I commit to taking a big mouthful of (my) life and savouring it slowly and mindfully while walking my talk.
I put that out there as one of my intentions and words for 2014. I was being brave as I am very aware that the universe brings us just what we ask for; and sometimes one needs to duck! My desire is strong, it feels right (and feelings count a lot for me) and so I am brave.
Breathe in and out. Take a brave step. And commit.
In February I focused on my commitment to self-love. I only have this one body and vehicle, so it seems like a good place to start. I realize self-love is not only about the vehicle, but it is the starting point for now. Over the last year I have neglected my body a little. I believe in healthy living and well-being. And my belief is that I must walk my talk, so I need to be more aware of how I treat my body.
I started slow. Slow brings lasting results for me and helps me to form new rituals. I prefer to call them rituals rather than habits. I chose two rituals related to committing to self-care for February.
Ritual 1 is putting in as much natural goodness as possible and being more aware of eating healthier. I don’t do diets, but eating as fresh, natural and as local as possible, works well for me, with high quantities of fruit and vegetables.
Ritual 2 is being more active and quite simply exercising more. My body has been reminding me that I’m not as fit as I used to be. I like to hike so being fit is important. Time for a change.
There is a bigger challenge here. I just don’t like most forms of exercise. I don’t run. I haven’t been able to form a gym habit, dare I say ever! And I am not fond of playing competitive sports, at least not since hockey at school. I turned this around on myself and looked at it positively to see what already works for me. I started yoga and have successfully maintained a home practice, as well as attend regular classes. I love walking and hiking as often as I can. These alone are not enough though and I know my body needs more.
That was when the lightbulb went on. I need to find an exercise ritual that I love. I love water and believe in it’s healing power. Although I miss the sea, there is lots of water here. Water equals swimming equals exercise ritual plus happiness.
Three weeks ago I started swimming at the local indoor swimming pool. It was really hard the first time, the second time and the next time. After an hour of laps, my legs felt like jelly. Despite that, my love for being in water has kept me going back.
Then the break in Paris came up and it was hard to maintain these new rituals when stepping out of the everyday. My gypsy feet were doing their happy dance as I was exploring a beautiful city, mostly on foot. Lots of exercise there, yes, but a break in my new rituals nonetheless.
I have been struggling for the last few days to return to them. But I committed. This is my word to myself. And my word is very important to me. I also shared my commitment here with you and that makes me accountable.
I found getting back onto my mat easy, perhaps because I have been doing it for longer. After a little sparring with myself, I am finally eating healthy and with awareness again (I made sure there is only healthy food in the fridge 🙂 so I have little choice ) and I have been hiking at the lake (near water, of course). Each step back up from the lake was hard, but focusing on my breath took my mind off my aching, screaming legs. I could focus on one step at a time. Good advice for life really! And I finally got myself to jump back into the pool yesterday. It was really hard work and my body talked to me (complained a little too), but I felt great afterwards. And being in that neutral space of swimming laps, allowed me to clear my head of some of the fog that had settled there.
I realize that a lot of the effort to return to my new rituals after the break was really only in my head. Once I took that first step, that hardest step of all, the natural flow and momentum starts to follow again. And I know it gets easier. Especially if it is something you love doing. So tomorrow I am going swimming again!
Breathe. Step. Commit.
So with February come and gone so quickly, I want to maintain my new rituals and commit to my creative rituals during March. Writing more is one of those, so I am hoping that with effort and practice, the words will flow more easily into this space. Keep an eye out.
How do you form and maintain new rituals? What first step do you want to take? And do you have any tips to share?
with gratitude, Delicia