Desperate Times Call for Simple Measures

 

We write about what we know. And personally I know about tough times. As a yogi and a meditator, I've always had tools, but when life gets complicated, what I know doesn't always help me. 

Well, it does save me in times of stress when I remember - and that's the hard part!

Remembering what matters and doing less is the key.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying let's do nothing and leave our responsibilities, no. I'm saying let's simplify...and then see. 

For me, experiencing persistent nerve pain in my upper back was a force guiding me to embrace a 'less is more' approach. It took a lot of time, contemplation, meditation and and tears, to realize that letting go isn't the end of me.  

See, for a long time I was a gymnast and had identified with being able to do just about anything with my body. I also felt I could solve any problem and my mind loves to overthink! Life continues to show me how I need to simplify.

Simple is powerful.

I recently read a book called Your Body's Many Cries for Water, where Dr. Batmanghelidj scientifically proves that unintentional chronic dehydration is the main destructive factor in stress, which becomes perpetuated and causes many diseases. 

Water prevents and cures some diseases! We've heard "drink water" over and over and we go, "yeah yeah yeah." It goes to show that simple is easy to forget during stressful times.

Ayurveda has been a big part of my studies, and the more I learn, the more it comes back around to eating at regular times, waiting between meals, doing one thing at a time, having a routine, not eating right before bed. It's these uber obvious things that are fundamental. 

When it comes to the body and food, here's a general guideline that my body loves:

The more stressful the time, the more simple my diet. So, when going through an emotionally distressing time, or when there has been a lot of changes and new demands at work, I go to a mono diet {making the same thing everyday} so I have less to think about.

Deep breath.

In the beautiful text, the Vnana Bhairava Tantra, it's said that through the practices of breathing, we experience fullness, and this is something anyone can access. 

This is interesting because in life we try to get that fullness by taking things from the outside in. Instead we can come into our center and fill ourselves from the inside out, no matter what's going on around us.

Harvard has proved that controlled breathing practices actually evoke the relaxation response. Who knew? Well, the yogis knew, but we have a way of making it too simple to be true or too complicated to want to do it. It's neither - it's just something we have control over that can bring amazing results! 

Realistically, how can you simplify your life?

Ask WHY whenever you do anything. That's it. The things that you're doing and aspire to do, start asking why. Just see what the motivation behind that is and right there, if you're being truly honest, that will show a lot. 

I don't know why simple is so hard to do. It's a practice to continually ask "Why am I doing this?" about everything and to question my existing assumptions.

Applying this to my life, I've become more of a witness to my mind rather than held in the grip of thoughts that motivate behind the scenes telling me to overdo and worry about a million things at once. 

Maybe it gets easier, I don't know, but I'm loving the experiment.

With Love & Understanding,

Lauren