If you’re feeling overwhelmed in life or maybe even underwhelmed/ unmotivated, it can be daunting to take the first step to a better you. So let’s start together, right here, right now. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly to connect with your breathe and heartbeat. Use that focus to quiet your thoughts and you will start to discover a spark inside you, that thing that makes you smirk to yourself, that thing that makes you feel whole. Maybe it’s fitness, maybe it’s music, maybe it’s nature, maybe it’s coding, maybe it’s helping others. Whatever it is, hone in on it and give it the attention it craves. Work on this exercise and you’re already doing so much for yourself. From there, we ignite that spark and let that flame guide us through our beautiful paths. Everyone has a calling and everyone deserves to live their best lives. Love to all 💜
Paving Someone’s Path
There are many things that cause mind chatter and cloud your ability to stay present. The factors are either internal (personal growth and emotions) or external (other people’s energies). You can be there for someone for moral support, to bounce ideas off, to maybe even motivate. But after that, you cannot pave someone else’s path. When I first started practicing this mindset of helping others without getting emotionally attached to their personal success or failures, I felt coldhearted and selfish. I’ve always wanted to pour my heart and soul into others, but what I wasn’t realizing is that the most powerful and beautiful lessons in life come from those ruts. People will not be able to see the gifts of the rough times and utilize them to power ahead if you smother them with your own ideas. Everyone is on their own journey and you can certainly be there for them, but let them blossom on their own, just as a lotus flower grows from the muck of the earth. Sending love and positive thoughts to those experiencing a tough times right now. Know that there is always something to learn from it and that it is only temporary.
Activities to Calm and Cleanse the Mind That You May Already Be Doing
When I first decided to deliberately live a more mindful life, I was a bit intimidated on where to start. We’ve always been told to take baby steps, but what are those steps? The idea of starting small finally clicked when I was sitting on the bus and wanting to change my perspective about my commute from being a miserable waste of time to valuable “me time”. I slowly but surely started looking forward to my bus rides where I was started off by reading, listening to music, and eventually meditating on the constant motion of the city.
I truly believe everyone can be more present in the moment, but many of us cannot just go into a meditative state cold turkey. We need tools to help get us there and you’ll be happy to know that you are probably already doing at least one of them without even knowing it! Here are just a few examples of activities that can serve as tools to practice being fully present, ranging from tactical to visual to audible:
Tactical (maybe visual and audible combined as well)
To take it one step further, you should not only do some of these activities, but also reap the benefits of them by cleansing the lense of your mind. The trick is to consciously use them as tools instead of mindlessly trucking through them either with a numbing haze or letting mind chatter and emotions creep in.
I was doing many of those above activities and finding release and fulfillment in them, but couldn’t understand why. I always knew it was healthy to exercise and reduce stress, but I didn’t hone in on the deeper level of impact that was occurring. For example, when I hike alone or in silence with a partner, I had no idea that I was actually participating in a walking meditation. I was wandering around in awe, immensely appreciative of the nature around me, touching everything, and feeling gratitude in the realization that I am merely a small specimen compared to the giant Redwood next to me, the forest, the region, and the greater universe that’s constantly providing. Similarly, when I watch a candle flame or a bonfire, I got into a deep state. My brother jokes that I’m a pyro because I love fire so much, but what he didn’t see is that I am constantly doing visualization meditation when I observe a flame flickering in the wind.
You see, it’s not about making monumental changes, but rather changing the perspective of what you are already doing or maybe adding in one of the above tools to help guide you on a day-to-day basis. You all can do it and you already have the tools to get there, you just have to take that first step of acknowledging and committing to a more mindful lifestyle.
Intuition & Dharma
Intuition (your gut feeling) and dharma (your life’s purpose)…I talk a lot about clearing your mind and being fully present. That’s all preparation to honing in on your path to your highest self; letting your intuition be the light on the path to your dharma.
It’s interesting being born in an age where the internet is connecting people across the world and many are leaving their corporate jobs to live more fulfilling lives. In the 1920s, your job and your lineage dictated who you were and what class you belonged to. Today, you can essentially be whoever you want and go wherever you want. There are so many more options to pursue.
This is extremely inspiring, but also very confusing as a young professional that recognizes a greater calling than sitting at a trading desk, cubicle, etc.
When your intuition is screaming at you to move on, listen to it. You don’t need to change your destination overnight, but you can start to change your direction with just one baby step at a time.
My baby steps are going to mindfulness and yoga events, creating visionary boards, and listening to podcasts to start educating me on my journey. Surrounding myself with like-minded people and filling my brain with knowledge on topics I’m interested in is how I’m turning my direction towards my true path.
Home Meditation Tools
I start off every home practice by igniting a spark… literally…flames everywhere. It serves as a physical reminder of the first sutra. The intent to begin yoga. I have not yet mastered the art of coming home from a data analysis job and immediately switching into a meditative state to prepare for my practice. I instead rely on tools to help guide me into that state (candles, incense, sage, and music). And that’s ok. Whatever you need to do to get to a calm mindset and be fully present is exactly right for you. Everyone is different and everyone has their own journey 💜