The Power of Accountability

The morning is such a beautiful time; we open our eyes to a new day, show gratitude for all that surrounds us, and move forward with love and good intentions (I mean, that’s the ideal plan, right?).  We all know that life can sometimes get in the way of our well being, so it is extremely important to make time for the things that deeply nourish you, making all of the other “stuff” (stress, work, bills, time) more manageable.

For me, I knew that I needed a better spiritual practice in the morning.  I have had the hot lemon water and green smoothie thing down for well over a year, but there was something missing.  I wanted (needed) to take some time in the morning to do things that made me feel fulfilled, happy.

I am a firm believer in “how you live your mornings is how you live your day”, so for the past 7 weeks, I have developed and practiced a morning routine.  I gave myself some options, and I made a promise that I would do my best to practice at least 2 of these things at the start of every day.

You may remember the post I shared when I was just starting this adventure… So here is how my calendar looks now:

calendar completed

I have to say, I am really proud of myself.

Yes, there are a few blank days, and yes, some mornings I only did one of the practices, but why focus on that?  That is why it’s called a practice, right?  Because we are practicing it, working on integrating it into our life.  It’s not always going to look perfect, and it definitely isn’t always going to feel perfect, but we make the time anyway because we know that it is benefitting us on a deeper level.

Over these past 47 days, I have again learned the power of accountability.  Some mornings, it was a real struggle for me to sit and meditate for 10 minutes when all I wanted to do was get on the computer, turn on some music and check my email… But then I would think of today, the day that I would be sharing a picture of my calendar with you, and that was my motivation.  And of course after my 10 minutes of meditation (or whichever practice I decided on that morning) I felt wonderful, and was so grateful that I took the time for myself.

So thank you for keeping me accountable.

Accountability is one of the strongest ingredients in successful health coaching, and I share it with you because I want to motivate you to commit to something you have been thinking about, something that makes your insides sparkle.  Hang a homemade calendar on your wall to keep track of your progress, find a friend that has something he/she wants to commit to as well and do it together, write about it on your blog, share it with someone you love and ask them to check in with you every day about it… Find something that works for you and do it!  And don’t be scared of error, embrace it, learn from it.IMG_4008

Moving forward, I am feeling more confident and stable in my morning routine.  I now know that in order to feel grounded and balanced in my day, I need to take some time in the morning to journal, practice yoga, meditate, read, stretch, or post a inspirational quote.  I may even make another calendar to help.

I would love to hear the ways you have, or are planning to, keep yourself accountable, and what it is that you want to add more of to your life.

with love and gratitude,

Amanda

Advertisements

Setting Morning Intentions

How you live your morning is how you live your day.

Read that again, just to make sure you have fully absorbed it.

Got it?  Ok… So, how do you live your mornings?

During the night, our bodies cleanse, detox and repair, doing all of the work to keep us healthy, happy, and functioning properly.  After hours of not eating or drinking, we wake up thirsty and hungry.  So, after working all night, it is only right to give the body the best fuel we can offer.

a super green smoothie

My morning routine consists of a tall glass of water, some hot water with lemon and cayenne (continues the detoxing), and a green smoothie or juice when the hunger pangs begin.  This routine ensures that I am hydrated, properly cleaned out, and that I am offering my body nutritious fuel.  It also helps to set the tone for the rest of my day, encouraging me to choose healthy and nutritious foods.

This kind of routine, or some variation of it, is one that I recommend to all of my clients, and I have seen dramatic changes in many lives with these simple suggestions.  I know that a new routine always starts out as work because it is a change in our usual patterns, but with time, when you begin to feel better, a routine like this becomes just as normal as brushing your teeth or taking your dog for a walk.

After about a year of practice at this, I am confident to say that I have fully commited to this routine.  For me, that water and green smoothie complete my morning, and I tend to feel a bit off balance when I am not able to incorporate them.

