7 tips to invite more peace into our life
Seven tips to invite more peace off the mat and into our life. By Mellara Gold
As yoga practitioners we all have to live our lives off the mat as well as on it. In my new book ‘A Life Worth Living: A Journey of Self-Discovery Through Mindfulness, Yoga, and Living in Awareness’ it suggests living in awareness as an everyday understanding for living a more meaningful life. But, if you are (like me) a parent with a household and responsibilities to manage, bringing in and inviting that peace into your life doesn't always go to plan! If that sounds like you then here are some tips that sometimes help me to invite peace off of the mat and into my home and life.
1. Commit to gentle mornings
Time for reflection is the medicine that is needed for processing our life’s constant changes. Never underestimate the power of sipping your coffee mindfully before opening up your phone. Upon waking, set your intention for the day. What would you like to align yourself with? What you focus on and give energy to will become!
2. Mental health day is every day
Whenever you notice your mental health declining, just do one small thing that brings you some calmness. Maybe it is in the ritual of making and sipping a cup of tea. Or practicing a few restorative poses while feeling the sun’s rays coming through the window. Just making one little movement towards slowing down enough to feel can make a difference in moving to a place of peace! In these few moments of inner connection we feel spacious and remember who we are.
3. Let go
Make some time to sit towards the end of the day by closing your eyes and watching your breath. It doesn’t need to be a long time, maybe just a minute if that’s all you have. Once you realise that you are holding onto something, be it something that someone said, or a deeper wound, the letting go becomes possible. That’s why a little afternoon reflection yoga time might even become your new favourite thing. You’ll just feel lighter, and who doesn’t want to feel more free?
5. Embrace the unknowns of life
In the end, what we don’t know can’t hurt us, only the ‘knowns’ in life tend to haunt us. If you don’t know, just carry on! Just sit in the unknown of ‘not knowing’. When I find myself uncomfortable of all the unknowns in life I find ways to invite more space into my life…inviting more of my ‘human-being-ness’ (spirit) energy of who we are, rather than simply defaulting to the thinking mind all the time. Embrace the unknowns, and trust that you are ‘becoming’. Our life’s journey is transformation, so be patient. Remember: we don’t always need to be achieving something.
Being present with evolution is more than enough.
4. Dream, move and breathe
We must allow space in our life to dream! If we don’t allow ourselves to dream, life can get pretty mundane. The ‘being’ part of us humans loves to dream and loves to dance, and spend time in nature. Create more ways to fill joyful. Is it in colouring, singing or getting outside? Don’t wait for life to become overwhelming to invite the element of dreaming into your being. Life is amazing — we just need to focus on the beauty that is already there. Let’s live life rather than waiting for it to happen. Don’t forget to move your body, sweat and get the toxins out. Just do your yoga even if it's the only activity that you like, otherwise you probably won’t be consistent with it. Something happens to us when we make time to move our body; the happy endorphins start to flow where the heaviness of the world begins to melt away. Breathe deeply, just one conscious breath in and one conscious breath out could be all you need to interrupt an anxious thought pattern. Never underestimate the power of the breath!
6. Turn off media and screens
Pretty obvious stuff although so hard sometimes! It has become such a habit for most of us to scroll through messages, social media or the news. When unpleasant news or messages flood into our awareness it can nullify all the peace we have brought into our day. Be mindful of what and how much you allow into your heart's home. At our home we have ‘No Screen Sundays’. At first it was hard to get our teens on board (and some Sundays still are a challenge!), but it’s totally worth it! We are so much better for it, and in the end more fun to be around.
7. Cultivate a grateful heart
Easy to say, but how do we make it a practice? For me, it might be one or two sentences that I say out loud to myself as I get into bed at night. Thank you for my day, thank you for keeping me safe, thank you for the clean water and food that I was fortunate to eat today. Or if there is something you’re going through or working on send a few thoughtful words out to the universe, and watch how quickly grace enters into your awareness. Sometimes I’ll say something like this: “Dear Universe: I give you permission to work on XYZ (life situation) and when I wake I hope to be given a better understanding of knowing what I should do.” When I remember to do this I almost always understand what I need to do.
Sometimes we have to stop looking for the miracles, and just be the miracle.
Mellara Gold E-RYT has been teaching yoga and meditation for two decades, and influenced by Hatha Yoga, Mindfulness, and Buddhism. Her radiant and inspirational teaching blends the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga with self-inquiry. She leads online and in-person workshops, retreats, and trainings and is a regular contributor to online journals and other lifestyle and spiritual magazines. Check out her teaching memoir, A Life Worth Living: A Journey of Self-Discovery Through Mindfulness, Yoga, and Living in Awareness published in 2021. And Living in Awareness: Deepening Our Daily Lives Through Prayer, Ritual, and Meditation was just published. June of 2023. Available worldwide.