WILW ED #20
As I sit here, on a grey Tuesday morning, in my pyjamas drinking my morning kombuncha from a wine glass after a sleep in and yoga/meditation session, I feel utterly content. I hope that you are equally content as you read this, wherever and whenever that may be. This feeling of contentment is one that has been with me for the past week or so, it is usually a feeling that comes when I am in a routine and yet not overly "busy" or stressed out. For me, this seems to occur when I am working rather than studying, because when I study it is all-consuming and constantly on my mind, whereas work ends when I clock off and then I can spend my spare time doing the things that I want to do... guilt free. This is not to say that I don't enjoy studying, but during semester I find my energy equilibrates around something other than contentment. However, like all things, this too shall pass. This feeling of contentment will come and go, and will be replaced by other feelings. That is the beauty of life.
This week I am...
This article popped into my inbox, I read it and was left feeling in awe and inspired. I think this is something everyone should read, because in one short article Alice seems to capture and highlight one thing that is so important in life, but that we often forget - our time is precious and finite. Whilst contemplating the shortness of life might seem morbid, this article actually made me feel incredibly alive, inspired and fear-free. It reminded me that life is too short to "waste time" doing things that I don't need to do or don't want to do (sure, it's not always that simple, but everything in life is a choice). I loved all of the Seneca quotes that Alice incorporated into the article, but especially one in particular, that I will share in the "Quoting" section of this WILW. I loved it so much that I made it my screensaver, so that I have a daily reminder of the shortness of my life.
Listening to: Lewis Howes interview with Liz Gilbert
Yes, this is yet another Lewis Howes podcast, BUT they are just so awesome and each one is so different from the others that I consider them all independently. For those of you who don't know her, Liz Gilbert is the New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and has recently released her new book, Big Magic, about living a life of creativity. In her interview with Lewis she talks about how she stayed grounded and humble after the huge success of Eat, Pray, Love and about encouraging people to follow their curiosities, rather than their passion. I particularly loved this point about passion vs curiosity, because as Liz explains only a minority of people have one big, undying, lifelong passion, whilst most of us have a range of curiosities. As such, the age-old advice "follow your passion" is not always very helpful for the majority of us who don't know what that is, or alternately don't have one big passion. I can definitely relate to this, because although I do have a big passion for health, nutrition and wellness, I have so many other interests (curiosities) including yoga, science, metaphysics, medicine, reading, sociology, language, travel, meditation, writing, and much more. I am a multi-passionate person and that is cool, it's more than likely that you are too.
Just as I was sitting here wondering what to write for this section, Peta tagged me in this video on Facebook - it was obviously meant to be here! If you haven't seen any JP Sears videos before, and you're looking for a laugh, then I seriously recommend you head over to his website/YouTube and check them out. JP Sears can be described in two words - spiritual comedian. His videos usually mock and make fun of the ridiculousness of the spiritual practices, habits and judgments in a way that clearly shows he knows what he is talking about. It is all about not taking life, or ourselves, too seriously, which I think is such an important message. In his words, "Perhaps Our Ability To Laugh At Ourselves And Not Take Ourselves Too Seriously Is What Increases Our Spiritual Growth.. ". And on that note, I'm off to watch the videos I haven't seen yet!
Eating: Bone Broth
For those of you who are unfamiliar with bone broth, it is basically stock made from free-range, grass-fed animal bones that is an absolute nutrient infusion in a cup! The concept of drinking bone broth to support optimal health is an ancient one, as civilisations have been making it for centuries and it is likely where the old wive's tale of chicken soup as a cold cure came from. Whilst it can be a little tricky to get your head around drinking a cup of broth/stock, it is actually super delicious and SO incredibly good for you - it is definitely the health food trend right now. The benefits include, but are not limited to, improving skin, nails, hair and teeth health, helping to reduce cellulite and increase skin elasticity, healing inflamed or irritated gut lining, improving immune and brain function and much more.
