I thrive on structure. It’s why I gravitate toward yoga and meditation. Having a daily routine keeps me grounded and feeling my best. But it does beg the question: Is it boring to be zen? Do you have to trade in excitement and spontaneity for peace of mind?
For me, excitement and spontaneity can only arise from a place of comfort. When I am pulled away from my center and distracted from my life’s purpose, spontaneity and excitement seep right out of my day and anxiety moves in. I need tools to keep me grounded and these tools come in the form of structured, daily, self-care routines.
For example, as the summer heats up and my daily schedule gets turned upside down, the lack of rhythm awakens my anxiety. My remedy? Pour on the body oil! Daily self-massage with heated oil is a popular daily Ayurvedic practice called Abhyanga. It is my secret go-to fix at this time of year. As I discuss in my book, Become the Architect of Your Body, Mind, and Soul, I “feel” anxiety physically under my skin. It’s an unsettling pulsing of energy, a continuous undercurrent of dis-ease. The warm oil and self touch helps me address these physical manifestations of anxiety at the physical level.
Abhyanga reconnects me to my body physically first, and emotionally second. The hot days and sunshine, whose warmth I adore, also dry out my sensitive skin. The oil protects and nourishes me, transforming my dry outer shell in a smooth and supple layer of protection. Inwardly, I don’t feel so dried out and depleted which helps me be more resilient to challenges that come my way.
I don’t believe finding your zen — your calm state of mind, your connection to self and to Source, finding the part of you that is unmoved in turbulent times — is boring. I visualize this as the roots of a huge tree. When the roots are strong and deep and thick, the tree withstands all types of weather from raging storms, to winds, to droughts. But the branches and leaves of the tree are expressive. They reach for the sky, seeking the sunshine. New buds pop out in the spring, which turn vibrant colors in the fall, beautifying a landscape. Fruits and flowers blossom all summer, which in turn interact with birds, butterflies, bees and bugs, creating their own ecosystem. It’s wonderful. The tree follows a pattern, holds a structure and thrives within it.
You and I are the same. Discover the structure, the zen that works for you. What keeps you rooted during stormy skies? What allows you the freedom to interact gracefully and joyfully with others while maintaining your confidence and necessary boundaries? What daily practices can support you in this? Implementing your personal balance techniques are one way of finding and living your zen state of mind.
The Taoists have saying: Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds. Have fun, dream, create and manifest! Uncover the behavior that brings you the most success and personal fulfillment and do more of that. When you live your life by design and see your dreams unfold one day at a time, there is certainly nothing boring about that!
What readers are saying:
Following her guidance has helped me transform several difficult relationships and bring more joy to my work. Things that used to drive me crazy are beginning to fall away from my life effortlessly, leaving room for the people, places, and things that make me excited to jump out of bed in the morning.