What if changing your perspective could change your life? What is changing your mindset could change your life? Why do we look to external values to better our sense of being?
I played a social experiment with myself for the last week or so. I was tired, like most of us, after a busy and successful 2017 season. Being the work-aholic that I tend to be, I just kept adding more to the calendar even though in December there really isn’t a good reason to be running full tilt with our event horses/clients. However, a weekend off could be a weekend teaching, etc. so I kept scheduling things.
I started looking forward to my 2 week vacation even more fervently. The weather took a turn for the worse and I found myself with a few days off (please see “feral 4 yr old warmbloods and snow” for reasons why). I found myself in my house contemplating what I loved about leaving the country so much. Aside from the obvious reasons of adventure and travel, I admitted it was for a sense of quiet and time to reflect.
In our modern Western Society built on social media, marketing plans and general outlines for world domination- I craved silence. Silence by quieting the noise from those which we hyper extend ourselves both intentionally and unintentionally. I just wanted to be still.
That thought process led to my personal social experiment. I decided to attempt a self-healing stay-cation week. What the hell am I talking about? Well, I was still riding/teaching but I committed to doing those things which I loved about when I am out of the country re-charging. As many of you know, I tend to go all out on to things, so here is what I chose for my personal goals:
1. Yoga every morning
2. Daily meditation
3. Vegetarian Diet
4. No social media or phone/technology usage pre-yoga/ first thing
5. Daily journaling
7. No Drinking
8. Get back in the climbing gym
Sounds drastic for some of you doesn’t it? Here’s how it went down:
I would wake up and make coffee (because, coffee). While I was drinking my cup of deliciousness, I would journal then read a little bit from Living with the Himalayan Masters. After reading for a bit, I would hop on my yoga mat and play yoga. After playing yoga, I ate and then started my day at the barn and ride.
Yes, I got a up a little bit early to fit this in, but truthfully not that much earlier. By swearing off technology in the am, I embarrassingly freed up more time than I realized I was spending herding virtual cats. It turns out, the world does in fact keep spinning if you don’t reply to a Facebook message within a nanosecond if it being sent.
The list of things that have shifted is ridiculously long and I’m still processing all of it. What I can say without any hesitation is that I am much happier. I feel better, more grounded, and kinder both to myself and others. My riding has improved and I am being more patient with my horses and myself.
It is exponentially easier to get up in the morning and I don’t wake up tired. It’s been ONE WEEK.
For many of you reading this, this is old news and you likely already have this self-care system in place. I guess I’m sharing this for those of you that might not be comfortable taking those steps to be still and find a quiet place. It is certainly a journey and I am just a student on this path, but I want to share my experiences so that you may take that step (or seat) as well.
There are no wrong answers. Find what makes you happy and do that. Be kind. Take a moment to pause long enough to hear your self.
Oh, and do more yoga.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your experiences, come play yoga, or ask questions!
Find what makes you happy and dedicate yourself to it.