What do we need to thrive and not just survive in our work, relationships and community? The answer may be simpler than you think.
1.Silence … the world is noisy. It is tough to ‘hear’ where, when and how to move in it without quiet stillness. Try ten minutes of quiet stillness today.
2.Beauty … where is beauty in your life? There is something grace-filled somewhere … find it.
3. A good friend … mutually nourishing friendships are one of life’s great treasures. They don’t just happen overnight, and they can be destroyed with a few clumsy words. Learn to grow them like an orchid needing special care. Their beauty will sustain you during life’s roughest and driest patches.
4. Passion … make time for what makes your heart sing, if only for ten minutes a week. It will seep into other parts of your life and you will thrive.
5. Gratitude … what you focus on will grow. Try writing down five things you are grateful for each day. You might be surprised at their simplicity—a good meal, a good laugh, a conversation.
6. Exercise …do not do exercise you hate. I was in a yoga class last week, and the teacher was inviting us into a very complex pose. Students were straining, holding their breath and wrinkling their foreheads. When he took note of this, he said, “OK, now adjust the pose in any way you need to, so it is enjoyable.” Immediately, everyone relaxed. Foreheads smoothed and breathing returned, along with a few smiles. You will not continue a regimen you don’t like. Take a tai chi class, or start a group that meets to hike once a week. Make exercise part of your week. Be creative.
7. Healthy food … cut down on the junk now. Try a baked yam with adzuki beans, rice and collard greens; this is one of the easiest to make, most delicious, and most nutrient-packed meals around. Experiment. You might find you enjoy shopping and cooking. Do not diet. It is discouraging to “go on a diet” only to lose a few pounds and gain it back once you go “off of it.” Make small changes with the momentum toward healthier eating. Replace the afternoon cookie with an apple. Eat oatmeal instead of muffins. Have one piece of bread instead of two, ¾ glass of wine instead of one. Eat dessert only at special occasions. You get the picture. Small but steady changes can result in losing pounds and keeping them off. At the same time, you’ll be supporting your overall health.
8. Acupuncture … consider finding a good acupuncturist to have on your ‘self-care’ team. Building this relationship can be invaluable not just in terms of treating disease but in preventing it. Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most used medicines on the planet, and it works!