So, we’re well into the first month of the New Year. Are you feeling pressure to set an intention, a resolution, or a word for this year? Are you feeling distracted by the conflict and division in the world? Are you feeling heavy, anxious, uncertain? Are you feeling human? Me too.
The New Year can be a time for shifts and resolutions, a time for a renewed sense of self and direction. But, also, it can NOT be those things. And that’s ok.
I am here to say that whether you’ve set an intention for the new year or not, whether you feel a shift or not, whether you’re ready to embrace a new calendar year or not, you are worthy of LOVE and peace, and even when life feels uncertain, you can always control some things right this very moment.
And those things are your BREATH, your PAUSE, your MOVEMENT.
Enter mindful movement. Enter FLOW. In choosing to move your body mindfully each day, you take control over how you get to show up in this world and prioritize tuning into your body, which in turn opens up space to feel, to breath, to process, to exist exactly as you are and to carry that with you through the rest of your day and into life.
There’s an immense power in taking time to pause, breathe, and love on your body with movement. It opens up space to tune in, acknowledge however it is that we’re doing right now, and take it in, not as good or bad, but as information to help guide us through the rest of the day, the week, the season, this life.
You are worthy of space to feel, of space to breath, of space to rest, of space to love on yourself, today and always.
That said, here are a couple of my favorite mindfulness-based tools to help you take that space to love on yourself even in the toughest moments. I garnered these from years of work with a mindfulness-based therapist and have implemented in my own life. These tools helped me move from chronic pain to the ability to tune into my body in ways I’d never experienced before, releasing that pain and supporting my body to thrive. I am grateful for the opportunity to share.
Do you have moments of anxiety, tension, stress, fear, pain? Sure. We all do. Here are two quick tools you might decide to turn to in those moments.
- I know it seems too simple to be true, but trust me. In the moments where my pain would creep in, my jaw would pulse, my breathing and heart rate would quicken, I could always count on this tool. I’d pause whatever I was doing, sit or lay down on my back, bring my hands to the place where I felt the most tension, or simply to my belly, and slow my breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. In time, just a few breaths could bring me back, slow my nervous system, and bring relief. At times, it took longer. But I’d always find my way. And I still do.
- Tune in and LISTEN. Yep, I talk to my body. I learned that pain, heaviness, tension, stress, anxiety are not to be “fought off”; rather, they’re a powerful form of communication from a very wise body. Once I shifted gears and stopped fighting against my body, and tuned in to listen to its wisdom, so much changed. A tight jaw, tension in my diaphragm, pain in my upper back. I used to fight these with over-stretching, a call to the chiropractor, or medication. Now? I listen. Upper back means my adrenals are taxed. A tight jaw means I’ve been clenching and have stress or sleep hygiene to address. Tightness in my diaphragm means it’s time for deep breaths and pause. The list goes on.
I hope these two tips bring a little more peace this year. They may be simple, but they sure are effective. I’ll part with this: if you haven’t figured out an intention for the year, maybe it doesn’t need to be so all encompassing. Maybe set an intention for this moment and see where that first important step takes you. And if you have? I bet tuning into that breath, practicing mindful movement, tuning into your body’s wisdom will all help you stay aligned with that intention or maybe help you realize that you need to shift your intentions or goals if your body, heart, and soul call for it.
Want to Flow with me? Check out Let’s Flow, and opportunity to move mindfully on your own time when your body needs it most. Subscribe for unlimited access to my library, with three new practices added each week!
Sending love, friends.