I see a lot of clients, friends, and family (and myself) who struggle to establish healthier habits. Many fret about their struggles and how they’ve had to neglect other areas of their lives while working to accomplish their goals. They’ll often run themselves down, throwing their energy and chakras out of balance. It’s a fabulous thing to want to do better, get healthier, and clean up our acts a little…however, while pursuing health and happiness, it is important to make sure the process itself is healthy and happy for us.
I’ve amassed more than my fair share of bad habits. I am human after all (whaaaaaat?!). As a more *ahem* mature adult, I’ve struggled and worked to undo the negative and implement the positive. There seems to be this never-ending stream of new or rediscovered ancient practices that “experts” tell you we’re “supposed” to do, though! At least several times a week one is supposed to fit in something like 12 cups of green tea, 8 glasses of water, kefir or kombucha or some other probiotic food or drink, yoga, 30-60 minutes of meditation, 30-60 minutes of cardio, chia seeds, quinoa, coconut oil, and don’t forget work, kid-related everything (if you have them), and making sure your home stays in tip top Pinterest shape…well you get the idea.
Several times I’d started down the rabbit hole and attempted to add multiple healthy habits all at once. Needless to say, I had to pee a lot. Each time I became overwhelmed. I would put lots of pressure on myself to do everything – this time I’ll get it, this time it’ll stick! It never failed that a big ball of guilt and disappointment in myself developed when I fell behind. I’d end up abandoning everything only to do it all over again after taking months to gather up the will.
I came to realize that if something isn’t working then I need to change my approach. I began to understand my limits and started observing what worked with my natural rhythm instead of against. I figured out that recommendations are just that: recommendations. What works for one person, even an expert, doesn’t always work for me…especially in the beginning. So now when I decide to try something new, I introduce one thing at a time and experiment with how I’m most successful at different times of the day, lengths of time, and frequencies. It sounds like a fairly easy concept, but often a difficult one to recognize in application.
If you’ve been following my blog you may know that meditation has been a struggle for me. My journey with it is a perfect example of attempts and “failures” to implement it into my life. So, after years and oodles of frustration, here’s what I’ve found:
I meditate more often and easily if I set aside time in the morning.
Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t, and that’s OK.
At times I’ll replace meditating with a walk, tack it on to the end of a yoga session, or thoroughly enjoy a delicious chocolate chip cookie instead.
For other habits, I found out that I’m deathly allergic to gyms ;), so rotating between yoga, gardening, and walking boosts my chances of exercising more often. The dishes won’t get done if I don’t do them in the morning. To get my probiotics in, I usually make a morning shake with homemade kefir. The hubs and I want to be more environmentally and health conscious so we slowly built up to becoming (mostly) pescatarian by increasing veggies and decreasing our meat intake. Aaaaaaand many of these things I don’t necessarily practice on the weekends because I function better through routine and, in my life, weekends don’t lend themselves to routine.
It’s all about figuring out what works for you. So experiment, and have fun doing it! If Ludicrous Speed doesn’t work for you, try going slow and implement one thing at a time. The most important thing to remember through all of this? Be gentle with yourself – there’s no need to depose your balance or energy. Whether you’re in a dire situation that requires a change of lifestyle or you’re the epitome of health and want to keep upping your game, you’re not doing yourself or the world any favors by beating yourself up when there’s a setback. Be well, friends.
What are some ways you introduce a new habit into your life?
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Courtney Ginn is a certified Reiki Practitioner in Sacramento, CA. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike.
In the Sacramento area? Click here to schedule an in-person appointment. Distance Reiki sessions are also available.