If you would like to know the nitty-gritty (and awesome biochemical details) of broth and have a go at making your own, then check out this Wellness Mama article. We sell cups of bone broth at Happy Place and so when I am working through some chilly winter days at the store I love to have a cup of bone broth to keep me satiated and I can tell you that it is deliciously addictive and nourishing. We have had a super hearty beef marrow bone and tomato broth lately - it is like a hug in a cup!
Pondering: food anxiety
This is a concept that has come up in conversation many times over the past couple of months with various people. Yesterday I was chatting to a co-worker about eating habits and the idea of balance and once again it came back to the fact that eating healthy is great and wonderful, but only if it is done with a sense of acceptance that not all food will be "pure" and "perfect". Considering the enormous influence our minds have over our physical health it is no surprise that often the anxiety some people feel around trying to eat a perfectly clean diet often reverses or at least severely limits the health benefits of the nutritious food they are eating. This phenomenon has become so pronounced in our society that is has a name - orthorexia. Now, of course I am not saying you can just eat junk food if you have no food anxiety and you will be healthy, that's ridiculous! But if you eat a healthy diet, but feeling a lot of anxiety around food and food choices, then perhaps it is time to reconsider your approach.
Food should not cause us anxiety, it should be a source of joy and nourishment. You should enjoy and love eating healthy food, not do it because you are anxious about gaining weight/getting sick/because you "should" eat that way. Create your boundaries, but if you break them, do so in a loving way. Indulge in a beautiful piece of cake, eat it mindfully and enjoy the flavours, but don't beat yourself up about it afterwards. And if you do find yourself feeling guilty after breaking your rules, then consider whether it is worth doing, or whether perhaps you need to shift your boundaries. Above all else, listen to your body and follow its guidance - it will tell you what you need!
Moving: Lululemon Free Yoga Classes
Last weekend Peta and I went to the Lululemon outlet store in Collingwood and I was reminded of the fact that every store has a free weekly yoga class. So last week I then got my butt into gear and went to the Emporium class on Wednesday night and then the Collingwood class on Saturday morning. The Lululemon classes are a great option if you are new to yoga and want to take a class, but aren't quite ready for the commitment of a studio pass. All you have to do is find your nearest store and then check out their events page or visit them in store to find out when the weekly class is on! Too easy?
Aiming to: spring clean
I might be some kind of weird exception to the general rule here, but I actually enjoy cleaning. Well, to be fair, I enjoy it when I am in a "cleaning mood". Over the weekend, while my housemates were all away, I decided to get stuck into some spring cleaning of our house. I have to say there are few things more satisfying than looking at room you have just beautified and feeling like you've actually achieved something. What's more, cleaning can be enjoyable and even meditative. In the process of spring cleaning I also de-cluttered, which has been proven to help with mental clarity and focus, as our outer environment reflects our inner state. When cleaning I like to pump the music nice and loud, put on my oldest yoga clothes and then scrub everything until I fall on the ground in a sweaty heap. It's a free workout that promises to leave you and your place looking just a little better! And if you are still turning up your nose at the idea of cleaning, think of it as a gratitude practice. By caring for your home and your possessions clean you are expressing your gratitude for them, thus cleaning with an attitude of gratitude can help you to realise that you quite literally have everything you need (and probably much more).
Grateful for: alone time
This might be a sort of 180 from my last WILW, in which I expressed my gratitude for my housemates, but over the past four days I've had the house completely to myself and I totally revelled in my alone time. I walked around the house with no pants on, went to bed ridiculously early or late, blasted music and just generally did things that I like to do (cleaning included). As an "extroverted introvert", I find that I am energised by my alone time, so I am conscious of taking this time when I can just to recharge and equilibrate. Perhaps the feeling of contentment I am feeling is as a result of allowing myself to have that alone time and not fill up that empty space with social events. Taking time to be alone is so important, for both introverts and extroverts, as it is during this alone time that we can truly figure out who we are and reflect upon our interactions with others. Perhaps this week try scheduling in some alone time and see how you feel when spending time by yourself?
Until next time.
Love Erica x