As we move beyond the frenetic buzz of the holidays, there’s often a desire to replenish ourselves and create a fresh chapter in the new year. We have the chance to start anew – with 12 months ahead to create and explore so many opportunities.
Some of us are focused on new work and creative projects while others are focused on family matters. Some are planning adventures to exotic lands while others are volunteering at local organizations. And some of us want to call in a new romantic love or find a new home…
But no matter what the details entail, for most of us, merely checking off a glittery list of accomplishments is unsatisfying at some level.
That’s because our dreams include both who we want to BE and how we want to FEEL in the new year.
That’s why I’d like to share 5 Practices for Creating More Presence, Purpose & Joy in Your Life. The first practice is below, and I’ll send out the other suggested practices in my upcoming emails to you.
Practice 1: Cultivate a Holistic “Morning Ritual”
The way we spend our first morning hours sets the tone for the entire day ahead. So in the first days of 2016, I encourage you to take a little time mapping out the elements which your ideal morning routine would include, and how long you need to spend on each item.
When I started to focus on my morning routine with the support from business mentor Eban Pagan, he encouraged doing this routine in the exact same way at the same time each day. But I found that I personally need a bit more freedom and flow in order to have it work for me and feel aligned. Experiment and see what works best for you, but knowing the key elements that you want to include… and then actually doing those (most days) is important.
My own routine typically takes at least 90 minutes, so I’m now often getting up earlier so I can feel spacious and not rushed. I include at least 30 minutes of meditation, preparing a healthy meal and drinking plenty of water, taking my herbal supplements, a shower, perhaps some yoga, and texting my close friends or family some little “love notes” to start their day.
I also answer any quick and time-sensitive requests from my friends, family and team.I find the more that I engage with this morning ritual on a regular basis, the more present I can be for all the many activities of my life… and the more I am able to enjoy it all.
Practice 2: Invite Spirit to Co-Create with You
Many of us are interested in collaborating more deeply with Spirit to co-create our lives, but it’s not always clear how to do that in a consistent way. This past year, my colleague and “soul sister,” Miranda MacPherson, suggested that I explore working with four key questions from The Course of Miracles.
Essentially, after you engage in a meditation practice to clear your mind and open your heart, when you are in a very still place, you simply ask Spirit to engage with you in dialogue. And then you drop in each of the following questions, like dropping stones into a still pond. Finally, you take notes on the answers that arise and then act on what you hear.
(Note: You can either ask for more general guidance, or if there’s a specific topic where you are seeking specific guidance, you can focus there.)
Here are the questions:
- What wants to be received?
- What wants to be known?
- What wants to be released?
- What wants to be done?
When doing this on your own, you may wonder if the answers you are receiving are truly coming from Spirit or from your mind.
My suggestion would be to just do your best to glean clear wisdom. And then offer this prayer (as also suggested by Miranda): “Spirit, if I am moving in the wrong direction here, please interrupt me and make it obvious that I am off course. With grace and ease please!”
To really enhance your co-creative relationship with Spirit, I suggest that at least once a week, you ask these questions after meditation to get inspired guidance on your path.
I hope these first two practices are as useful to you as it’s been for me. Stay tuned for 3 additional practices coming your way in my upcoming blogs.