How to make change last beyond January!!!
If you’re like me or most of us humans we set a New Years resolution, or for the brave, more than one…do it for a few weeks, months, then come March its dwindled…. I’m chowing down croissants mid week and on the weekends.
By May I’m on a hard diet of croissants Tuesday to Sunday! Now we all know how this makes us evil humans! And a risk to all living creatures!
Ok no seriously now, how to create long lasting change to better your life and others around you.
This worked for me in 5 simple steps…
1. Boring as it sounds top of the list is... MEDITATE, yep really! The words meditation practice always filled me with dread and shame as I felt I couldn’t sustain my own meditation “practice”. I read tons of books and listened to podcasts, still asking myself, what does “practice” mean?
This popped up recently, a Buddhist idea of “practice” is “an integrated way of life” in other words to find the meditation in everything. Walking, doing the dishes, even drinking a cuppa! Just being present in whatever you’re doing. Well described by this social media giant “mindful”!
Being mindful in whatever you do.
But what I especially want us to focus on today, is seated meditation. My seated meditation came hard to me. Once I realised it ebbs and flows with whats going on in my life just like the tides of the sea. This helped me soften my view. This allowed me to start to enjoy my meditation! I was always striving to push the thoughts out of my mind and judge myself for having them. It was so boring I felt like a kid being told off at school. Naturally I found excuses to shy away from my daily meditations.
Heres where the real difference is: Tried and tested game changer top tips
-Yes the mind wonders its NORMAL.
I really enjoyed this podcast from Sadhguru
He explains the nature of the mind in a funny easily manageable way.
-Make yourself comfortable,
Sit up in bed, prop yourself with pillows
Sit on a chair
Even lie down
Sit on a few folded blankets crosslegged on the floor with a 4” to 6” lift of the sit bones.
The idea is for the spine to be lifted and lengthened and ideally so we don’t fall asleep! But if you do, thats cool, you probably needed it.
Be comfortable and if you need to move during your meditation, DO IT, it is your meditation.
-Don’t expect to be sat for 30 mins in the beginning, make it manageable for yourself, 1 minute, 5 minutes. Even if its 3 breaths, whilst in bed or before you walk into your house after work, whilst sitting in your car! You can even set an alarm or do a guided meditation theres loads of free meditations online you can try out, see what fits for you?
Heres an easy beginners 3 minute meditation where I share the main tip that changed my daily meditation practice to a sustainable one!
So you can get started all for free, right now!
One last thing on the m word, I promise. There are many ways to meditate, if sitting down isn’t for you right now.
Check out active mediations, some are based on dancing! You might like to try out Shiva Rea Trance Dance.
So now everyday I sit. sometimes for 30mins, sometimes I make it 5 min …And thats ok! As long as its something.
So Its about finding bite size pieces that work for you...and I don’t mean the croissants!
Ok if I haven’t lost you at No.1 ...heres No.2
2. DO WHAT YOU LOVE!
Do what fills your heart, drives your passion.
This may take a bit of time to find out, it did for me… like years!
Once you find what it is for you and this can change and evolve.
Set time aside each week and schedule it into your diary! Just as you would a date, but even better a date with yourself!
It could be reading a novel for an hour
Or going on a bike ride
Going to the gym
Or having a massage
Going for a run
Maybe a yoga class
Having a dance in your living room or out check out these guys……..
A TRX class
Going to an art gallery
A walk on the beach or park
It could be one, or all of these things, or none of these?
Find what it is for you?
So once you’ve recharged your batteries you can give to others. In your relationships, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague, as a partner. You’ll be less grumpy! As you wont be running on empty!
If you know you are susceptible to depression… get moving! Go for a run, fitness class, boxing, sweat it out, this really helped me in the past and its a leading fact in dealing with mental health when you want to boost your endorphins and get that feel good factor to get you kickstarted… get sweating!
3. NOTHING IS FOREVER!
This is hard to write about. And hard to live by when stuck on an emotion.
Feelings, thoughts, crap times, chocolate, relationships, good times, your parents, your grandparents, you!
Sometimes we get stuck with wanting “things to be how they used to be” or with bad feelings because someone said something you didn’t like, about you. Been there? These feelings do pass and what I’m really trying to say is, its not that important. These thoughts don’t define who you are. Your true self. So don’t feed it with importance.
This has been coined as “non attachment” an age old idea thats been tried and tested throughout thousands of years. By this I don’t mean you need to become a cold hearted dickhead, but just keep in the back of your mind that nothing is forever. The most obvious one is probably our own lives…which then brings me to No.4
4. GRATITUDE, BE GREATFUL!
Don’t compare yourself to what others have.
Be grateful for what YOU have! Yes YOU!
You woke up this morning!
Maybe you have grandparents that are still alive
A loving partner
A loving dog, cat, goldfish, hamster
A place you can call home
An awesome breakfast
Free health care
A great friend
More than one great friend!
5. LET GO OF YOUR STUFF MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY!
Clear out your stuff, live a simpler life. For the past year I’ve been culling my stuff and if you’ve known me for a while you’ll know I’ve been a hoarder of vintage clothes and furniture for a long time and its been hard for me to let go of these things... but… bit by bit…
I realised one day staying in a hotel room that was nearly empty, I felt a sense of calm and space. Like the physical space in the room reflected the space and peace in my head and heart, I was having at that moment being in there.
I thought my house could have this feeling. I am enough. I don’t need all this stuff to bolster me and make me interesting, I am enough. What a relief to feel liberated from all these things! I realised all these things where actually weighing me down.
I had moved from house to house with all my stuff…. for years!
It's always been a running joke in my family that I can’t travel light whenever I visit but… change is a comin’
Also you’ll spend less time having to deal with cleaning and organising all your shit…
So charity shop
Gift to mates
Do what it takes get rid of it and I know you’ll feel a difference, instantly!
We’re so stuck on “needing things to become a better person in society” get a new phone, butt implants, some ridiculous car we cant afford…
How about we start realising, we have all we need already! Inside us
This philosophy also lends itself to ideas in your mind. So let go of ideas that are holding you back! This is huge! A friend who suffered from mental health, once told me when she saw me struggling with something I couldn’t get past me. “Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have this thought or feeling? Imagine you can actually enjoy what you want to do and just do it.” Eventually this blockage is dissolving for me and I am doing what I want to do without the doubting block I had. Sometimes I get that old voice of doubt, I flip the feeling of doubt, to enjoyment. I imagine myself enjoying what I’m doing and not having that old nagging feeling holding me back. Simply portrayed in the words of a monk:
“Move away from the fear that binds us.”
So this is it! My 5 steps to get your shit together for good and not just for January!
So thats been my journey these past few years, hope you can find some piece of this that works for you.
So you can find some peace in your heart and mind.
So you may be able connect with yourself and others, sleep better, be less stressed and so you can let go of crap that you don’t need anymore… with a little bit of time, start to see the changes roll in by themselves.
Keep it in to bite size pieces, a little bit everyday.
and set time aside each week for YOU!
Thanks for reading guys
Now is the time
Share this article with your mates.