I want you to take a minute to settle into your physical form.
Let's take 3 slow, deep breaths right down into your belly.
First breath in I want you to imagine your oxygenating your blood and sending it around your body to heal, now exhale all that doesn't serve you.
Second breath in you activate all the cells in your body in synergy, now exhale all that doesn't serve you.
Third breath in you are connecting your mind, body and soul, now exhale all that doesn't serve you.
Now, in a more relaxed state of mind and connectedness to your body, place your hands over your heart space and take another 3 deep breaths, imagine a bright golden glow building up under your hands in a sphere. Feel the warmth and comfort it provides, feel the ancient wisdom. This is your inner guidance, your inner light, the light where we all came from.
With this connection made I would like you to ask yourself if all the aspects of the life you are living is in your best interest? Is the way you eat, exercise, socialise, work, love and play, serving YOU at it's highest level? Are you looking after yourself?
You may want to grab a pen and paper and start writing a few things down, see what starts flowing in this state of mind. I'll write below a few suggestions with what I mean by looking after yourself when it comes to those aspects of your life.
Eating - Are you providing your body with clean, nourishing fuel to energise your cells and keep your bodies systems cleansed and firing efficiently?
Exercise - Are you doing some form of physical activity daily to achieve hormonal and chemical balance in the body, flush toxins, burn fat, metabolise correctly and maintain strength in muscle and bones?
Socialise - Are you connecting on a heart felt level with friends or family on a daily basis, showing compassion, empathy, support and love by being there for people when they need you in trust and honesty.
Work - Are you achieving a work/life balance that gives you time to be living in the present?
Love - Are you finding relationships with friends and companions come easily to you, that you find a balance in energy ups and downs and that communication and patience are second nature?
Play - Are you providing yourself with enough time to create, meditate, garden, paint, sing, dance, find joy and connect with your inner child?
As tradition goes most people set new year goals or intentions, but there isn't any reason why you can't start setting new intentions any time. Just by settling into your body, taking a few deep breaths and focusing your energy into your heart space you can connect with your inner guidance system and get some answers as to what areas of your life you feel could do with some fine tuning. After that it is about doing something small but every day to get towards it.
This year didn't exactly start to plan for me, I received a knock to the head on the 1st of January and I'm now on day 12 of suffering from the symptoms of a concussion. The first 4 days was intense, I couldn't move from my bed the world around me would not stop spinning and I constantly felt on the edge of vomiting with a splitting headache to boot. Then the symptoms started to ease and I had enough energy to listen to Eckhart Tolle audio book, The Power of Now which if you haven't read or listened to yet I highly recommend, as far as spiritual leaders of this age goes he has a deep understanding and brings that to his teachings. Then I was able to read, I picked up Buddha's Brain, a neurological look at the science involved in meditation and mindfulness, again I highly recommend this to get a deeper understanding of the brain and mind, why they're different but the same and how we can train both, but all in terms you can understand with a few amazing metaphors thrown in!
Once I did start to feel better I finally sat down and asked "Am I looking after myself?"
Once I went through the list I realised how hard I made life on myself last year and my innate nature to pile to much on my plate at once had maybe finally caught up with me. So I reevaluated, recalculated and made some changes to ensure the following year wasn't so intense, that I could leave time for myself, time for play, time to revel in the joys of life, of my family and of my own journey. I now feel freer to live life in the present moment, I'm meditating daily, I write in a journal which is something I've always wanted to do but never have and I'm finding a better state of equanimity where I am not reacting to my reactions as much.
Life is flowing better and if anything I giggle that at 38 years into life it takes a knock to the head to slow me down enough to actually ask these questions, I am hoping in the future I keep strolling the garden path instead of trying to outrun the Ferrari on the Autobahn. In a positive light this experience has been a bit of research and development, it has given me some insight (just a smidgen) into people who suffer from long term illness, it has given me time to slow the fuck down and smell the roses and made me a more empathetic, understanding health coach and nurturing practitioner.
So in closing, if you prefer not to hit a wall (quite literally) before the wheels come off then take the time to ask "Am I looking after myself?"
Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson PH.D.