Someone asked me this question recently:
Can you make a video or meditation about fears and anxieties surrounding missing out on things and life experiences? I feel like there's so much I want to do in my life and whether I'll be able to accomplish my goals, not knowing how long this will last?
What a great question! We're in a time of such uncertainty. What about all those goals, dreams, and desires you had for the year? What do you do with those now? How can you shift from FOMO (fear of missing out) into a sense of fulfillment?
I made an audio recording to answer this question. In it, I give you 3 steps to go from FOMO to fulfillment. You can listen to it here. Or, if you prefer to read my response, keep reading below.
I'm going to answer this question in 3 parts:
1. Getting comfortable with the uncertainty
2. Understanding your why
3. Building affirmation
First, I want to address the uncertainty about how long this will last. This is, by far, one of the hardest parts of this whole situation. We have no idea how long it's going to last. That uncertainty can be hard to wrap your mind around. The world looks a lot different now than we knew it even a few months ago. And, the fact is we don't know how long this is going to last. We don't have a clear end point.
What we do know is that when things assume some version of normalcy, the world will be a different place. Whenever faced with a crisis, either individually or globally as we are now, it leaves lasting change. Things can't go back to exactly how they were before this crisis hit. All situations in life come to show us something. To encourage us to dive deeper and learn more about ourselves and the world we live in. And so, the first step in addressing your question is acknowledging the uncertainty. And, finding acceptance with the world looking different from now on. So, this is the first step.
Then, coming from this foundation of knowing that the world is changing. We don't know which parts of our lives are going to remain the same, and which will parts will change forever. So, from that starting point, I want you to examine your goals. So, go ahead and jot some of those goals on a sheet of paper.
Now, look at your list of goals. And, I want you to think about your why behind those goals. Why do you want to achieve those specific outcomes? What do you hope to achieve in doing so? How will it make you feel? How will it impact your life and the lives of others? Go ahead and take a few moments to jot your thoughts down.
Understanding your why, as you did in this exercise, will help you achieve your goals. Tony Robbins talks a lot about your why in his RPM method. RPM stands for Rapid Planning Method. Simon Sinek also gave a great Ted Talk about understanding your why, and also wrote a book on the same topic. The idea behind getting clear on your why is that it allows space for your how to unfold. What I mean is you might have a clear idea on action steps you think you need to take to achieve your goals. But, in this changing world, those action steps that you thought of a few months ago may not be relevant anymore. And so, if you're looking just at the action steps or the goal without understanding your why, then that can feel very discouraging.
But, if you know your why, then your mind will search for different ways to fulfill it. Your mind will start to search for creative solutions and opportunities. This happens automatically. When you get clear on your why, you send a message to a part of your brain called the reticular activating system. This is the part of your brain that filters out sensory messages. It only lets the important messages get through to your conscious mind. So, in this way, your mind starts to look out for any resources or information to help you achieve your why.
So, what I'm saying is your action steps and outcome might end up looking different than what you expected a few months ago. Allow yourself to be open to that. And, know that you can find fulfillment by making progress on your why.
Yoga talks about it this way. Yoga says perform your karmas, spiritually-aligned actions, and let go of the results. In other words, perform actions that are aligned with your highest purpose. Let go of your attachment to a specific outcome.
So far I've talked about getting comfortable with uncertainty and understanding your why. Next, I want you to build positive affirmations.
In other words, change your vocabulary from "I don't know if this will ever happen" to "I am resilient and creative solutions are all around me." In other words, change your vocabulary from uncertainty and worry to affirmation and resilience.
The words you use are powerful. There's an entire field in modern psychology dedicated to this. It's called Neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP. From the Ayurvedic perspective, the words you use carry specific energetic vibrations. Energy attracts energy, and your thoughts create your perception of reality. And, like I mentioned earlier, from the Western science perspective, affirmative statements tell your reticular activating system what to look for. It also builds positive emotion that activates your dopamine reward pathway. This makes you feel good, and so you end up wanting to seek out even more creative solutions.
So, you can see that positive affirmations are more than just a woo-woo, new age practice. There's actual science, both from the Western and Eastern perspectives, that back it up.
So, to recap and to answer your question, follow these 3 steps:
1. Acknowledge and accept the uncertainty
2. Get clear on your why
3. Build positive affirmations
So, I hope that answered the question and that you found it helpful. Leave a comment below to let me know.
