The best thing we can do for ourselves is find the stuff that really light us up – that motivates, inspires and takes care of us – and make that stuff a part of our everyday life.
First, connect to self.
Call this whatever you want – connecting to your soul, spirit, your higher self, intuition – regardless of its name, it’s all the same. Before we can do any quality work in this world, we have to be sure to fill ourselves up. If we get to work or life feeling packed to capacity, we don’t have room to let the good stuff in. And you can’t fill an already full container, can you? We have to empty some stuff out to create a space for creation.
Extreme gratitude. Reverence. Intention.
I don’t get out of bed without tuning into a vibe of gratitude. I feel gratitude for the littlest of things that I might otherwise take for granted. Even my crazy part-Siamese cat who has a nasty habit of bellowing on the top of his lungs like the house is on fire to remind me that it’s breakfast time. This isn’t about running through a list of things because someone once told me that gratitude is super powerful (and I know it is). This is about actually feeling grateful for the little things that make up my life. It’s about creating the day through mindful mornings.
For me, showering is my time to set an intention. Call it prayer, divination, manifestation – whatever you like – I set the firm intention to be present in my day. I let myself be fully aware of the warm water running over my skin, the fact that my feet are firmly planted on the ground and I try to take that vibe with me everywhere I go.
Focus and tarot love.
Being intentional also has to do with setting focus. When I’m questioning my focus for the day or evening, I’ll pull a card with the intention to understand what I need to concentrate on. This isn’t about predicting the future or some crazy voodoo shit, this is just my way to shine a light on what I might not be seeing. I like to have a choice of decks depending on how I’m feeling at the moment. They all have a different way of communicating what I need. That’s why I have a pretty phat collection of tarot decks to play with. When I’m looking for a gentle reading, I reach for my Doreen Virtue angel cards. When I want to get lost in a visual and focus on how to feel for the day, my goddess cards will do the trick. And my Wild Unknown deck is a favourite when I’m feeling for a straight-up intuitive hit. I have other decks too. I used to think that I needed to stick to one but now I know I’d rather have a selection depending on my mood.
I have to be honest, the first time I attempted oil pulling, I was totally grossed out. Putting a spoon of coconut oil into my mouth just felt weird. But I wanted to see if all the hype to it was true. So I stuck to it for a week and I’ve never looked back. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my teeth and gums (not to mention that my dentist asked me what I was doing differently too). I’ve also chucked my department store-bought toothpaste and substituted for a natural clean. I’ve been on a real kick to rid my body of harmful chemicals and extra non-essential ingredients in my self-care routine (hello natural deodorant, diy body lotion (aka coconut oil), skin cleanser and facial toner).
And finally, I refuse to buy hundreds of dollars worth of skin-firming, wrinkle-defying, age-enhancing products chock full of ingredients that I would never ingest let alone shouldn’t be shovelling onto my skin. Instead, I’m keeping myself hydrated. I start my day with a tall glass of room temperature water with either lemon or apple cider vinegar, which clean out impurities, signal my digestive system to wake up and start my daily hydration. I make it hard for myself to ‘forget’ or ‘get too busy’ to drink water throughout the day by bringing a metal container of H2O with me when I’m on the go and keeping a tall glass filled with water at my side when I’m working.
Meditation. Silence. Mindfulness.
I might not have a huge chunk of time every single day to mediate but I sure as hell take time every day to get quiet. My sanity, creativity, relationship with myself and others depends on it. Meditation and mindfulness is all about achieving a moment of mental inactivity – where I don’t get carried away with my never-ending judgements and thoughts and can have a chance to get mindful to what’s happening in my day.
I didn’t set out with the intention to create a pretty little altar in my home, it kind of just happened. I intuitively began to collect little somethings that had a lot of meaning to me – all in one spot beside my bed. What started as a stark night table is now a collection of my favourite things. From books to candles, to stones and crystals, feathers and bodhi beads, I have a small space that holds energy for me. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a love note to yourself or a photo of your dream home – but it’s super powerful to hold a space of meaning that’s just for you. And change it up every now and then – make it a living expression of your essence.
Music. Dance. Move.
Music is medicine for the soul. It doesn’t matter what kind of mood you’re in, there’s something for everyone. Wanna temporarily brood over a rough day or failed romance? Go for it. Wanna solo impromptu dance party kinda of evening? Do it. Listen, soak it up and let your body move if you’re so inclined. Speaking of movement, there’s no better cure for being stuck than getting moving. Yoga, walk, jog, or sweat it out. 10 minutes or 1 hour, it doesn’t matter. Just. Move.