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Five Ways to Create the Change You Seek

Spring is an amazing time to create the change and transformation you’ve been seeking.

The creative power of Spring is undeniable. Signs of new life, having lain hidden and dormant for so long, are suddenly popping up all around us. And we are not separate from that energy and power. Spring offers us that same opportunity to reveal something new that’s been incubating deep inside of us.

Imagine that every thought you think is a seed, one that is pressed deep in the soil of your psyche. Of course, every seed won’t thrive but– fed by our habitual actions and patterns– some will. When we begin to realize that our thoughts really do have power and start watching our current thought habits and patterns more carefully, our awareness becomes a tools that helps us to be more intentional with our thoughts and actions– to weed out those that feel damaging, unnecessary, or overcrowding while nurturing those that are aligned with what we truly want.

Thoughts, wishes, intentions, hopes, dreams, fears, worries– they are all seeds that hold the potential to create our reality. We just have to pay attention and be willing do some weeding– and feeding– where its most needed.

Here are my TOP FIVE ways of beginning to create the change you are seeking in your life:

1) Practice Presence. Sounds easy, but this one can be slippery in a world of distractions. Keep it simple and just pay attention. When you’re ready to practice, focus on your senses. What does the air feel like on your skin? What smells do you notice? Are you really tasting your food, as if for the first time? Treat yourself to a simple hand or foot rub and just focus on the sensations. The more you intentionally bring this practice into your day- even just for 30 seconds at a time- the more you’ll naturally begin to remember to practice it.

2) Practice Gratitude. This simple concept is one of the most powerful things you can allow yourself to experience a major shift in perspective. In moments of stress, look around you and find what is good. Do you have shelter? Food? A caring person in your life? Can you find some beauty in your environment? It only takes a small moment of appreciation to turn stress and anxiety into something more manageable.

3) Get Creative. Some people swear that they don’t have a “creative” bone in their body, but that just isn’t true. Creation is what we are here for; it’s the trail that we leave behind us as we walk through life. It’s how we express the light inside of us and bring it into the outside world. Creativity is any kind of “play” that allows you to get out of your head and into your heart. If it feels like too much pressure to create art with pen and paper, how about Legos? Play-doh? The playground? The wood shop? How about stacking rocks? Collecting leaves or bugs? Making paper planes? Painting and old chair? Or dancing? Think about some things you enjoyed doing as a child and then go do them! Don’t put pressure on yourself to create something of lasting value. Make a sandcastle and then let the ocean wash it away.

4) Get Quiet. How often do you get to experience stillness? Do you live in the bustling city? Are you constantly engaged at work with emails, calls, meetings, or just a feeling of chaos? If you work alone, does your brain get chatty and talk your ear off all day? Do you ever just wish for a moment of peace? This is a challenging one, not just because we live in a time where we are constantly being pushed to engage, but because most often, once we are alone and have a chance for peace, it can be very, very uncomfortable. Begin here. Just listen to your thoughts. Do you hear them? Now realize that in order to be thinking the thoughts and listening to them at the same time, there is an implied duality– there’s your thoughts, and then there’s You listening to your thoughts. That You behind the thoughts is being very polite and letting the thoughts ramble on and on and on, but that You is also incredibly powerful and persuasive. By acknowledging that presence that is witnessing the thoughts, you can begin to experience and understand the real You. By seeking out the natural pause, the quiet in between the thoughts, you can begin to discover a place where you are fully aware of yourself and your environment, and where your mind- if only for a moment- is still.

5) Experience Connection. One of the most effective ways to be present is to experience a nourishing connection with others. Connection is validating and can often help us feel that an experience has real meaning. Understand that connection with others is equally important and valuable as connecting with yourself, because it is how we take action in the world and put our practices into action. In terms of creating a shift in your life, connection with yourself- experienced through the four practices listed above- is key. But sharing experiences, insights, inspirations, and compassion with others is where you will begin to feel the value of your shift- whether or not you are on the right track, living your truth, and creating value in the world. So enjoy a cup of tea with a friend, share your desires and accomplishments, or just go out and enjoy an evening together!

These are simple practices, but not always easy. The simplest things can often seem the most daunting. But don’t get caught up in what you think you may be creating in the future by practicing these things. The real power of these simple practices is that they can shift your present moment into something vastly more enjoyable. And guess what? Your future reality is going to be your present moment when it gets here, so, as the Buddha said, “If you take care of this moment, you will take care of all time.”

 

Love,

Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Aida
    May 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    All of the practices resonate with me, but particularly number one. I think I get into the routine of each day that I spend most of it either doing things automatically or reacting to things around me rather than being proactively present. I’ll be working on that this Spring!

    • Reply
      Treetrunkwise Yoga
      May 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Hey Aida, thanks for sharing! It’s easy to go through routines in a zombie-like state.

      My mantra in my Treetrunkwise Yoga practices is “Breath -> Awareness -> Intention”. If you just start by noticing that you are “unaware” of what you’re doing, often times the body will spontaneously take a deep breath. If this doesn’t happen, you can just take a deep breath after you notice. The simple act of breathing more fully can bring an automatic sense of awareness- more feeling in the hands, sharper vision, etc. Add intention to the recipe (in this case, perhaps the intention to practice staying present for at least one minute or until the end of the task) and you have in incredibly powerful recipe for presence!

      Let me know how it goes!
      Love,
      Rachael

  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 3, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Sage advice! For me, number two is the most powerful. When I am having a tough time, I take a deep breath and “count my blessings.” This small act completely reverses my mood, my perception, and my day. ❤️

    • Reply
      Treetrunkwise Yoga
      May 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      That’s beautiful, Sarah.. Sometimes this can be one of the most difficult to do in times of stress, so that’s no small feat. This also makes me think of Bing Crosby singing “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep..” Oh, how I love that song! <3

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