Just For Today.
As we bring in the new year, we find ourselves very motivated to be a healthier, calmer, more productive version of ourselves. As we settle into the year... everyday life takes it toll, goals are set too high, and with no accountability - quickly our intentions become unattainable and we lose motivation. We fall back into our old, comfortable patterns, and it's inevitable that we will give up all together.
May we be reminded that we can begin again. Yes, we can begin again now - in this next breath, in our next thought, action, or conversation. We often feel if we have made a "mistake" - we have failed. Judgement, shame, fear, irritation, and anxiety take precedence leaving us hopeless - clouded by illusions and stories that are simply NOT true.
For example: If you made unhealthy food choices for breakfast or a few moments ago, it doesn't mean you have to let your whole day, week, month or year play out in this way. I am not sure where this mentality came from. We have all said it.. "Well, I have already messed up, it's too late. I will start again tomorrow." Am I right? And then tomorrow turns into days, days to weeks, weeks to months, months to years, and years into a lifetime, without making any changes. Maybe this concept resonates with us because we can find common ground around the idea of "diet". We can also apply this further to our behavior, deep patterns (called Samskaras in sanskrit) and our addictions. Repeating our patterns and addictions reinforces them, creating a groove in the mind that is difficult to resist. We have to divert and reroute.
If you reacted poorly in the last circumstance that came your way, it doesn't mean you have to react poorly in the next. Typically, no one has to tell you that you reacted poorly. You can feel it in your gut. Perhaps you reacted in anger, fear or frustration in the last conversation you had. The idea is that you can make a conscious decision to act from kindness and compassion in your next conversation. Yes, the very next conversation. Maybe in this very moment, you find yourself fully aware of the addiction you are ready to let go of, but continue coming full circle to place you began - which ends in beating yourself up for "failing". Have you ever thought of showing yourself compassion, and letting go of the judgment for why you have the addiction in the first place? Softening around the addiction and being gentle with yourself during the process is key. The softer we are, the easier it is to let it cycle in, through and out. Not resisting or grasping. This is not an excuse for our behavior; it's a smarter way to maneuver and understand what is happening and why. Maybe you have chosen activities today that were very unbalancing for your body, causing more unbalance and unease for yourself... pushing past your own boundaries. This ripples out to all those you came in contact with such as your family, workplace or in passing- in the car; the grocery store line, etc. It's ok. We slowly awaken. The process unfolds: We take the power of choice back into our own hands. Just for today.
"Just for today" is a beautiful mantra that was shared with me over a year ago sitting in a teacher training course in San Francisco. Often when we are trying to make subtle or major changes, it can feel overwhelming. I have found this very helpful to apply this strategy to my life. "Just for today, I will act in kindness. Just for today, I will be forgiving. Just for today, I will be make healthy choices. Just for today, I will act in love. Just for today, I will speak the truth. Just for today, I will have loving thoughts towards myself and others. Just for today, I will practice acceptance. Just for today, I will exercise". Ok, you get it.
This concept as helped me to shift so many old thoughts, patterns and behaviors that were no longer serving who I wanted to be. I have learned that it is a practice, just like anything else in life that we are trying to refine. We have to exercise the muscle in order to grow the muscle stronger. I also remind myself daily... I am human, with human tendencies. This may all be a little easier if the only thing we had to do all day was meditate in the Himalayas... but our lives look a little different. We have everyday demands, we have to survive, we have jobs, spouses, children, families. I constantly remind myself that I am doing the best that I can on any given today. You are doing the best that you can. So remember that when you feel yourself creep into judgement for another person's life and choices. Do you know what counteracts judgement? Forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others and give yourself permission to let it go.
Breathing Exercise: I invite you to pause now. Take a deep breath. Breath deep into your belly. Fill it up like a big balloon, allowing it to rise upward expanding the ribcage, chest and collarbones. Hold for a few seconds, and through the mouth-- sigh the breath out (like you are are trying to fog a window with your breath). Repeat 5-10 times. This helps to bring us back to center, reset and release tension and tightness from our bodies. Even it is for just a moment. Consciously evoke the light of kindness and compassion for exactly where you find yourself in this moment. Here we go.. Begin again. Start over. Clean slate.
It is so important to carve out time for ourselves to create space in our body and mind. When we are able to create this space daily, we become less reactive, less agitated, less pulled by our wants, desires, senses and lower level cravings. We feel more together. We feel more whole. More grounded. Lighter. When we feel whole, we move with integrity. When we are moving from integrity we make decisions with more clarity because we can see through a larger lens. We begin seeing the bigger picture. We speak and act from truth. We become more clear on where we want to dedicate our breath, our thoughts, our words, our actions. All of things together make up our life. We are dedicating our time, energy and life to something... always. Where are you dedicating yours? And are you dedicating it to what really matters to you?
Intention setting: Try setting an intention every morning before the hustle of the day begins. Aim for something.
- - Transition you wish to have in your life
- - Baggage you truly want to let go of—addiction, grief, shame, old resentment
- - A place you wish to live from: from inner peace, forgiveness, presence, joy, gratitude, courage,
- acceptance, joy, etc
- - State it as if it is already in existence—I AM peaceful. I AM joyful. I AM courageous. I AM love. Try repeating these few affirmations and notice how you feel.
Just for today... turns into your life from subtle shifts in every breath. May we be open and trust the process this life is willing to offer. Surrender. We can't force change, just like we can't force a flower to bloom.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
May I leave you with this prayer for your day...
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: "May I have peace and happiness. May you have peace and happiness. May all beings have peace and happiness. May we be free from suffering and danger. May our thoughts, our words and our actions contribute to the well being of all beings. May we look through the eyes of love, compassion and grace for ourselves and for all beings."
Please feel free to share if you feel led.
Many blessing and much love!
If you would like to stay update on offerings, blog posts, retreats and workshops- Please sign up for my newsletter HERE.