For the past few years I've been incorporating five easy ways to create a more peaceful life; simple practices to keep myself healthy emotionally and spiritually.
I've named them "5 to Thrive".
Five practices that I try to do each and every day to create more peace of mind, more balance, more joy in my life.
And already I hear you saying: What? Five more things I have to do? I can't handle one more thing!
I know, but stay with me for a minute. Because some of these you're probably already doing and perhaps adding one or two of them can help you switch from surviving to thriving.
Below are my 5 daily practices. I invite you to read through them, notice which ones you're already doing, and see which ones (if any) you'd like to add to your day.
All of them are free, easy, hardly take any time at all and can add immeasurable peace and fulfillment to your day.
1. Start your day with silence.
I've been doing this for a few years and it's made a huge difference in my life. For the first 15-20 minutes of my day, I'm quiet. I don't turn on the computer or my phone. I get out of bed, pee and then sit in silence, with my hands on my heart, smiling. Nothing more. Nothing less. Silence and smiling — a big ol' silly grin on my face for several minutes.
It's a beautiful, easy, heart-opening way to start the day.
2. Be Willing.
I wrote about this a few years ago in another blog post. Each morning I stand up after practicing the smiling meditation above, raise my arms to the sky and without editing my thoughts, I begin to say aloud all the things that I'm willing to do that day.
It might sound like this:
Today I'm willing to listen
I'm willing to love
I'm willing to make mistakes
I'm willing to help
I'm willing to serve
I'm willing to eat well
I'm willing to take care of my dogs
I'm willing to try something new...
and then I allow my hands to come to my heart and end with saying I'm willing... I'm willing... I'm willing.
This practice takes about 60 seconds and it's amazing how profoundly simple repeating the phrase "I'm willing" over and over again actually is. It cuts through resistance so quickly and opens up immense possibilities.
I'm willing to sit in traffic today
I'm willing to receive an unexpected bill in the mail
I'm willing to write a blog instead of taking a nap...
3. Water, Water, Water.
Those who know me know that I have an immense passion for water. (I've been known to dive into swamps on the side of the road, and go skinny dipping at fancy cocktail parties in San Miguel. Yes, I was sober, thank goodness!)
And how water shows up in my daily practice is: I take a steaming hot bath each night before bed. Hot baths are good for calming the nervous system, preparing yourself for a good night's rest, increasing levels of serotonin levels (the 'happiness' chemical) and other health benefits.
I light a candle, put in a few drops of an essential oil (Tranquility by Butterfly Express is my favorite) into the tub and sit. These few minutes alone are the perfect time to enjoy the near darkness, the deliciousness of the water, and acknowledge my Self, which is next on the list...
4. Acknowledge My Self.
During my nightly bath, I review my day and acknowledge my Self for what I did. (I have a daily goal to take 7 inspired actions each day in the direction of my dreams — but that's a blog post for another day...) and during my bath I remember what actions I took that day and acknowledge my Self for it.
And here's why this is so vitally important: In my coaching and counseling practice I work with many people that are beating themselves up, worried that they're 'missing out' or not 'keeping up' or 'falling behind' or tons of other lies that we tend to tell ourselves. Taking a few minutes (less than 1 really) to acknowledge what we've done that day, actions that we've taken in creating a life we love, helps to keep us on track and notice that we are indeed moving in the direction of our dreams.
Make sense? I hope so.
5. Give Thanks.
To end the day, as my head hits the pillow, I bring to mind what I'm grate-full for that day. What I enjoyed or am thank-full for. It might look like this
I loved seeing and giggling with Jessica today.
I'm so thank-full for that meal we had.
I'm grate-full for the quiet.
I loved that spontaneous conversation about health that we had with our neighbors today.
I'm so grate-full for this moment, right now.
If you're willing, I encourage you to add one or more of these practices to your day, with the intention of creating a more peace-full life.
You'll be amazed at the results!
Feel free to take a screenshot of the graphic below and place it some where you can see it as a reminder.
Pretty simple stuff, yes? Yet so powerful.
And, we'd love to know:
What is one daily practice that you enjoy that helps you create a more peace-full life?
We'd love to hear all about it in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.