If you have any other questions or other topics you want me to address, let me know that too!
Stay well. Stay safe.
I created 2 guided meditations to help you relax and accept the moment. It's undeniable that we're collectively experiencing grief and trauma. This current situation of Covid19 and physical distancing is taking it's toll on us. It may look different for each of us in some ways. But, the collective experience is one that is allowing us to shift gears in many ways. To re-examine our priorities and our general way of being. With that, comes a mix of emotions and experiences. I've created 2 meditations to help you navigate these varying experiences.
The first session is about allowing for the stages of grief to pass through you. (Please note: I realized after recording that I described one of the stages as "guilt." That was a mistake. The 5th stage is actually "depression." According to Dr. Kubler-Ross, "guilt" falls under the stage of grieving called "anger." For more on grieving, refer to the book On Grief and Grieving, by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler.)
The second session is about giving yourself permission to relax. Permission to shift from a productivity mindset to one of intuition and flow.
I hope you enjoy these sessions and that they bring an element of peace to your day! Leave a comment below letting me know how you liked the sessions!!
I'm on "vacation" this week. My original plans involved a family trip to the Netherlands. A week of visiting tulip fields, windmills, and historic museums. Well, lo and behold, like many things these days, those plans had to change. I still wanted to do something special with my week off though.
Enter my "virtual yoga retreat!"
What's a virtual yoga retreat? Well, it's something I made up! Basically, I'm taking 1-2 online yoga classes a day from some of my favorite yoga studios. (Shoutout to Beloved Yoga and Atma Bodha Yoga)
All these online yoga classes are reminding me of when I launched an online yoga space in 2018. That was such an exciting time and steep learning curve for me! During that time, I made video tutorials for my students. I want to share those videos with you today. Online yoga is becoming popular as a self-care practice while social distancing. I hope you'll find these videos helpful as you explore online yoga for yourself:
I made the yoga props video this past weekend. I taught a restorative yoga class online to a group of my fellow physicians. Yoga props are so helpful for restorative poses. So, I created that video as a resource for you to have easy ways to make yoga props at home. I hope you find these videos useful!
Also, you may have noticed that I no longer offer an online weekly schedule of classes. I'm still available to teach private (individual or group) online yoga and meditation. Contact me if you're interested!
How are you? Really. How are you doing - emotionally, mentally, and physically right now? I hope you're finding moments through all this to pause and check in. We're experiencing something massive on a global and individual level. There's so much information and advice floating around, it can all feel overwhelming. And, that's why I want to remind you to tune in. Check in with yourself.
I also want to remind you that small tweaks can make a big difference. So, if you tune in and notice that you're feeling tense in your shoulders, take a moment to do a few shoulder rolls. If you find that your breath is super shallow, pause to take 3-4 deep breaths. If you notice that you feel anxious when you check the news, then set a specific time and time limit to checking it. You don't have to make massive shifts in your life all at once to feel better. These small moments of tuning in can give you the peace you need right now.
I also want to remind you to be gentle with yourself. If there was ever a time to honor your own process, it's now. Everyone will have their own way to process what we're experiencing right now. Some people may be pouring themselves into work and creating projects. Others may need more connection with family and friends through Zoom and phone. You may need a day of binge-watching Netflix, or a very structured day. This is the time to tune in and honor your journey for self-care, whatever that looks like for you.
If you need a little help getting started, here are a few resources:
1. Wholepreneur Summit For Mind, Body, Spirit, And Business.
My friend, Tanya, brought together 15 experts to lead 17 workshops over the next couple of weeks. I'm speaking April 7th on Ayurveda Routines For Wellness. You can find the entire lineup and register here.
2. Simple Habit App.
Free premium membership for 45 days. As you know, I'm affiliated with Simple Habit and have created meditations for the app. They have many meditations available for free. But, they're currently offering even their premium content for free. If you're interested, please contact me for the link and offer code.
3. Women's Circle.
I'm planning on hosting another women's circle this Saturday, April 11th at 6pm EST. Topic will be on processing grief. Save your spot here.
That's all for now. Let me know how you're doing. And, if there's a particular resource I can provide you with in the upcoming weeks, please let me know!