It's useful to plan, to prepare, and to schedule to keep our lives organized, but within that daily, weekly, monthly and yearly calendar, it can also be very beneficial to pause and reflect each day so that we stay in flow with the Universe and aware of the direction we're heading.
Taking time for stillness, for reflection, for internal awareness on a daily basis can be one way to keep balance and sustained wellness in our lives. It can be especially useful during any kind of changes in our lives, like seasonal changes, work changes, familial changes. Checking in with ourselves each day, even if just for a few minutes, can have a big impact on how we manage our days, particularly when our external worlds are in flux.
There are many different ways to check in with ourselves, and we can explore them all to see which ones might work best for us. We may also mix them up in different combinations, depending on our needs on any given day. Many of us find that having a daily ritual or practice of some kind provides a consistency that we can lean on and look forward to. We don't want this to feel like a chore or just another thing that's taking up our time, so experimenting with what really works for us is important. And if turns out that not doing the exact same thing each day is what's needed, then we can lean into that and try a few ideas in different combinations...whatever works for us is just right.
Here are just a few suggestions:
Journaling each morning
Daily ritual (take a bath, light a candle, burn incense)
Goals for the day
Set intention for the day
Moment of prayer
There are so many ways to stay connected to ourselves, so that your external and internal worlds can stay in sync. It could really be just about anything as long as we bring our awareness to it, and build the muscle of being with ourselves fully. However we are feeling...good, bad, happy, sad, disappointed, angry, excited...at any given moment is just a feeling to notice, and let it move through us without judgement as best we can. When we take time each day to check in with ourselves, then we have something to refer back to as we move through any ups and downs of our day.
Having a daily practice can be very simple, but it might not always feel "easy", especially on those days we don't feel so great. Learning to pay attention to how we feel, not ignoring it, but also not staying in it's pull can be a very useful tool. "What we resist, persists" is an idea expressed by Carl Jung (famed phsychologist), explaining that when we don't address how we feel, it will keep trying to get our attention. There are other versions of this idea in Buddhism and other traditions as well. When we are taking time for ourselves daily, there may be things we notice that need a bit more time to address, and when that happens, we can make a note of it and decide when and if we want to find that time to delve more deeply into our daily reflections. There may be something that comes up through the awareness of our yoga practice that deserves more attention elsewhere. Honoring all aspects of ourselves is part of a deeper personal growth journey, and can bring important meaning to our lives if we are ready and willing to explore them. There is much we can do on our own, but having support of our community, friends, and family is very grounding. Exploring more deeply might involve a Mental Health professional or a Life Coach, to guide you and give you tools to move through the more difficult aspects of self inquiry.
What are some ways you already incorporate daily practices or rituals into your life? Is it time for a reset? What might be something that peaks your interest that you haven't yet tried?
Here's something simple to try out this week:
Take just 3 minutes (you can set a timer) each morning to sit quietly in a space you love (your favorite chair, in your garden outside), where you won't be interrupted. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and just "listen", letting any thoughts get redirected to the focus on your breath. The idea is to be open and receptive to what the Universe wants to communicate to you at that moment. It may come through later in the day. Just make the connection internally each day and see what happens!