August is a time of maturity and discipline. Nature has been productive and is now offering the fruits of her labour. So are we. In this time of the year, what we have manifested in Spring and Summer has reached its adulthood. We are now invited to direct our focus from the external to the internal again, and this requires discipline.
To not carry the burden of all the things we no longer need in our life, it can help to contemplate and reflect on what you have accomplished this cycle. What lessons can I distil from my experiences?
For me, it is important to keep the mind quiet to maintain the clarity needed to answer questions like these. Physical movement and meditation are my tools and I like to combine them. Ashtanga yoga is a movement-based meditation practice that generates a purifying heat in the body. There is no room for thinking, because the practice requires your full attention and dedication. Though this practice may work for me, remember that any practice will work, as long as you use the body and quiet the mind.
A busy mind will always find excuses to not start the day with a good practice. And this is where discipline is needed, something most of us struggle with. I know I do. To cultivate discipline, I try to make it as easy as possible to do what I know I should be doing, even though I might not feel like it.
- Visualise the reward. This is a simple tool, but it is effective. We all know how a good practice makes us feel better. We are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. Visualising the effect of your practice can be a great motivator to get going.
- Avoid decisions. I am on an ongoing quest to eliminate as many decisions as possible from my life. We can only make so many decisions in a day before we get decision fatigue, so it is better to use your decisions for things that actually matter. A fixed morning routine helps me to not question whether I feel like doing my usual practice. There is simply no question about it and I know what comes next. If you take the time to hone your morning routine, every action logically follows the next and breaking it will feel off. You might know this feeling. Use it to your advantage.
- Do the right thing at the right time. This is different for everybody. I try to do my creative work in the early mornings and I only eat around noon. But I also know people who are at their best at night. Take the time to find out how you flow through your day most effectively and try to keep to your schedule as much as possible.
Take some time to think about what your perfect day looks like. Given that the only constant is change, know that this will continuously change. I am always trying to improve and hone the structure of my days by taking time to reflect regularly. And, as always, I would love to hear what works for you, so we can continue to learn from each other.
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