There’s been a lot of change in my life this year.
A lot of time and energy spent in unknown territory. Which is not a place many humans prefer to be. It’s uncomfortable, unpredictable and it’s easy to get insecure in what we’re doing and who we are.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, life changes can often throw someone’s vata dosha out of balance. Vata is an energy that everyone has to some extent. It is composed of the elements air and ether (space), and is often referred to as the windy dosha. When someone’s vata dosha is in balance, it spawns lots of creativity and big ideas and can help one solve difficult problems. When there’s too much, it can generate anxiety, fear, worry, confusion and we often feel scattered by its windy tendencies.
During times of upheaval and change, it’s important to keep vata in balance so that we can move into the unknown with more ease and confidence.And one of the best ways to do this is by creating and sticking to daily routines. Because when we structure our day, we create a container for this windy dosha, so it’s not scattering our energy all over the place making us feel anxious, depleted or fearful.
Something as simple as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can work wonders. Having a morning routine that includes a grounding practice like yoga or meditation is especially good for balancing vata (even if it’s just for 5 minutes!) because it sets the tone for balance for the entire day.
And while for me, it wasn’t always easy to stick to my routines, when I did, it made a world of difference in how I felt and how I handled the challenges that come with making big life changes.
It’s been a while! Too long I’d say. As some of you already know, my husband and I moved down to Southern California a few months ago.
It’s been a HUGE transition and a tremendous test of maintaining the healthy Ayurvedic habits I’ve learned (and teach!). Because, as I’m sure you’ve all experienced, stress and change have a way of bringing up old patterns. And I was not exempt from this.
Even after years of practicing these habits, my past patterns showed up, seducing me with familiar and comfortable ways in the face of new and challenging situations. And at times, against my better judgment, I gave in to those old ways in hopes of some relief from the stress I was feeling.
But here’s the thing: When we practice taking better care of ourselves, we develop a solid foundation of self love and self respect. And THIS is what helps me forgive myself when I did (do) have momentary lapses of judgment. THIS is what reminds me that sometimes I fall down so that I can learn how to get back up, and that self-criticism and shaming myself are a waste of energy because they only take me further out of integrity with the healthier, more aligned, more courageous and more fulfilled person I’ve become because of these habits.
So I want to encourage you all:
If you are working on embracing healthier habits: Keep going! Don’t worry about doing things perfectly. If you mess up, forgive yourself and take small steps to get back on track. It WILL get easier with time. And the foundation you are building will sustain you even during the most difficult of times.
If you’re not yet making steps towards healthier habits: Why wait? Start small and start today. Even the tiniest step in a positive direction is better than no steps at all. You are totally worth it and you CAN do it.