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 and ongoing tranquility journey.
How are your 2015 dreams unfolding? Did you sign up for our 21-day challenge? Try replacing meat or sugar with greens and whole grains? Interested in learning a new skill like meditation or speaking Spanish? My hope is that you’re feeling a sense of serenity and still basking in the freshness of the new year. If not, or you’d like more (and who wouldn’t?), read on. Also, remember, you can always begin again. Each and every day.
Our studio’s tranquilosophy includes taking yoga off the mat and into daily life. It’s wonderful to have a beautiful asana practice, but what’s the point if life feels out of sorts, messy, and like a daily struggle? There are always ups and downs, so I encourage you to take time to nurture yourself with mindful self-care and ongoing self-study (svadhyaya).
Seven 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 the people you pass. Notice your surroundings. Eat a meal slowly and deliberately (versus standing up or on-the-go). For practice, join our weekly mindfulness and yoga and meditation classes.
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 a dose of TLC. Indulge in a massage, nap, Artist Date, 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 lavender oil-infused 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 stevia. 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 fireside in Dupont or 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 connect fully to others.
Wishing you moments of tranquility this month and beyond. To support your journey in 2015, I’ve created a complimentary online 52 Weeks of Tranquility program delivered to your inbox weekly. To join, sign up for my weekly love notes and join our Facebook group. Thank you for being here with us. Namaste.
Kimberly Wilson, Founder + Creative Director