Are those just words or are they actual practices that can make a difference in our lives? I like to think the latter. I'm sure you've heard sayings like, "what you think about you bring about," or "what you focus on becomes your reality." I gotta be real honest, there's a TON of truth to them. Do you ever wonder why someone seems accident prone or on a good luck streak? Well, simply put, it's because that's where they are focusing their thoughts.
All of these can mesh together, so lets dive into each of a little deeper. Find the combination that packs a powerful punch for you.
Meditation - there are many different forms of meditation, but it's basically a technique used to focus the mind on a specific thought, object or activity. How do you accomplish this exactly? You should be in a quit space - a place and position you feel comfortable. Many different "experts" say that sitting with your feet flat on the floor helps with grounding and most will agree that you should close your eyes. Closing your eyes helps our bodies feel the feels, hear the sounds around us and really sink into the awareness of our thoughts. I like to use doTERRA's Balance essential oil, it's a grounding blend and I put a couple drops on the bottom on my feet an d rub it in every morning. Speaking of morning, though you can meditate any time during the day, here's a post from Divinitions about the benefits to a morning meditation.
Prayer - not just used during worship, it's a spiritual act used to express your thoughts and feelings to God, mother earth, or whatever higher power you believe in. I like to think of this as a one-sided conversation. I give thanks for the things that have happened, ask for forgiveness where I faultier, but the real "conversation" happens when I just talk about the things that are on my mind - my wants, needs, wishes, dreams, etc., often asking for help or guidance. I'm a believer that you can do this any place, any time, any position, eyes open or closed or opened, out loud or silent - you name it. Now there's nothing wrong with getting on bended knee and clasping your hands together, you do what feels right and sets you up to be in the best position to focus on getting what you need to off your chest and open to receiving the answers. Keeping in mind this is a one-way conversation, you're not exactly going to hear a voice or see a sign (at least most of the time).
Affirmations - simple statements (positive that is) declaring an act, goal or mood you wish to accomplish or be in. Speaking or writing affirmations in the present tense, as if you've already accomplished what you're trying to achieve, is key. For example, if your focus is on weight loss and present tense affirmation might be I'm loving my healthy body. Self expressions or "I AM" statements are simple and effective. I AM great, I AM worthy, I AM enough, I AM...you name a positive thought and that's a great place to start.
Mindfulness - goes hand in hand with meditation. This is where our brains psychology comes into play - helping us be aware of something (thoughts, feelings or sensations) in the present moment. Focused breath is something you can do to help with mindfulness whether during meditation or otherwise; focus on how your breathing, be intentional with breathing in and out. Breathe in a positive thought or feeling and exhale the negative. When I specifically work on focused breath work I like to use essential oils that help open the airways and/or help with focus. My personal favorite is doTERRA's Peppermint - it's energizing, opens my airways and helps me to stay focused. Another one of my go-to's for this is doTERRA Adaptiv™ - this oil blend is all about mental wellness and is a scent that my body actually craves. The oils in this combo are: Wild Orange, Lavender, Copaiba, Spearmint, Magnolia, Rosemary, Neroli, and Sweetgum. Yum!
Positivity - yep, this is a practice too! The practice of being optimistic and having a good attitude. I read something, probably on Google, that stuck with me; if you want to take the air from a bottle, then you fill it with water. The air comes out naturally. I think the same is true for our minds. If you want to take the negative thoughts out of your brain, then start thinking positive. The negative thoughts will be overtaken and come out naturally. I'm a HUGE proponent of the power of positivity! So much so that 2 of the 7 days a week my social feed(s) contains a thought of the day, motivational quote or other thought provoking positive mindset. I find that citrus oils in general help with our mood. The aromas of citrus fruits are proven scientifically to uplift and energize the mind, so when you're feeling a streak of negativity swooping in, bust out a citrus oil or blend (like doTERRA Citrus Bliss®). I was gifted a blend called Liquid Light that I use, here's what's in it: Frankincense, Adaptiv™, Copaiba, Pink Pepper and Yellow Mandarin.
Gratitude - guess this one is more of a quality or thought process, but to practice the art of gratitude is to truly give thanks and appreciation for things, acts, feels, etc. that we experience. There a several ways to do this too, many though, including myself have a gratitude journal. It's said that we should both start and end our day with gratitude. I start my day by writing five things I'm grateful for and as I lay my head down at night I wrap my thoughts up in a positive prayer of gratitude. The key for me with keeping a gratitude journal or even thinking them in my head is to not over think them. They don't have to be extravagant things. For me it's often what's on my mind or heart - like on the 4th I wrote: fireworks, bbq-ing, time with family, our freedom(s), and laughing. They don't always have to be super deep and insightful. Be authentic to yourself. What puts a smile on your face? What makes you tick? What lights you up? Write those down.
This year I used the Start Today Journal by Rachel Hollis. It's a 90-day journal to get your started and get that daily practice going, I've kept it going in a little notebook. Here's the format:
Today I am grateful for:
1. example: my families health
Ten dreams I made happen: (long-term, but written in present tense)
1. example: I am an extraordinary wife
The goal I'm going to achieve first: (tangible goal with a date)
example: I will complete my Aromatherapy course by 12/18/20
In the wee-hours of the morning when I'm doing my journaling, I like to use aromas that uplift and ignite me. My current obsession is doTERRA Citrus Bloom. Sadly this was a limited time offer and is no longer available, but it's a combo of Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Magnolia. Speaking of magnolia, this is a great one to use to reduce overwhelm and improve gratitude.
You know I could talk for days about other practices for positive pursuits, like tapping, but I'll save that for another day. Until we "meet" again...