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As we approach the new year, we set goals and intentions for the coming year.
We reflect on the past year and choose to commit to one or more new ways of being, doing, accomplishing.
As lovely as this tradition is, what if we recognized that every moment is a new beginning and that we have the power to change our lives right now with each moment? What if we could set new intentions within every moment and change our reality today? Live better, be more kind, be more active, be healthier, stop drinking, lose weight, be more compassionate, be more present with your loved ones—why wait?
The time is now, and the change is upon us. Someday may never come, but with each breath, each moment, we arrive in the present where life is truly happening.
Today’s world has become overstimulating with a deep attachment to external factors for guidance and happiness. All these influences highly affect our senses, our mental health, and our emotional freedom. What are we ingesting through our eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and skin? How are we processing all this information and how is it affecting the quality of our mind and overall well-being? Our humanness is addicted to external stimulus, impulses, and chaos, whereas the experience of inner peace and harmony can feel bland and less exciting.
Mental disturbances and unresolved emotions build up as toxins affect our capacity to live in deeper harmony. It is important to recognize the power of the mind, observe our thoughts, and become intimate with the phenomenon that we are not our thoughts. The thoughts and imbalances of the mind create our reality and lived experiences. Ayurveda offers guidance in purifying the mind and creating a bright and clearer pathway toward liberation. What is influencing our life and our capacity to heal, release, and transform? What deep beliefs and old stories still control us? How do we see the psychic splinters in our soul that are wedged in the movements of fear and love?
What if we lived in the present moment and less in the past and future? Our human psyche is most often stuck in the past or trying to control the future. There is no safety or certainty, there is no tomorrow, there is no yesterday; there is this moment—this raw real moment—and then it’s gone, giving birth to the next.
Vedic Wisdom: three practices to live in the present moment.
1. Practice daily meditation and pranayama.
Meditation offers a time to be quiet where we can drop into deeper stillness, which helps to destress and calm the mind and the nervous system. When we take the time to just be, we can cultivate a greater awareness of the mind and its tendencies. Focusing on the breath helps to create space in between thoughts by having something specific to concentrate on. The breath also helps to bring us into our parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the inhales and exhales to soothe our overactive systems.
2. Take walks in nature.
The natural environment offers many healing qualities. Taking time to connect to nature, breathing in the prana and feeling the connection to the earth is grounding and clearing. The pace of walking, the rhythmic steps, and our breathing allows the nervous system and mind to relax, with time, releasing the stimulating impulses of everyday life. Being immersed in nature connects us to the cycles of nature, the natural intelligence, which is at the core of all life. It reminds us that we are enough as we are, that our “imperfections” are our gifts, that life is impermanent, and that the power of prana flows through everything.
3. Dive into your thoughts.
Take time to sit alone with yourself and allow the natural environment to hold you. Be brave. Get curious. Breathe deep into the attachments, the fear, the grip. See how they continue to control your life and convince you that they are there to protect you. Dig deeper into the truth of your being. Let love guide you. Even when your system wants to freak out and hold onto old and familiar ground, keep going. The freedom and peace that is available is more beautiful than we can imagine. There’s a deep calm that comes after a storm and the radiance of the light illuminates that which has always been there.
The time is now.
We have polluted our minds and our bodies, our physiological and psychological immunity. We have polluted our waters, our earth, our sky. This vast accumulation has become a global aggravation within all ecosystems, spilling over into every aspect of life. We have been programmed to consume the external world for happiness and guidance.
It is time to look within and reconnect to that which is prevailing, that which transcends all misconceptions of our separation. We cultivate true happiness and fulfillment within, which is always available, always offers deep guidance for life to thrive, and always offers the capacity to face the dualities within all of life.
It takes something extreme to wake up our collective humanity. We are at a significant turning point and it takes each individual to do their work, to purify their body, mind, and spirit, to find their inner wisdom and freedom. This time is asking us to reconnect to our hearts, to the collective life on this planet, and to offer our courage and commitment to transforming our inner environments and being an advocate for the collective healing on this earth.