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8 Life Lessons For This Moment

8 Life Lessons For This Moment

Change is an interesting concept. When we view a change as good, we welcome it, even strive to achieve it – but when we view it as bad, we turn around, run away, and do our very best to resist it.

We live in a world that bombards us with change: ‘Change this so you can do this’ or ‘Change this so this will not happen.’ ‘Change this to be happy’ or ‘Change this so you will not be sad.’ It is hard.

These mini life lessons are not major changes to make, they are simple things to be aware of for those of us seeking more connection to right NOW.

1. Give more hugs

This should be an easy one right? But then why isn’t it? We all know that moment. We run into an old friend, but then we wonder how good of friends we really were, but we only have five seconds to decide if we should hug them. It can be awkward.

Well let’s take the awkward out of it. Just be the person who goes in for the hug. We can hug the people we see everyday (okay, maybe not our bosses) and hug the people we haven’t seen in years. Be the hugger.

Take time to hug yourself. Literally. Wrap your arms around yourself and show yourself some love.

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Human beings need five hugs a day- at least! So go out and get started!

2. Don’t label, just love

This is a hard one. Go ahead and reflect on the last time a label has really served anyone, including ourselves. Labels put people in boxes. Nobody wants to live in a box, but, unfortunately, we label others and ourselves all the time.

As a yoga teacher, I find myself often thinking “okay, what would a ‘yogi’ or a ‘spiritual person’ do in this situation?” I am trapping myself inside a box of labels. I ask myself how I should handle the situation based on the label I have given myself rather than my truest self which is rooted in love.

The question to ask is: “What would love do?”

The truth is we are all a lot of things that we think we can describe with words, but we are all also a lot of things that words cannot do justice. Lets promise ourselves to be aware of how we use our words and the boxes we put ourselves and others into with our labels.

3. Surrender

Sometimes I feel sad and I don’t know why. Then I feel sad, because I feel sad. Then I feel anxious because I do not know what I will stop feeling sad. So in the process of all this I have created multiple emotions for myself to deal with rather than just one.

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Here is the promise: promise our hearts that when they feel joy- we will welcome it, but when they feel sorrow- we will also welcome that too. The battle between what our mind wants and what our heart feels is a tough one, but it is also a very important one.

Let’s surrender to our hearts. Give ourselves permission to feel what we do not want to feel. Sometimes we have to sink down a little, in order to rise up even higher. There is suffering in life, and that is okay.

4. Enjoy the space in between

Life is not about waiting for the next relationship after a break up, or a new job after the last one did not work out. Just like yoga is not simply about the postures, but more importantly the space in between the postures.

Rather than waiting for something in the future, enjoy where we are right now.

5. Listen to our bodies

Our bodies are always talking to us, we just have to learn how to listen.

My junior year of college I began to suffer from anxiety. I would wake up Sunday morning, after three nights of binge drinking, and feel like I could not breath. Getting out of bed was not an option, but staying in bed I would spiral down into a hole of self pity. I felt trapped.

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The way I was living my life was clearly unsustainable. My body was begging me to please stop pouring poison into it. It took me about three years to learn to listen.

As I have listened I have become in tune to other things. How does my body feel after spending time with certain people- drained or renewed?

I have not become an expert listener, but the more I listen, the more I find I am happy with the choices I make.

Listening to our bodies does not mean we have to make sacrifices. It just means we are becoming more in tune to our needs and our truest self.

Our bodies are always ease dropping on our minds, and therefore they hold a lot more answers than we may expect.

6. Be our best selves

This one seems pretty simple; try your hardest, be kind, be authentic.

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Not so fast- this one comes with a bit of a challenge: being our best selves means accepting that our best selves may look different everyday.

Sometimes my best self wants to eat a salad for dinner, and other times I really just want a couple slices of pizza. Sometimes my best self makes it to 6 am yoga class, and sometimes I hit the snooze button for half an hour instead. As human beings we show up differently everyday- and that is beautiful.

We make decisions we are proud of and we make decisions that make us want to hide in a corner. Ask yourself- did I do my best? That is really all that matters.

7. Put yourself in time out

As children, being sent to sit in a quiet room for five minutes alone was a punishment.

Now, to many adults, it probably sounds like heaven.

So next time we need a little break (and if we are listening to our bodies, they will tell us)- just put yourself in time out. Go sit in your car for five minutes (No phone!), and breathe. Go hide in the bathroom for five minutes- do what you have to do! Take a time out.

8. Trust

Trust is the magic. Trust is what allows us to enjoy the space in between. Trust is all about the little things in life. Trust.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

  1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
  2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
  3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
  4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
  5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
  6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
  7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
  8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
  9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
  10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
  11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
  12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
  13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
  14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
  15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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