Author: Joanna Lim, Founder Living Lotus Love & Wholebeing
"A Tree that is unbending, is easily broken"~ Lao Tzu
This life is all about our personal learning and growth.
When we actively learn it makes it so much easier to create more of what we want and less of what we don't want. Because we are choosing how we want to live, how we want to learn, and respond to our experiences.
Rather than life just happening to us.
When we passively roll along with life, we learn and grow, but generally there is more repetition of what we don't want to help us learn our life lessons.
So, to take an active step toward greater fitness and flexibility in your body and mind, here are 5 tips to expand your horizons centred in Self Love and Wholebeing.
1. DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY
Do things a little differently every day. Move to the edges of your comfort zone to expand your capacity.
Every time we do things differently, we create new patterns in our body and mind. This is literally how we learn, adapt and evolve.
The more frequently we try new ways, the more adaptable we become and the faster we grow. This is how we create a growth based mindset.
What happens in the mind, happens in the body. So if we have greater flexibility in the way we think about things, we build greater flexibility in our body. Same with fitness, if we are able to meet our challenges with strength and determination, we are able to build greater fitness in our body, because we have the tenacity to go further for longer.
Drive a different way to the shops.
Spend time learning about something new that interests you.
Make a new dish that you haven't tried before.
Travel to a place you have never been before, either online or in person if you can.
Notice your posture when sitting or standing and make some adjustments to sit or stand a little taller.
Helpful Hint: Make sure whatever you choose to do differently, you enjoy it, so the challenge is more enjoyable and the chance of you continuing to practice doing things a little differently increases.
2. USE EVERY DAY ACTIVITIES
Use everyday activities to incorporate your fitness and flexibility.
Balance on one leg while waiting for the toaster or kettle to boil.
Helpful Hint: Keep a slight bend in your knee so you don't lock the knee joint. That way you use the muscles and ligaments to created greater strength and stability
When tying up your shoe laces, see if you can work towards touching your toes again.
Helpful Hint: Remember to bend your knees as much as you need to so you don’t strain your back or legs)
When you go to sit on a chair or the toilet, take a little longer to lower down onto the seat, and get back up.
Helpful Hint: Focus on even weight placement in your feet as you move. The slower you lift and lower, the greater the training for your leg muscles.
3. MAKE GOALS ACHEIVEABLE & SCALABLE
Set achievable goals that you can easily build upon every day. Every little bit adds up.
5 deep breaths in the morning, 5 deep breaths in the evening before bed, with the goal of getting to 20 morning and night by the end of the week.
To help expand you breath capacity and sense of relaxation. Allowing you to be more present to each moment.
Helpful Hint: The slower and deeper you breathe into your belly, the faster your mind calms and your body relaxes. If you need a little help breathing lower, place one hand on your belly and one on your heart.
See if you can feel your lower hand rising higher than your top hand. This lets you know you are breathing deeper into your belly, not shallow breathing into your chest.
Going to bed 5-10 minutes earlier than usual to get a better rest. with a goal of getting to bed 1hr earlier by the end of the week.
Helpful Hint: When we go to bed before 10pm, our mind and body is better able to rest and relax.
When we stop using electronic devices 1hr before bed, we reduce excess stimulation of our senses which also contributes to easier rest and relaxation.
Going for a walk around the block once a week, with a goal of walking around the block once a day by the end of the month.
Helpful Hint: Pick a time when you feel the most motivated, and usually have an open amount of time so you can enjoy yourself a little longer if you want to. Enjoyment is the easiest way to increase our chances of building new habits.
4. THINK POSITIVE
Create positive inner dialogue to help you create more flexibility and fitness in your body and mind.
I can, rather than I can’t.
What we think, we create in our lives. The more we believe we can do, the greater we believe our abilities to be, the more we achieve in life.
Helpful Hint: Look at the areas of your life where you know you tend to limit yourself. If you would like to expand on some of these limitations, give yourself permission to do so, rather than shutting the possibility down. Start to replace I can't with I can, so your inner dialogue can change.
I love myself, rather than, I don't love myself.
No one will ever be able to love us in the exact way we want, because they cannot read our ever changing mind.
This is why it is so essential to love ourselves as often as we can. It then nourishes our deepest desires around love, and this allows us to feel more confident and supported within ourselves.
Just because we have a strong connection with our inner critic, doesn't mean it has to be that way forever. We can always choose to cultivate a more supportive relationship with our inner voice. This allows us to live our life from a place of love and trust, rather than fear and doubt.
Helpful Hint: Look at your needs around love and support and see if there are any you can give to yourself right now.
If you don't know what your needs are, just give yourself a little time and space to sit with it each day, and listen. Your answers will always come, they just need to be given the time and space within our busy lives.
5. OPEN UP TO OTHER POSSIBILITIES
Open your mind to alternate possibilities when things feel stuck. This busts through thinking the same way, building new pathways.
Consider someone else's point of view on a subject that you are usually very clear on.
When we stick to the same beliefs we have been taught for our entire life, it makes for a life of repetition of what has come before.
When we allow space for questioning our beliefs, we have a choice in whether we will continue to think the same way or not. Which again creates more flexibility in our patterns of thinking. This can also help us to build our sense of understanding, respect and empathy for others.
One of the easiest ways to expand our mind is to consider another persons' perspective. Especially when it is challenging. We all have very valid reasons for believing what we do, and creating space for understanding just might allow us a little more wriggle room for an alternate way. This can help us expand our sense of what it is to be human, and our appreciation of the many different ways to live and understand our lives.
Consider what it would be like to not feel stagnant or stuck in a rut, when you do feel that way.
Sometimes the best ways to open up to other possibilities is to consider the opposite, even manifest the opposite into existence.
Often just by considering the alternative we are able to start moving our body and mind toward something other than the fixation because it is no longer able to hold our full attention.
What we spend all our time and focus on, will inevitably frame our lives from moment to moment. Simply because we are investing ourselves in it. So our ability to open up to alternate possibilities, ie. other things to invest our time and energy into, is the key to learning how to move forward and create different outcomes for ourselves.
Helpful Hint: If you notice yourself whinging and whining about why bad things always happen to you, it is a clue to let you know there is a fixed way of feeling or thinking that is operating.
Let yourself go deeper into the despair and notice how you feel. If eventually you get sick of repeating the same patterns, try something new. Often it takes the crappy experience to be able to learn how to look for something different, and create new pathways of living.
This life is all about our personal learning and growth.
Finding the love of learning in our individual and collective experiences together is the best way to sustain love in our lives.
Similarly, maintaining a flexible mindset and supple body is the best way to continually adapt and change to our environment s we learn and grow.
It is up to each of us to decide how we want to live our lives.
What will you choose for yourself when you wake up each day?
Stagnation and restriction, or self love and freedom?
With Love from Jo
For more helpful hints and Self Love reminders,