When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity. – Alexandra Stoddard
WelcOMe to February at Tranquil Space. As we transition into the second month of this new year, let’s take a moment to honor your efforts thus far and your ongoing tranquility journey.
Did you sign up for our 21-day challenge? Did you replace meat or sugar with greens and whole grains? Did you sign up to learn a new skill like dancing, sewing, or speaking Spanish? How are your resolutions unfolding? My hope is that you’re feeling a sense of serenity and still basking in the fresh slate of the new year. If not, or you’d like more (and who wouldn’t?), read on.
Our tranquilosophy at Tranquil Space includes a proclamation of taking yoga off the mat and into everyday life. It’s wonderful to have a beautiful yoga practice, but what’s the point if the rest of life feels out of sorts, messy, and like a daily struggle? As you know, there are always going to be ups and downs so I encourage you to take time to nurture yourself with mindful self care and ongoing self study (svadhyaya) to bring balance. Below are seven favorite tranquility tips:
1. Begin and end each day with reflection. Take time at the start of your day to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper. This mini brain dump can do wonders to relieve pent up cares and concerns. I recently asked someone how she dealt with conflict and she said she processed it through excel spreadsheets. I had to giggle – we all have our methods! Conclude your day with a wrap up of gratitude, what you’d like to do different next time, and anything else that is weighing heavily.
2. Explore your dreams monthly. Are your daily actions moving you in the direction of your dreams? If not, can you make changes to do so? For example, is an ongoing goal to do a volunteer vacation in India? Carve out time for online research, determine travel dates and tickets, and secure time off. Move daily in the direction of your dreams. Plant seeds, water them regularly, provide adequate sunshine, and then step aside to let life unfold.
3. Practice mindfulness daily. Be fully present with the person in front of you (versus checking your iPhone for the latest tweet). Consciously walk to work and feel the ground beneath you. Observe street art, birds, and people you pass. Notice your surroundings. Eat a meal slowly and deliberately (versus standing up or on-the-go). For insights, join Kimberly B., Katie, and me for weekly yoga and meditation classes, check out my latest e-course “Mindfulness: Inner Tranquility” launching March 31, and explore the great offerings of Insight Meditation Community of Washington.
4. Listen to your body. Notice how good it feels after a colorful meal of veggies and whole grains versus a quick trip through the nearby drive through. Let your body rest when you can tell it’s begging for down time. Give yourself a dose of our restorative or yin practices versus of an active vinyasa class when you can tell in needs some TLC. Indulge in a massage, nap, or bed day as a way to lovingly nurture it.
5. Savor a soak in the tub. This simple act of self-care is my nightly ritual during cold winter months. This, too, can be a practice of mindfulness. Surround yourself with candles, water with a mint sprig, and slip into a bubble bath. If you live in a full house with many beings, this may be your very special room of your own (highly encouraged à la Virginia Woolf).
6. Sip tea slowly. As the above quote by author Alexandra Stoddard reminds us, tea can have a powerful effect on your day. Mine always starts with Tazo Zen tea and a dollop of tasty agave nectar or organic turbinado sugar. Many stop mid-day to indulge in an official tea time. Can you, too, start a ritual at home or the office? How about indulging after your practice with us and warming by the fire in Dupont or sweet sitting space in Arlington? Savor each sip and count this toward a very special mindfulness practice.
7. Smile. With roots in Oklahoma where people are blessed with the friendly gene, I find this to be a very helpful tool in connecting with others. Maya Angelou’s quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” is one of the most powerful reminders to smile and listen deeply to others.
Please join me in making February a month of heart opening through attention to mindful self-care and connection to all beings. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. Wishing you moments of tranquility this month on AND off the yoga mat. You deserve it. Namaste.
Kimberly Wilson, Founder + Creative Director