When life seems tough and you wonder why.
Remember, the teacher is always quiet during a test”
We are facing enormously stormy days while our entire planet braces for the impacts of the current pandemic - physically, emotionally, economically. Many people are experiencing tremendously trying times; the stress has never felt so palpable.
Our hope is that you always remember that we human beings are stronger and more resilient than you think. As Nietzsche taught us: “chaos gives birth to dancing stars.” We will get through this, together. We will grow stronger. We will rise with greater creativity, purpose and innovation.
Amidst the chaos lies tremendous beauty: our global community rallies together, stronger and united. We hope this serves you to protect your positivity, guard the doors of your mind and awaken the purpose that lies within your heart.
Rise with the sun; Rest with the sunset
With the drastic shifts in our daily routine, we can be guided by the cycles of nature. Amidst chaos, you may choose to focus on an anchor; something that is consistent, nourishing and lends a feeling of safety.
Our sleep wake cycle is regulated with the rise and fall of the sun, and serves as a foundation to build an inspiring morning and relaxing bed routine. Create a morning routine that sets the tone for the remaining hours of the day. Our’s involves waking up at sunrise, moving our bodies, reading and self reflective journaling.
Our favorite tips to help wind down at night are no screen time one hour before bed and replacing all LED with 60 W light bulbs to avoid suppression of melatonin. We playfully lower the light in our home set by the speed in which the sun begins to fade. Great excuse for a romantic candle lit dinner with your family.
Move your body
This can be as simple as jump roping for 10 minutes, going for a 20 minute walk or participating in a forty five minute online exercise class guided by your favorite, local gym or yoga studio. And the benefits are astonishing. Adding movement into your morning routine stimulates the release of BDNF so that brain cells damaged by stress can be repaired. Additionally, your body will produce dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, allowing you to feel happier, calmer and more focused. Get out and move your body; your entire being will thank you!
Here is a grounding yoga practice we have been loving.
60 minutes of reading (or listening)
The people you associate with become your conversations, your mindset and lead to what and how you feel. Reading, audiobooks and podcasts are brilliant ways to have ebout. nriching, inspiring and thought provoking “conversations” with the author or interviewer. Find topics that you can get lost in; that you love learning a
And as a reminder, we humans, in times of stress seek comfort. Be mindful of this and if you find yourself craving entertainment, when you can be engaging in skills or new hobbies. The brain loves learning so stimulate that brain, refrain from numbing it.
Check out our favorite podcasts and what’s on our bookshelf at the bottom.
We do not want to repress or suppress fear, we want to process and understand it. The places that most scare you, that you resist most deeply, is where your mastery lies. Allow yourself time, everyday, to simply reflect and to know yourself deeper. Ask yourself questions such as:
What do I need to improve in terms of my beliefs today?
What am I most afraid of? Is this true?
What must I believe to get the results I am seeking?
Another favorite is to make a list of what you are most grateful for. This can be as simple as the warm sun on your face or feeling your lungs fill with fresh air. Your nerve system is a seek and find system. If you practice gratitude, you will start to see more of the small miracles that make up your day. This wave of newfound gratitude will start to eclipse that of fear, uncertainty and anxiety. Ultimately, you will be rewiring your nerve system leading to greater levels of joy, happiness and peace.
Be in nature
Get outside, bathe yourself in the warm rays of the sun. Not only for the benefits of vitamin D, but also to help regulate your circadian rhythm for deeper, more rejuvenating sleep.
Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass. The benefits of grounding, absorbing the polarizing electrical charge of the earth, also include increasing energy, reducing chronic pain, calming stress and anxiety.
Get your hands dirty and plant a garden. Go for a hike in a new area. Get outside and connect to nature. Find 10 rocks and try to delicately stack them. Leave a feel good message with chalk on the side walk.
Avoid toxic conversation
Research states that your personal orbit is influenced by 3 layers deep of people: your friends, your friend’s friends, and your friend’s friends friends.
Do the people and conversations you are having inspire creativity, hope and gratitude or cultivate and perpetuate fear? Our family has a rule, no trigger words, whcih now includes the global virus.
Essentially, you become like the people you surround yourself with most. How? Through mirror neurons. Mirror neurons were one of our many survival advantages. If someone learned to make fire or designed a more effective tool, simply by observing we could learn how to do it ourselves. We literally mirror those around us. As children, it’s that silly monkey see, monkey do principle. However, as an adult, we must be mindful of who we surround ourselves with because we subconsciously start to think, feel and behave like the people we spend the most time with.
Next time you are in a conversation that is taking a turn down a road that doesn’t lead to feeling good, step in and help it pivot. Here are some pattern breaker, pivot questions: What was the highlight of your day? What is your fondest childhood memory? What is your greatest dream? What skill would you learn if time and money wasn’t a factor?
Even if it’s two minutes, do something for yourself today. Take a candle lit bath or shower. Start a massage train with your family. Rub grounding essential oils into the bottom of your feet. Do a home facial with bentonite clay. If you’re exhausted, find 20 minutes to surrender into a guided yoga nidra recording; it’s equivalent to 2 hours of deep sleep.
All I know is you deserve it. Prioritize yourself. It is not selfish, it is essential.
In this time of remarkable stress, anxiety and uncertainty, find something to laugh about. Think of a memory from your past that you can laugh about and smile upon. If you can’t think of anything, then watch this.
Engage in activities that you love and add an element of play. Whether this is trying a new recipe, coloring with crayons, enacting fake characters in a family game of charades or having a facetime karaoke challenge, do something that brings you joy.
It is known in the literature that twenty minutes of meditation every day has tremendous health benefits, such as increasing energy, decreasing inflammation, pain and supporting deep sleep. It also helps one focus, increase creativity and optimize productivity. Check out our favorite meditation resources at the bottom.
The nerve system does not know the difference between the past, the present and future which makes visualization an extremely powerful tool. Start visualizing your ideal day, accomplishing your goals and living in alignment with your greatest purpose. Do this every day with great focus and intense emotional feeling, you will begin to wire your biology to manifest this more quickly.
You may also create a vision board. Look at each image and feel how happy, joyful, and proud you would feel accomplishing each of these goals. This simple practice will yield humbling results in your life.
One sure way to be mindful in the present moment is to engage with your senses. What do you see, hear, taste, touch and smell? We tend to hear music, yet rarely listen to music. We eat our food, and rarely taste it. We look at nature, yet rarely stop to appreciate the depth, the colors, the beauty. Spend a day with each sense and childlike curiosity. For instance, tonight at dinner, taste each ingredient individually as you eat together as a family. Blend in a mystery spice and see if your loved one can identify it. Be playful, be creative and watch a whole new world open up to you as your senses come alive.
The Kinfolk Library
Podcasts We Love:
The Robin Sharma Mastery Sessions
What’s On Our Bookshelf:
The Body Keeps the Score - Bessel Van Der Kolk
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself - Dr. Joe Dispenza
Awaken The Giant Within - Tony Robbins
Think And Grow Rich - Napolean Hill
Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Man’s Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
Deep Nutrition - Catherine Shanahan
The Kinfolk Experience guided meditation
Dr. Joe Dispenza guided meditations
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