.
I’ve heard the buzz for years and have close friends who swear by them. For some ungodly reason, I’ve just arrived at the party and not a minute too soon. My friend Mary Hyatt is an inspiration to me on so many levels. A few months back, she guested on the blog sharing her insight and experience as it pertains to relationship with food. Well, she recently introduced me to Doterra, a killer, high-quality, line of essential oils. As a Christmas gift to myself, I ordered an introductory packet chock full of gorgeous oils, a diffuser, and an arsenal of vitamins that are magic and don’t make you feel like you’re going to vomit.
Now I get it what the hype is all about. Oils are not only incredible for the mood and senses but medicinal for what ails you. Smell is the most powerful of all the senses. Walk in your local bakery and notice where the waft of freshly baked bread transports you. There’s a mood attached to that smell as well. I’ve been like a kid in a candy story experimenting with Lavender, bergamot, lemon, peppermint, frankincence, and more. My often spotty sleep has improved, energy and mood lifted, and muscle tension in my body eased. I’ve always had a holistic view of wellness and therapy and these oils are seriously icing on that cake. If you have any questions, please ask. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out. I’m passionate about sharing this stuff and believe modern medicine will eventually catch on as well.
Lastly but definitely not least, my third favorite tool, the Passion Planner. How many times have you bought a beautiful new, leather-bound planner and found it six months later covered in dust under a pile of magazines in your office? I can honestly say for me, quite often. The passion planner is different in that it starts with my favorite motivating force: desire. This planner breaks down goals in a creative, interactive way month to month, week to week, day-to-day. It asks what’s most important, driving our passion as well as what’s NOT important, standing in as a poser, or mere distractor.
They’re also big believers in writing it all down as opposed to plugging it into a device. Why? because the physical act of writing is step one to actualizing that desire, that mind-body connection thing. The passion planner is a road map, not just a calendar.
I can honestly say 2017 has gotten off to such a great start partially due to these three amazing resources. So much of this journey is embracing ritual and structure as well as practical tools that enhance our growth and healing. I sincerely hope you’ll check out each one. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions and feedback!
Love & Gratitude,