“What you think, You become” - Buddha
The mind is a powerful thing. It holds a lot of power over how we feel and behave day to day, and ultimately over our achievements in life. Our thoughts become the things that are our reality, but one of the most important things to remember is that we are in control of our thoughts. Sometimes we can let our thoughts get away from us but with awareness and practice we can create thought patterns that shape a reality we truly want. One message I’ve come across time and time again is that of Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. I think I truly proved that to myself when I made my dream of living and working by the beach a reality this past year. I never really knew that this dream would happen, let alone where but it was a vision I had, part of daily affirmations I told myself for many years and then a random “why not” application for a working holiday visa and a little trip to Australia led me to the life I envisioned, becoming my reality. I’m grateful every day for that experience and I'm working towards continuing to achieve more of my goals but writing down my daily affirmations, which keep me motivated to work towards them.
Affirmations are statements of truth you wish to achieve in your life, written as if you have already achieved them, so as to convince your mind of that reality. I think it’s a pretty interesting concept and if I haven’t gone through what I did, I might have called bullshit on this...but I can say, it is definitely not bullshit. There’s a sense of excitement and calm when writing these out, similar to writing down gratitudes. Paying attention to what you are grateful for reminds you that regardless of where you are going, you must appreciate where you are, because if it wasn’t for where you are in this moment, you would not get to where you are going the next moment.
Affirmations allow you to consider where you currently are and decide where you are going. They not only allow you to set goals for yourself, they help you believe you are going to get them. And for many MANY things in life it really is MIND over MATTER. Of course you won’t get anywhere if you write these, affirmations and then do nothing but I truly believe that having these affirmations to remind you daily will subconsciously allow you to make decisions and take actions towards achieving them, otherwise why would you even go through the effort of thinking about them and writing them down?
As the last week of Mindful May, I encourage you to keep up the habits of the last few weeks:
1. Daily Gratitudes + Foot Posture
2. Wind Down before bed (without electronics!) + Pelvic Mobility
3. Morning Meditation + Deep Breathing
And add daily affirmations: one sentence or a few every day that remind you of what you want and allow you to accept that you have it or will have it. If you are totally and completely satisfied with your life, AMAZING, I still think affirmations are a great way to appreciate what you have. For example, one of my affirmations before heading to Australia was “I am relaxed, well rested and enjoying waking up without an alarm clock, being able to have my morning workout by the beach and spending time with my love”. While I was there one of my affirmations was “I am being present and making the most of my time living and working by the ocean, like I always dreamed” (because at times I would have moments of stress, wondering if what I was doing was right, if I let people or myself down when I left Canada, if I took a step back career-wise by leaving, etc, etc...all those crazy but normal and totally valid thoughts that I needed to accept, recognize and move on from)
That affirmation was also not unlike my gratitude statement of “I’m thankful to be living and working by the beach, making my dream a reality”. So even if you have everything you want, giving yourself a moment or two to write it down and recognize it is still beneficial, if for nothing else than to give yourself a moment of “me time”.
Essentially there are many ways to help us recognize all we have and help us believe we will achieve all that we want to achieve. Mindful May was about allowing you (and me) to re-centre and focus, calm the mind so it can be free and clear for the steps ahead. I hope that some of these tips are habits you found helpful and may want to continue on.
Mindful Move of the week:
We are going to combine what we worked on all month: Foot Posture, Pelvic Position and Breath into finding our proper posture and making it feel normal.
As a step by step of what to think about:
1. Stand tall with your feet hip width distance apart
2. Equal weight between sides and between the balls and heels of your feet
3. Relax your toes (see if you can lift them off the floor and gently place them back down without gripping)
4. Keep a soft bend in your knees
5. Your pelvis should be neutral (no spilling of water forward or back from that pelvic bowl - see week 2 if you forget!)
6. Rib cage stacked over your pelvis
7. Shoulders back
8. Chin tucked
Then once you are here incorporate your diaphragmatic breath (week 3!) for 5 breaths. Try this daily!
See the picture below, the differences are subtle but can feel like big movements. This is definitely one of those tasks I encourage you to photograph so you can see the differences as sometimes it is hard to feel them. You can also consider seeing a physiotherapist or other movement specialist to help you find this space. If you have any issues with you neck, shoulders, back, or hips, this is definitely something worth working on! If you have any issues with hernias, groin strains, pelvic pain, urinary or stress incontinence, prolapse, or have had any kind of abdominal surgery it is important to get this checked (note this list is not exhaustive and I am a strong advocate of getting a physical assessment by a movement specialist on the regular to prevent injuries, not just to treat them)
Hope you have found Mindful May to be helpful! Feel free to contact me for any questions, comments or bookings! And as always, watch this space for more on health and wellbeing, from the inside out.