How to Stay Calm and Well in the Face of Big Change
- 03 Mar, 2020
- Written by Jacqueline Iles
Sometimes life is smooth, we are in the flow and there is ease.
Other times there are unexpected curve balls, massive upheavals and life can be too full and full on.
What holds us during these times? What helps us build acceptance, grace and ease?
In times of great change and upheaval I find peace in Sadhana.
Maya Tiwari, Author and Ayurvedic seeress, describes a Sadhana as "a practice that is attuned to nature and has been refined through all time...Sadhanas stir our cognitive memory, garner the vibrations of the Universe and help us to meld with the Earth body....These wholesome practices refine our vibratory powers and enable us to strengthen the spirit. (Maya Tiwari, A Life of Balance).
Sadhanas are the little things and rituals that we mindfully do each day that ground and nourish us, help us to tune in and create stillness and acceptance of all that is.
Last year my key word was Ease.
My focus was to create more ease in my life and support others in bringing this quality into theirs too.
In the last 2 months we have moved house, moved the kids school and now I am about to move my business location too!But I feel that through this time of great change I was still operating with a sense of ease. Yes there were full on days where stuff just had to get done. Some even on 44 degree days! But the underlying feeling was joy and ease.
For me, Sadhana is what creates this ease.
The little things I do each day with mindful, loving attention.
Here is what I do and maybe you will feel that one or more of these tips can be incorporated into your life to bring greater ease for you too.
I rise most days just before dawn. I love the stillness of this time of day. I slip out of bed without waking Mr Veda or the kids. I scrape my tongue, (have a look here why I do this strange thing!), have a big drink of warm water with lemon, and then I go within.
Ayurveda teaches that life energy, Prana, is at it's most still at this time of day. Considering that we feed what we focus on, giving my Prana, the life energy in my own body, loving attention at this time of day increases it potency. I connect with, revere and cultivate my Prana. I ground my energy by connecting with and feeling grateful for the Earth that I sit on and that nourishes me.
Some days it is a short sit of five minutes or so before I am drawn to move. Other days it is a longer sit and most days I revisit connecting in throughout my day to reground especially between working with clients.
Movement is another Sadhana. It can vary between Yoga or taking a walk/run depending on what feels right each day. Even ten minutes of yoga eases stiffness and wakes up my body! And yes, some days I just might sleep in too if that is what is needed.
Self massage is an essential Sadhana for me! This practice brings such nourishment to my nervous system. Simply applying warm oil to the whole body builds strength and improves immunity and resilience. Some days I apply the oil whilst in the shower to save time and know that it still makes a difference!
When life becomes full or full on simplify what you can, where you can.
Another way to bring more ease is to simplify meals. When we are stressed our digestion does not work so well. Support your body through stressful times by making easy to digest meals. I'll often make a range of easy and delicious soups and one pot meals that are grounding and nourishing. I'll often add fresh greens for that high prana, alive and raw element!
Practice gratitude. When we become stressed it is hard to see the good in life. We feel overwhelmed by all that we perceive has to happen. My Dad use to call this 'feeling compressed'. Weighed down!
Keep a gratitude diary that you write in each night before bed. Or bring this Sadhana to your family dinner table and all share just one thing (or more!), that you were grateful for today. It can be as simple as the sunshine or a shared smile. There is always something to be grateful for and as we give this attention it grows and make the hard stuff feel a little lighter and easier!
16/03/2020 ....Little addition.....(Gratitude and love is so important at this time as the world is bracing itself for the spread of COVID-19. I wrote this post a week before it was announced as a Pandemic and now, I am adding here how truly important a Sadhana practice is for staying connected to your own source of love and grounding to keep your immune system strong and keep oneself from spinning into fear and disconnection. (I'll be writing more soon about how to boost your immunity and slow down for your better health).
When life becomes too full and chaotic Sadhana will provide respite and resilience.
It is definitely easier to develop the habits of Sadhana when life is already going smoothly and well. Build them in little by little and create rhythm to your days. Then, they will be there for you when life serves a curve ball and you will be able to ride those tricky times with more ease and resilience.
What is your favourite Sadhana practice? What is the little thing you do each day that keeps you feeling well, connected to your energy and spirit and bring more ease and joy into your life?
If you don't yet have any that you can think of...try one of mine!