In this belief, that how you live your mornings is how you live your day, I have always focused on the fuel, the foods that you are ingesting in the morning, but what about a spiritual practice?  If your mornings are filled with stress and anxiety, you can drink all of the green smoothies you want, but that stress is going to overflow into the many aspects of your day.  And we all know what stress does to the body, right?  It’s not a pretty thing, and we don’t deserve it.

In celebration of admitting my morning routine not really being a routine anymore (yay to green smoothies!), I have decided to commit to a new routine with a more spiritual focus.

I know that when I take time to meditate in the morning, I feel better all day long.  I know that journaling helps me to sort through my worries, my stress and my emotional pains.  I know that yoga and stretching help me to release tension and help to get me into the present moment.  I know that reading and learning helps me to grow as a student, as a teacher.  I know that reading and posting inspirational quotes is an enjoyable way to share some of what I learn daily.  So, if I know that these things nourish me, why aren’t I doing them on a consistent basis?  Well, I’m not sure.  Maybe for the same reasons that I didn’t begin drinking green smoothies every single day as soon as I learned all of their health benefits. But, I feel ready to commit to my spiritual health, which is why I am sharing this post with you.  I am ready to take time every morning to get present, get grounded, get passionate, and feel grateful for all that surrounds me at each moment.

I loved Jackie’s idea of making a calendar to stay on track with her meditation, so I decided to make one myself, as a visual commitment to look at every day.  Every morning, I will do AT LEAST 2 of these things that nourish me.  I invite you to do the same.my sacred mornings calendar

Do you have practices that you feel nourished by but you are having trouble weaving them into your everyday life?  Maybe you have never tried some of the things I mentioned but feel intrigued to find balance and nourishment in new ways?  Either way, I invite you to join me in committing to something, anything, that you deserve every morning.

If you do decide to join me on this, I would love to know what you are committing to.  Let me know in the comments below or feel free to message me on Facebook if you prefer to share privately.

with love and a commitment to health,

Amanda

A Shift In Perspective

Have you ever heard certain words strung together, words that fit together so perfectly that when you hear them, you experience a shift in consciousness?  One simple sentence that can change the way that you feel?  And possibly even the way that you will face each day going forward?  Well, I had a moment just like this in my yoga class this morning.  A few simple words that were strung together so perfectly, I felt them ignite my inner spirit.

Theresa referred to it as “flipping the emotion”, a way to change your perspective in any given moment.

“If you are uncomfortable with something, find something about it that makes you comfortable”. 

A little reminder at a gas station.. yoga is a way of living, and it is everywhere.

A little reminder at a gas station.. yoga is a way of living, and it is everywhere.

Whoa.

It all made sense.  At any given moment, I am in control of how I feel.  It is up to me.  And it is up to you, too.  This stuff is good, like, really good.

When I asked her about it after class, she explained that in any given moment, you have the ability to bring yourself out of discomfort by a simple shift in interpretation.  How you are internalizing a situation will effect how you feel in it, and by taking a step back and shifting your position, you gain the ability to see the beauty in everything.

“It doesn’t need to be a big shift, but just enough to change your perspective”.

The real magic in this thought process is the possibility to re-train our bodies to live this way.  Imagine if we all were able to take a step back and find the comfort, beauty and love in everyday living?  This magical stuff is right in front of us everyday, but sometimes we get so caught up in “the destination” that we forget to enjoy the ride getting there.  Find comfort in knowing that when we are uncomfortable, we are growing.

Where will you find comfort in uncomfortable situations?  Will it be your breath?  Your interpretation? Your knowing that the universe has placed you exactly where you are supposed to be?  Beginning to find comfort in everything that we do will open us up to a more passionate way of living and growing.

I hope that these words have touched you like they have touched me.  If so, hang them on your wall (I know I did).  Post them on fbook.  Tweet them.  We could all use a little reminder from time to time.

If you are in the Orlando area, I would highly suggest stopping by College Park Yoga and taking a class.  It is a beautiful place overflowing with love and gratitude.

with love and finding comfort,

Amanda