“Life Off the Mat”
Ahhh…. the sweet aroma of incense fills my senses and my soul. The worries of the day begin to fade. The warm candlelit room deeply calms me and the soft, peaceful, voice of the teacher draws me into a deep state of relaxation and bliss and finally as a result, I am home. Home on my Yoga mat, away from the fast passed, plugged in world, where I normally or perhaps abnormally dwell.
My body is comfortable here, my mind at ease. We move gently from one asana to the other and I am transformed. Transformed to a place where all is well. Class seems to magically fly by. I reluctantly roll up my mat and vow to return as much as I can! Now begins, “Real” life, off my mat, a deliberate day by day, moment by moment, quest to live a life of excellence and purpose.
5 simple steps to living a life of excellence and purpose…. “off the mat”
- Discovering Mindfulness ~ “Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgement.” Jon Kabbat Zinn Mindfulness is a deliberate on purpose practice to connect with yourself, physically, emotionally, also spiritually. Mindfulness is centuries old, adopted by many, from the Buddhist practices of meditation. The purpose of mindfulness is to be in the present moment at all times. When you are deeply mindful, consequently there is freedom! Freedom from the constant influx of noise and distraction. Mindfulness is a disciplined practice to be practiced each day, moment by moment. Mindfulness opens you up to a life of excellence and purpose. Therefore, being aware of any given moment, good or bad, light or dark, happy or sad, without judgement, can invoke a sense of mindfulness and peace.
2. Discipline ~ “It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Zig Ziglar
Another way of creating a purposeful Life off your Mat, is by developing a schedule or plan each day that will assist you to stay on course and change the pattern of your life. Discipline is “to bring to a state of order”. Therefore, creating goals or priorities each day may help resume order in your life. Not only discipline but also creating rituals to back up your plan. Sticking to your plan, is important if you want to experience great results. Most of all, don’t be over zealous with your priorities or list, just make it simple. If you do not follow through or cross off everything on your list, no internal spanking needed, just try again.
3. Live without Fear ~ Almost all of us have fears that limit our lives. Seems like, we spend so much of our lives being afraid, due to such a wide range of factors. We are afraid to step out of our comfortable box, afraid to say something wrong, afraid to offend, and afraid of what other people will think or say. Due to the fact we are also bombarded with news programs, social media blasts, twitter feeds, full of fear based stories, our day is on ” fear overload”. As a result, fear will ultimately immobilize us and send us into panic mode and perhaps even depression. Perhaps by creating a “fearless” mantra, to ease some of the toxic effects of fear, may help. Some mantra examples might be,” I am not afraid”, “No fear”, “I release all fear”. Repeat your mantra several times each day. Say it out loud, morning or night. Writing the mantra on several notes and arranging them throughout your home, office, or on your computer screen will remind you daily to be fearless!
4. Acceptance ~ “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them. “ Albert Einstein
Please do not interpret acceptance for giving up or giving in. Hence, acceptance is an action step. A call to action to appreciate where you are in your life and to determine how and where you want to go. What it is you dream of and the steps to accomplish all your dreams and desires. Yet, before moving forward to there, you must first genuinely feel happy, here.
5. Gratitude ~ Being grateful, seems like, it is the kryptonite to negative feelings and emotions. Furthermore, we must learn to be grateful not only for the joyful times in our life but also the difficult times. Since it is in those times of trial we learn, stretch and grow. A perfect plan to invite gratefulness in your life is to help someone else. Just a simple note in the mail (not an email or text) but an actual hand written note would make someone’s day. Smile to at least 3 people each day! In addition, be creative, think of something fun! Spreading kindness to others will fill your life with gratitude.
So in conclusion, while Life off the Mat, can be a rough journey, and require, most note worthy, work and discipline, it is truly a lifelong and exciting journey. A journey filled with part time turbulence and part time joy. Consequently, by adapting just these 5 simple steps, you will be inspired and ultimately create a life of excellence and purpose, on or off your mat! Namaste.