Part of living The Full Life is about honouring yourself, gifting yourself a daily moment or moments to gain a little clarity, to inform the lense with which you see the world. Its about getting to know yourself underneath the layers of conditioned thought that we ALL carry. Its connecting to your beautiful essence under the Shoulda’s, Coulda’s, and why didn’t You’s.
So how do we begin to do this. How do we begin to live “the full life”? This week I’m excited to share with you examples of the daily practices of some of the folks in this awesome community and how they honour selves.
I have always found that I learn best through the stories and experiences of others like me so I’m hoping this episode will provide inspiration and learning for you in that same way!
I recently heard Gabby Bernstein, the spirit junky say that not showing up for her daily practice is like “being on a roller coaster without a seat belt” ha ha ha…. But honestly, it is for me too. I guess that the “uncomfortable” price we pay for not showing up for ourselves.
Ok – so I call my daily practice my “spiritual practice” – spiritual for me is the practice of getting to know myself better – who am I? What do I stand for? What do I want? How can I best serve? Some of the beautiful people I work with call it their daily “selfcare” practice. It isn’t important what you call it – its important that you show up for it and here is what I feel to be the biggest reason why..
Until I gently learned to honoured my true self, I was in the business of constantly trying to change who I was…that was my practice.
What I have come to realize is that I am not need in of fixing or changing (whew!!) not even of self improvement really…I’m in need of daily practice that allows me to discover (or perhaps…re-discover) who I am at my core, before I let the world tell me who I should be. This is what my daily practice does for me. It gives me space to unpack, peel back the layers of conditioning, and to look my beautiful self square in the eyes (or soul) with love and acceptance that I’m a work in progress who always does the best I can. Who is on an exciting, although sometimes uncomfortable, journey of discovery.
My biggest lesson in self acceptance has been to trust that my daily practice will honour and teach me so long as I show up with an open heart. (harder some days than others..yes…especially when I have the itty-bitty-unkind-committee hanging out in my head!!)
Ok – Let’s Get Tactical!
Let’s look at some very dynamic and different daily practices of 5 of our community here at The Full Life – and hopefully you’ll hear something you connect with. Perhaps something you want to try or perhaps you have a practice locked down and this will just be fun brain candy!
Trish is a 40 something mom of 3 busy boys (young men actually) a successful entrepreneur and self-professed worrier. Her practice happens in the mornings when the men are all downstairs. Trish sits in bed, closes her eyes and does a combo of focused breathing and meditation. Although its often only for 5 minutes, she really notices when she’s off her meds (that’s what she jokingly calls them) . She says her days don’t flow nearly as smoothly and she can be much more reactive and critical with herself.
Christine is a busy (moving to FULL of course) marketing strategist with 2 pre-teens who are extremely active in their community. She embraces technology and travels a lot in her work day so her practice is more on-the-go. She has a couple of apps on her iPhone and along with her earbuds and sunglasses – she finds time each day to get grounded. (if you check out my blog at amandameditates I actually did a review of the top meditations apps for iPhone and android if this practice sounds like you!)
Michaela is a former world-class runner, a doctor, a nutrition coach and mama to 2 sweeties under 6. Michaela found her groove with Miracle Mornings – waking early before the house is up and focusing on herself (eeek! I love this!!). Her morning ritual focuses on gratitude, meditation, physical exercise and listening to something inspiring (including The Full Life podcast of course!!)
Joan is past the kids phase; hers are grown and have moved out. Joan wakes and has a morning deep breathing practice and sets an intention for her day then before bed she book ends her day by closing her eyes and recalling 3 things she is grateful for along with 5-10 minutes of mantra meditation. She often likes to repeat a mantra of “letting…go” to release any stress from the day. SO beautiful!
And then there is Maureen. Now Maureen has a very special practice and I’m sure you’ll be touched by it. She is a true “building YOUR practice” success story in my eyes. Maureen perseveres daily through the unimaginable pain of loosing a child. When attempts to learn to meditate to help her cope failed – mostly because of the extreme discomfort of stillness in her home where her child once lived – she discovered Zen Doodle – the practice of drawing meditation -and today she makes beautiful zen doodle cards by her child’s grave. This brings her some comfort and is in my opinion, the most beautiful example that if you allow…your practice will meet you right where you are.
Lastly is an email from a dear client of mine;
I want to tell you something that should make you smile. Since the beginning of the New Year, most nights when I put [my son] to bed we “meditate” together for 2-3 minutes. I downloaded the Insight Timer that you told me about, and we use it, checking how many people are meditating each night. I have no idea what he thinks about, but he lays there very quietly beside me till the timer says time is up. After that, we both say something we are grateful for and I write them down in a book that I keep beside his bed. So we each have a list of about 35 things so far. I’ve been grateful for warm blankets more than once this winter (especially given how cold it has been!) and he is often grateful for his family. It’s fascinating to hear what he thinks about. One night I almost forgot to do this, and he said “hey, aren’t we going to do our gratefuls?”. And when I wasn’t home the other night, he showed [his dad] the book. I think [his dad] was mildly amused.
It really is a great way to end each day, and we both look forward to it each night. I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for you, so I thought you’d appreciate knowing the difference one person can make.
2. Notice and get to be in aww of synchronicities in my life..how things are working out for my best
3. A Softening to Honour my journey and the journeys of others – each our own (including my kidos)
4. Resiliency; I have built up an ability to “bounce back” much more quickly in the face of adversity – I guess that’s your gift for loving yourself fearlessly.
Well, that’s a wrap for this week Beauties! From your front row – where I’m sitting cheering you on I’m Sending you big love as you live …The Full Life!