One of the things that 40 years of yoga and 30 years of meditation can do for those of us living in the real world is help us realize that our lives have become unbalanced.
Once we realize this, we can start the rebalancing process.
I make my living as a Realtor. I also teach Yoga, write, cycle, work out at the gym, volunteer, am active on social media, drive up and down Highway 95 to spend time with my grandchildren—in other words, I am almost always in motion. In the last few weeks it became clear that a serious imbalance was hurtling toward me like a tornado.
Like most householders, life has a way of getting in the way of the spiritual, holistic lifestyle I aspire to. Doing an asana practice daily, meditating for at least fifteen minutes daily, eating a healthy whole food diet, exercising regularly—these are the things I do when life works the way I want it to. When it doesn’t, it’s time to do a lifestyle reboot.
The imbalance started when my real estate business became super busy after a slow winter and early spring. I was also dealing with some complicated deals threatening to go south. My asana practice got shorter and more sporadic. I started eating out too much—which meant eating things I shouldn’t (and drinking way too much wine).
In fact, I posted a meme on Facebook that said, “One of the most expensive things about being a real estate agent is all the wine you have to drink to stay sane.” Feeling out of sorts and stressed was the impetus I needed to get back on track.
Routines are important for serenity. My regular routine of getting up by 5 a.m., having my one cup of coffee then reading for an hour with my dog cuddling next to me on the sofa—gone. I found myself getting up and going straight to the computer and working.
By 6:15 I would normally be on my mat doing at least a thirty-minute asana practice and then ten to fifteen minutes of meditation. Instead, I was starting my practice 7 a.m. and rushing through fifteen to twenty minutes of Yoga and no meditation.
I realized I needed to hit the reboot button—and quickly. Since I couldn’t go away, I decided to do a home retreat/cleanse. Getting back to my morning routine was the first thing I did and I felt immediately better. Once my asana practice and meditation were back on track, my body and mind responded with joy. Writing in the morning before I started any real estate work helped me to not be resentful and stressed about not having time to write. I reduced socializing and spent a lot of time alone.
I started juicing daily. Talk about an energy boost! I stopped eating any processed food—if it wasn’t raw or cooked from scratch—not eating it. For me, cooking facilitates a certain joie de vivre. Chopping is meditative. I made sure to end my day early enough to cook a simple but healthy meal for myself. And I stopped drinking wine. I started sleeping better and waking up more refreshed.
Finally, I decided to remove or reduce any unnecessary over stimulation. News, social media and even NPR shows cause a lot of mind chatter that isn’t conducive to calming the nervous system. I decided not to go to the gym—so full of sweat and testosterone. Instead I focused on yoga and solitary rides on my bicycle.
I began only listening to classical or slow chanting music while driving—Om Namah Shivaya is powerful. The immediate benefit of this was that rather than chronically driving ten or more miles over the speed limit, I found myself slowing down and not being worried about getting a speeding ticket.
Within a relatively short period of time I felt my life returning to equilibrium. Balance began to restore itself. Life again felt joyful and promising.
When a client recently asked me how I stay so calm with so many other emotional clients, without hesitation I gave the credit to yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation were the first steps to beginning my reboot.
Here are some other steps for Rebooting your life when it goes awry:
- Recommit to a regular daily yoga practice and a few minutes of meditation
- Favor healthy routines that enhance your life.
- Eat no processed food—only healthy, whole food, some of it raw.
- Stop drinking alcohol.
- Figure out what over stimulates you and remove it from your life.
- Do these for at least two weeks.
These should sustain you for a good while.
After all, we live in the world. So without a doubt life will again get in the way of itself and our hopes and dreams of living stress free, healthfully and holistically.
And so we will hit the reboot button—again.
Author: Gayle Fleming
Editor: Alli Sarazen