Life’s been… well a lot lately. There’s a national pandemic that is continuing to kill countless innocent people, there are social justice movements that are at the forefront of our lives like never before, there is uncertainty around our jobs, finances, and daily lives…….and oh by the way we are “supposed to” function like we are fine. I mean really, how can I remember to take out the trash when I’m trying to solve the world’s problems?!
The truth is that we are in some extremely hard times and we all deal with these things differently. Some people are glued to the news, soaking in every bit of information and anxiously awaiting the latest reports from state and local officials. Some people have taken to the streets to protest for real change in our society. Some people have blocked it all out and resorted to unhealthy behaviors to cope. And, some people have taken to social media to share their thoughts and opinions on everything from the police to the best disinfectant wipes for your home to the newest pick for the Bachelor (in case you were wondering it’s Matt James- the first black bachelor!). In the midst of our “new normal” we are also trying to parent our babies and dogs (and sometimes husband), keep our house in a somewhat of an order and work crazy hours that include marathon Zoom sessions that lead to migraines and me wondering why Zoom only made “positive” emoticons to share. I’m a very positive person, but if my only option is “clapping hands” and a “thumbs up,” how am I supposed to ever disagree with someone or at least give them a hard time?! But I digress….
I think that we are all feeling a bit lost right now and it’s completely understandable. The stress, weight, and scrutiny of our current world is leading many people down unhealthy paths that don’t align them to who they truly are. It’s during these challenging times that I recommend applying a term that we often use in yoga –True North. In Baptiste Style yoga, True North represents the natural and powerful alignment of your body that empowers you to feel whole and connected to your highest self. According to the Baptiste methodology, there are 5 powerful ways to find True North alignment and while these methods are typically used to explain body alignment in a yoga practice, I put a little spin on them that I thought would be helpful to yogis and non yogis alike.
- Ground down like EARTH: Write down 5 values that are most important to you and put them somewhere that you can see them every morning. Say them out loud (yes really – out loud!) each morning and then anytime you feel lost throughout your day repeat your values and DO SOMETHING that aligns you to them.
- Flow like WATER: Create some ease in your day. The world is NOT going to do it for you so you need to create it. Disconnect from technology and then go do something that helps your relax….read a book, take a nap, meditate, go for a walk, take a few deep breaths, drink some hot tea….. INHALE…………EXHALE. Find some ease.
- Build an inner FIRE: Spend time doing what lights you up every.single.day. One of my favorite quotes is by Howard Thurman and it says “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” More than ever, we need YOU – yes you – to come alive and make a difference in the world.
- Soften like AIR: Be vulnerable. As my girl Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” We need to be vulnerable and open to knowing that we do NOT know it all. It’s time to listen and really hear what others are saying. Soften your heart and open your mind – I promise you – the world will surprise you.
- Create SPACE for something new: Be open to change. The world is not going to be like it was pre-CoVid, pre-George Floyd, pre-quarantine, pre-protests, etc. and that’s not a bad thing, but we need to open up space in our lives for something new. Most of us worry too much about the past or future when what we need to do is remain in the present moment. By staying focused on the present, you allow the things right in front of your face to open you up to new possibilities. Where there is SPACE there is GROWTH and that’s what moves us and society forward.
Your True North helps you find your way home. In the midst of some of the most difficult times our world has ever faced, I pray more than ever that you find your way back home. I pray that you find your way back to your true self, the people you love, and the passion that lights you up so that you can bring a little more home to the world ……. We need you.