For those of us that experience self-doubt and self-criticism, mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools for healing.
Recently sponsored yogini Kelsie had the chance to explore these topics by reading an awesome book: Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic by Mark Coleman.
Early on, the author who is also a meditation teacher, describes to us the voice in our heads that is hypercritical of everything we do and of who we are, the "super-ego." The inner critic shames us and debilitates us. I didn't realize what this really meant until he explained it as the voice inside our heads that says, "You're not good enough," or, "You're not smart enough." Basically every voice we hear is subject to criticism. Using compassion and practice can be useful tools to eradicating your inner critic. This book is organized into five parts: the critic, understanding self-judgment, how to work with the critic, the power of love, and beyond the critic. There were lots of great tools offered to help cope with your own inner critic.
Cheers to a relaxing Friday when you can question your inner critic and trust your intuition, friends!
Do you know about Ayurveda? If you’ve never heard of it before, Ayurveda is an ancient system for health which incorporates the mind-body-spirit connection. This practice is all about understanding your body type and its tendencies (your dosha), syncing your body’s rhythms with nature, eating nutritious and seasonal food, and taking great care of yourself by slowing down, meditating, getting restful sleep, and living in tune with your body.
I highly recommend checking out Ayurveda if you’ve never explored it before. Once I discovered it, the more research I’ve done, the more ideas I’ve found that I can incorporate into my daily routines. Some of them are so simple and effective that I could hardly believe I didn’t know about them sooner!
These are a few Ayurvedic principles and practices that I use:
Eating slowly and mindfully to aid digestion.
Eating according to the seasons (knowing which fruits and vegetables to look for, as well as knowing whether warm or cool foods are more appropriate).
Noticing my emotions when I sit down to eat, and understanding that if I am stressed or angry, my digestion is affected.
The author, Acharya Shunya, is an expert on Ayurvedic practices and offers incredible tips and tricks for how to incorporate these ideas into your life. The book is practical, easy-to-read, and engaging. I love that she gives suggestions on how to heal different ailments and that she includes some awesome recipes!
I also loved this idea, which is shared early in the book... instead of thinking, “You are what you eat,” consider the idea, “You are what you can digest!”
Ayurveda is such a powerful tool for harmonizing the body’s processes, becoming more at peace, and understanding our incredible potential to heal from the inside out.
Today, give yourself five to ten minutes to write freely. You could use a fancy journal or a simple piece of scrap paper. You could sit somewhere in solitude, enjoying the quiet; or perhaps you want to write while surrounded by people at a busy coffee shop. Do what comes naturally to you today. Set yourself up for a comfortable, safe space where you feel grounded, and can let go.
Give yourself the freedom express what you’re feeling and thinking without any editing, judgment or holding back due to fear of what others will think. Let the work you do be therapeutic and cathartic. Let it be a resonance of you, in this present moment. Not what you think you should be, or what others are pressuring you to be. Just write from where you are. The blank page is a space where you can be yourself. Make lists, bullet points, random musings. Tell stories or jokes. Let whatever emotion is bubbling up make its way onto your page.
Here are a few of my favorite writing ‘prompts’ that I’ve used over the years, or that I’ve found to be effective in working through difficult situations:
1. What am I ready to let go of? What’s weighing on me the heaviest right now? How can I release my need to control this situation/person and instead surrender to the timing of the Universe? 2. Sit comfortably for a few minutes and notice your breath. Then, meditate on your life. Imagine that you’ve been given a blank slate. You get to let go of all your current responsibilities, time commitments, relationships and fears, and start from scratch. What would you put back into your life? How would you fill up your days? Consider what you’re holding on to that is draining your energy. 3. How do you want to be remembered? (I love this one because it really puts things in perspective when I’ve been worrying about small stuff.)
Here's to discovering something new about yourself through writing! Namaste.