Making Space: How Losing Those Habits Can Give You Everything

Buddha was asked ‘What have you gained from meditation?’ He replied, ‘Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old Age and Death.’

We can often become so wrapped up in obtaining the things we want, that we forget to take a step back and remember to appreciate what we already have.

While I believe ambition to be one of the most important qualities for the development of our species, and a super attractive one at that, we all need time for rest, too. We all need balance.

When I say it is a practice to be grateful for what we have, I don't just mean materialistically, but spiritually too. We all have the tools and the wisdom inside us to live a full and satisfying life as long as we are living out our true path and can focus on what really matters.

Sometimes we may find ourselves carrying around a bunch of stuff and baggage that doesn't matter, though. For me, influxes of these heavy epiphanies began rolling in when I started practicing yoga a few years ago. I came to realize all I was living for, and none of it was for me. It was for my society, my family, my friends, my job, and most of all, for the routines I'd always known.

Change is hard. So hard, we resist it even when we know it carries the path that's best for us. When I realized I was licking the bottom of my energy tank dry on a bunch of habits I'd only conformed to, I began to make small changes.

One of the toughest parts of change is purging the habits that no longer serve us before a better one has come along. But that's the whole kit and caboodle right there: nothing miraculous can come into our lives until we make the space for it. 

When we fight to hold onto stressful obligations even "in the meantime," new opportunities are exponentially more difficult to come by.

  • Feeling stuck creates negative thinking patterns, not the positive ones that will provide us with the ambition we need to accomplish our dreams.
  • Working hard at goals that mean nothing to us drains us entirely, leaving no extra time or energy for exploration of a better way.
  • Failing at tasks that are ill-fitted for our needs can convince us we don't deserve any better than what we already have.
  • Anxiety creates heavy walls that prevent us from seeing our opportunities clearly, if at all.

Take it one day at a time, one baby step after another, and not only will the changes and space you want to make seem much more manageable, but they will add up to BIG improvements in your life.

Here are some of the personal changes I made, each seeming challenging enough in their moments, but waxing into huge, heart-opening transitions before almost no time at all.

1. I cut out under-sleeping and over-planning to give myself something I desperately needed: rest. Like magic, I transformed my day off, POOF, into a whole day a week that I actually get to do whatever feels good ALL DAY just because it feels good. Sometimes this means light housework, sometimes this means six hours of savasana.

2. Rather than continuing lonely hours at home wondering where my social life retreated to, I replaced this anxious habit with Epsom salt baths. I've never been a bath kind of girl, but after a couple of times I got used to sitting without needing to go stir crazy. Time at home is now spent cleansing my body, mind, and spirit with the precious free time I have.

3. I stopped wearing makeup every day, and WOW the savings added up quickly. I replaced this with actually feeling better about my natural appearance. After a couple of days I realized I didn't flip over my bare skin nearly as much as I used to about my makeup being perfect all the time.

4. I replaced my stubborn wavy hair with knotted dreadlocks. I'd always wanted to and had no good reason not to go for it. Hours of straightening, washing, blow-drying, hair-spraying, and MOST importantly freaking out about having perfect and normal hair, are now gone.

5.  Most profoundly, I've replaced letting my anxieties to suffocate my inner peace with meditating. And, while I used to alternate between workouts I hated and extreme diets, I now dedicate my physical healing to the art of yoga. Both of these practices bridge the gap between physical health, emotional healing, and spiritual fullness, leaving my life more balanced and open to new and brilliant adventures.

What space can you create in your life? What glorious things await to fill it?

 

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