As the saying goes, old habits die hard and it's often very difficult for us to begin the new habits that will help us slink away from our old ones. But, like anything in life, practice makes perfect and by implementing a few daily changes everyday, over the past several years, I have found incredible success in obtaining and retaining peace, happiness, and overall stability, purpose and understanding.
Over the next several weeks, I would like to share some of the activities, beliefs, and mantras I have folded into my daily life that have been extremely helpful and have yielded amazing results.
1. Daily Walks
While going through a particularly depressing time, my best friend suggested I began taking daily walks to shift my mood. I was hesitant at first, since I was never the kind of person who just, you know, walked. But, the day after he made the suggestion, I tried it––and loved it! Soon, I invited my teenage son to come along with me on these daily walks and we were able to utilize that time to talk about life goals, plans, and daily events. We even began taking photos of things we saw and created a photo album in honor of our walks together. My mood lifted, my body felt good, and my relationship with my son grew even stronger.
2. Nightly Reading
Most of us will swear there is no time to read. After all, we have children and jobs, spouses, friends, and well, ourselves to take care of! Around the time I began my daily walks, I also began doing a lot of soul searching and honesty exercises with myself. There were things I wanted to do that I just wasn't doing, and reading more books was one of them. I wanted to read more spiritual guides and learn more about Buddhism. I became interested in people like Eckhart Tolle and wanted to know more about The Dalai Lama. I wanted spiritual feeding and needed to make consistent time in order to get it. So, I implemented nightly reading. Every night before bed, I committed to reading just one chapter from a book or two––and that was it––just one chapter a night! I got the information and healing I needed, I slept better, and evolved as a human being.
3. Bedtime Meditation:
During times of stress or excitement, I found it difficult to get to sleep on time. I would lie in bed, hour after hour, tossing and turning until finally, I just passed out. By time I got to sleep, it would be in the wee hours of the morning and when I awoke, I'd be exhausted. Well, around the time I began exploring Buddhism and His Holiness The Dalai Lama, I also began listening and reading the teachings of Deepak Chopra, and this lead me to his meditations. On YouTube, I found many different kinds of Deepak's soothing recordings, designed to assist in transcendental meditation. One evening, just before bed, I chose a recording, closed my eyes, and listened. Before I knew it, it was morning! Every evening after that, I made bedtime meditation a part of my ritual. It has helped me sleep more soundly and longer. I wake up feeling better rested and ready to tackle my day.