Get out of Negative Habits and Create Positive Ones that Stick
Some say we are creatures of habit, and I agree. Humans seem to thrive on routine and it creates the foundation for each day. Unfortunately it can also end up biting us in the butt.
We are each inherently born with a unique constitution. Residing in that natural state on all levels of our being from the physical to the spiritual allows us to experience ourselves as whole and perfect beings. Although that can change and there are a myriad of ways that happens, ultimately causing die-ease. The first is in the womb. Depending on our parent’s constitution upon conception, toxins or stress that our mother was exposed to during pregnancy can create vikrutti aka imbalances in the dosha. Secondly, birth till the age of 5 when we are like little sponges taking in everything around us, we are the most impressionable and long lasting patterns are set in. And lastly, lifestyle. It can impact and change our prakrutti aka original constitution from repeatedly following a diet or lifestyle that is not in alignment with our inherent constitution.
Unfortunately, some of this stuff we had absolutely no control over. As young children we were at the mercy of our parents, culture and society. As adults we may not have the resources or knowledge to know otherwise. Until we finally get sick or notice we’ve been in a chronic state of unhappiness do we reach a point in our lives when we start to evaluate our patterns and begin to change things.
So, from an Ayurvedic perspective, how to do we get out of the negative habits and create positive ones that actually stick? And return to our inherent nature? Is that possible?
Yes! So there’s something in Ayurvedic medicine called Dinacharya aka as daily rituals. It’s highly emphasized because of it’s ability to keep the doshas in balance and revolves around the 3 Pillars of Ayurvedic Health: Diet, Sleep, and Stress Management. This might be the key to creating balance and counteracting the stressors in our lives. Let’s look a little closer, shall we?
Wake and Break According to Claudia Welsh, Chinese Doctor and Ayurvedic Practitioner, she explains how the 24 hrs cycle in a day is reflective of one’s life span. Evening and sleep corresponding with death or dying. Mid day when we are the most active to mid life. And early morning corresponds with early childhood and pregnancy-when we are the most impressionable. Claudia Welsh says that if we want to change deep seated samskaras or impressions that were created during this time in our lives, that morning would be the best time to implement positive habits. Basically, tuning in with the time in which those impressions were created, we can change old patterns. WOW! Makes complete sense! Personally, I experience each morning as a rebirth. Interesting even the word morning, sounds like mourning. Mourning the old and awakening to a new day. An opportunity to start anew and clear the old palate.
Create a Morning Ritual It’s repetition that created the old patterns from the first place, lets create healthier ones that stick!
Drink a warm glass of water with a squeeze of lemon upon rising: It’s cleansing and get’s your bowel’s moving.
Oral Hygene: Brush your teeth, Scrape your tongue, Oil Pull
Cleansing Kriyas: Irrigate your nasal passage with a neti pot and drop some warm nasya oil into your nose to lubricate and nourish them.
Meditate on your breath, the sun, in silence. Or be still in the morning and take in the essence of the day and set the intention for how you want to show up.
Exercise: Take a walk or do some Yoga to get circulation going and to stimulate the lymphatic system ( improves immunity) Activating shakti energy and moving prana removes stagnation and promotes space for creativity and more energy.
Set Intentions: Pray for peace and for the ones you love that they may be well. Take a moment of gratitude. Remember what inspired you and create an affirmation. These practices connect us with our higher self and opens the gateway to experiencing more joy, happiness, and love.
Consistency and Regularity Waking up and sleeping with the cycles of nature or going to the bathroom in the am even if you don’t have to go-at the same time, helps to align our own inner rhythms. Notice when you wake up at a certain time each day regularly, your body goes on autopilot mode. You eventually wake up at the same time every morning. It creates less variability in physiological functions in your body: pooping, peeing, waking, etc. and creates ease as you start the day.
Cultivate habits that affirm your highest intentions for growth If you have a habit of not taking care of yourself or attracting experiences in which you are unable to sense your own self worth. Create a ritual around self care=self love. If you’re chronically stressed and busy all the time, receive a massage an instant manifestation for peace and relaxation. Notice what doesn’t serve you and let it go. And start creating new ones that make you feel good inside and out.
Daily rituals are SO sacred because although it might seem like a mundane task at first. When we approach it with reverence and mindfulness, it’s an opportunity to be present and embody what we want to create in your life on a daily basis. Whether it’s patience, joy, flexibility, strength, peace or confidence. Simple routines can be transformed into sacred rituals that keep us in a state of balance and full present awareness. In that state of full present awareness we are able to experience the unfoldment of our existence as Whole Perfect beings. And this is how we can start to change those old habits and patterns…
And of course there’s a variety of methods for shifting consciousness and breaking out of old patterns. A cleanse, go on vacation, other forms of holistic healing modalities and therapies work wonders! Continual practice is key to creating long lasting and healthier patterns in our lives on a day to day basis. As a result , you may experience more peace, grounding and ease to get you through your days.
With love and light, and my neti pot,