Start the way you mean to go on. Old cliché maybe but in the past I have talked about the importance of rituals in my own life and how they may affect the way we carry ourself in the world. Beginnings are powerful as they give us a chance to start fresh and bring new intentions to the table. Finding your own ritual, one that works for your life situation, can be a challenge as we are all so busy. But pursue it, I urge you, as it can make a huge difference to how you feel, both mentally and physically. Rituals can include food and drink choices, exercise and relaxation that you do to be the best person you can be on a daily basis.
1. Warm water with lemon and cayenne
I do this every day. I fill the kettle, add cold, filtered water to a big cup and then top up with boiling from the kettle. When the temperature is warm, i.e. not hot, I add the juice of 1/2 lemon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Try to find organic cayenne which contains more of the health benefits. It will last you forever.
The anti-oxidant and PH-balancing qualities of lemon and the circulatory and heating properties of cayenne gets your body flushed out and set up for the day. Wait at least 15-20 minutes before you eat or juice after. After I have drunk this I meditate which gives me the perfect excuse not to eat or drink – just sit!.
I try to do this daily and even though I love it, it is always easier to do something else so it takes perseverance. The concept of getting up to a brand new day, only to sit in stillness for 15 minutes goes against our nature. BUT, and there is a big but here, meditation seems to expand time – or the feeling that each task you are doing is done calmly and thoroughly without that stressy feeling we can get when we are just ‘getting stuff done’. So it works, it helps and for sure if more people meditated the world would look different. A better you emerges from the hustle and bustle of life. The real you. So listen within, calm the monkey brain and sit your behind down on a meditation pillow for some stillness. Then venture out in your day. There are many meditation programmes that are guided and helps you along the way. I like Oprah and Deepak’s 21 – day programmes (free) that you follow daily with a different intention. It starts with a soft bell and finishes with one too. You don’t have to watch the clock, it is all done for you. For more information check it out here.
Another of my daily rituals is to make a large, green juice. That is how the Green Swede concept started and it is still what I abide to. A green juice contains so many nutrients and minerals that your body may not get otherwise through our daily diets. It is an excellent way to increase your energy levels, boost your immune system (it REALLY works) and strengthens your body to detox naturally, the way it was designed to do. Green juice is also instrumental in weight loss as toxins are flushed out and your digestion and metabolism is boosted. There are a lot of recipes for green juices on this website to help you make the juicing as easy as possible.
Yes, I know but it really is necessary. And you don’t have to belong to a gym either, walk, run, cycle, go up stairs, do yoga in your living room, do daily push ups and sit ups, walk to work instead of drive (if feasible). Our bodies were designed to move and a whole host of ill-health can be solved by simply moving our bodies more. It boosts our self-esteem too as it promotes endorphin production hence makings us happier and more content generally. My favorite exercise currently is Barreworks, a dancers work out which kills me every time but makes me feel amazing after – and I follow this by a large green juice. I also love cycling – apart from it being fun it is also a great mode of transport. Find your thing and simply move.
5. Breathe, relax and STOP judging!
So we don’t really do much of any of these on a daily basis. Yes we breathe but do we really breathe? Take some time out today, when faced by a challenging situation, to zone out and take a few deep breaths. I find having a teenager always gives me plenty of fodder to practice this :) Remember whats important in your life and return to choose the higher ground. If it doesn’t feel natural then fake it. What would someone who you admire do in your situation? Then do the same. Habits take time to shift so in the meantime, fake it until you make it.
How often do you sit down without a phone and just relax? Not often I guess as we are so wired up and constantly available. Just take 5-10 minutes a day to really sit and let your body really relax without worry or stress. And talking about relaxing without stress, we judge relentlessly, others and ourselves, on a daily basis and it is not doing us any good. Gossip is rife and so is bullying amongst kids AND adults, don’t be a small person when you can be big. Lead by example even if you sometimes walk alone. If you’ve ever been a smoker you know the camaraderie of hovering together at coffee break. Same with gossiping adults at the school playground, or groupings at the office at the expense of another – it might make you feel part of a gang but at what cost? Walk your own path, be kind and you’ll find your tribe.