The new normal….
How’s your “new normal” going? For me, it depends on the day. Some days I feel highly productive and motivated. My creative juices are flowing and I get excited about creating a new way of living my life. Other days, I wake up mourning the loss of my “old life” and desperately wishing that all of this would just go away or be over so I can get back to “old normal”. Then there are the days when I just feel stuck. Like in quicksand. Life is just too heavy to even deal with, so I do what I can do escape mentally and end up just feeling crappy for having wasted a day.
There is so much uncertainty. There always is in life, but during a pandemic of this nature that we’ve never dealt with before, it feels like uncertainty overload at times. All the questions. All the conflicting answers and opinions. So how do we find that sense of “normal”? The answer that came to me the other day was, you need to accept the NOW and start doing the things you know you need to feel balanced. I can’t just stick my head in the sand or under my pillow and wait for this to pass. I can’t say to myself “I’ll be happy when…” or “I’ll get into a better routine when…”. Have you noticed that your “normal” workout routine, diet, self-care habits, relationships (and so much more) have taken a dive? At first it felt a bit like vacation-mode. Like, hey what the heck, it’s a nice little break from the norm. But as the weeks, and months, roll on by I know I’m personally craving a whole big dose of NORMAL.
About a week ago, I realized that one big thing that has been missing in my “covid life” has been a ritual with my daily meditation practice. I’ve continued meditating, mostly every morning, but for whatever reason I’d ditched my ritual for starting my practice that I learned at the Chopra Center. This practice to begin your meditation is called “The Soul Questions” and from the moment I learned them I’ve found it to be a such a profound way to immediately focus my mind and drop me into a place of deeper stillness. This is especially important right now when our minds are racing and confused, feeling overly anxious or depressed. These past few months without this profound practice, I’ve found my meditations to be either so highly distracted or just unsatisfying that I wasn’t truly feeling their effectiveness.
Do I have your interest peaked? Are you ready to learn the process? It’s really quite simple. I’ll walk you through it now and I’m including an audio file today for you to use while you learn the process.
Meditating with The Soul Questions
If you are a meditation newbie, start small. Set a timer for 5 minutes and try that twice a day. Soon you’ll find that you are craving more so you try 10 or 15 minutes. In my opinion, any meditation is better than none!
Why meditate?? Here’s some info from The Chopra Center on how it benefits body, mind, and spirit:
For the BODY:
Boosts immune system
Decreases blood pressure
Increases efficiency of oxygen use
Reduces Anxiety & depression
For the MIND:
Deeper sense of relaxation
Promotes feelings of joy
Decreases negative emotions
Reduces mental clutter
For the SPIRIT:
Improves understanding of self
Gives sense of purpose
Increases levels of consciousness
Sound good? Are you ready to manifest some goodness in your life? Let's start a "new normal" today and meditate together!
For close to 50 years of my life, I lived with a whole lot of bottled up truth in my body. Too afraid to speak it for fear of being rejected. Way too focused on projecting an image of perfection and on adapting who I was to be accepted by others. Fortunately, the closer to 50 I got the more dissatisfied I became with living this shadow of a life. I was finally ready to spread my wings and show my truest self to the world. And it was, and still is, scary as hell each and every time. Living and speaking your truth is raw, it is vulnerable, and oh so liberating.
Each and every day I am grateful to have found my voice, even on the days that speaking and living my truth has caused life to become uncomfortable or temporarily painful. In her latest book, Untamed, Glennon Dolyle speaks of letting go of the idea that life is supposed to be happy all the time. That instead, she is looking for real. That resonates with me big time. For too long I spent my life telling people who'd ask how I was, "Oh I'm great!!". "I'm fabulous." When really on the inside I was feeling lost, or sad, or pissed off. Having found my voice and my willingness to share my truth allows me to be with the darker side of myself and to not be scared to share it. What makes you feel most vulnerable, also makes you REAL and approachable. My bonds with the people in my life are so much more authentic and meaningful now. And it means so much to me to hear that in speaking and living my truth, that I have in some way inspired a friend or a student of mine to do the same.
This truth journey has also led to losses and pain. Not everyone who is in your life can handle your truth. They much prefer you in your neat little package with the shiny bow on top. Your truth might scare them, or show them something about themselves that they know to be either false or true. Your truth might cause you to shed relationships like a snake who must shed its skin. That processes is both difficult and freeing.
As Glennon says in Untamed, "The truest, most beautiful life never promises to be an easy one. We need to let go of the lie that it's supposed to be."
Even on the painful days, I can find beauty in that pain. In the truth of feeling it all. Feeling the feels as I like to say. I have learned through my teacher, Tara Brach, to process these feelings with her R.A.I.N. practice. Giving myself plenty of grace and time to nurture how I am feeling (check out her book, Radical Compassion for all the details). And I have learned from Gabby Bernstein to face my fears with an open and loving heart of acceptance. Her book, The Universe Has Your Back, was an absolute life changer for me on my truth journey and I return to it over and over when I feel myself slipping back into my old habits.
As I approach my 52nd birthday this month, I know that my life is just going to continue to get sweeter, fuller, and richer as I continue to follow my truest path. I know that each and every day when I go to bed I can say to myself, "Good job for living a real and true life today. You are brave. You are strong. And even if today wasn't your best effort, you made it through. I am grateful to be me."
Mary Baker - ERYT-500 yoga teacher, adventure lover, fitness junkie, doughnut snob, whiskey & wine sipper