“At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” — Lao Tzu
It wasn’t always about Om-ing, buying organic and being a vegetarian in my life. Twelve years ago, in Los Angeles B.C. (Before Children), on the outside I definitely looked as if I had it all — and in many ways I did. I had the financial freedom as a Real Estate entrepreneur, following a budding Entertainment career, owned a condo in one of the top Westside cities by the beach, drove a European convertible and was mother to two adorable Yorkshire puppies. So I was happy right? No. That could not have been further from the truth. It took time, dedication and investing in myself to learn how to steer a better course and live more mindfully.
Everyday I drank copious amounts of vanilla bean lattes and expressos, smoked almost a pack of cigarettes, drank at least half a bottle of wine every night and took melatonin sleeping pills just to soothe myself from all the days worth of stimulants to finally fall asleep just to start all over again. Sure I was “doing” and accomplishing everything I set out to do, based on other peoples beliefs of success and happiness, but all my material wealth and goal obtaining were simply external circumstances that ultimately wouldn’t bring me true peace and happiness. These were peak happiness events where the feelings subsided as soon as day-to-day existence set in. And I was not alone. If we look at statistics of the wealthiest societies in the world, from London to New York, they too are medicating themselves for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorder.
But surely there must be a better way to live?
Fast forward as an expat whose lived across four countries, mother to two young children, witness to serious illness besetting my loved ones, and studying and working for eight years alongside some of the top healers, teachers and coaches in the world, I’ve learned the only way to meaningful transformation and a purposeful life is to live holistically and consciously with the awareness that true fulfilment has to come from within.
Understanding that we are three-dimensional beings and that everything is interconnected, mind, body and spirit, we absolutely have the inner wisdom to guide ourselves mindfully and authentically through life. By committing to the journey within and activating your own mindful GPS, the innate internal technology that you already have, you’ll well be on your way to heal yourself and live life with a better, whole sense of peace, joy and meaning.
Here are my top six ways to tune into your mindful GPS and steer the course to a more meaningful life:
1) Breathe deep. Breathing fully can physically increase lung volume approximately six times the normal volume of 500L at rest, instantly calming the nervous system with zero side effects. Mentally it also brings you into the present moment. This will help you act, not react, more effectively as you expand your awareness to what will best serve you in the moment, releasing past or future expectations.
2) Eat right. As you become mindful of what you’re putting into your body this’ll have a knock-on effect to other lifestyle habits. If at all possible, toss out the junk food — everything that’s sugary, fatty, greasy, and salty. Food is one the biggest consumers of our energy, so reserve yours by eating whole and organic food as much as possible. Side note: I’m a big believer in everything in moderation by adding pleasure to a healthy lifestyle, but remember that at the end of the day truly “You are what you eat.”
3) Drink more. The human body is an average of 70% water. Water and herbal teas are healthy alternatives to soda and sugary coffee. Sometimes fatigue can be a symptom of dehydration. I personally start my day with a cup of warm lemon water followed by a cup of yerba mate tea.
4) Do yoga. Yoga can help to revolutionise your life. Practicing physical postures with the right intention and breath aligns us towards a more healthy and harmonious state — the way nature intended. There are so many different yoga styles and teachers. Keep trying until you find something and someone that resonates with you. It took me many classes until I found my way.
5) Socialise differently. Instead of going out to bars or unhealthy restaurants, try getting together for tea or a walk in the park. Don’t be scared or feel guilty for saying “No”. Choose people and activities that will support your new and healthy lifestyle and that will genuinely nourish your well-being.
6) Start small. It’s easy to feel over-whelmed by the amount of information out there, especially with the Internet. Everyday commit to making one small change on your list, and then try another, then another. Take time to celebrate your breakthroughs, your personal wins and insights. Each step in the right direction will allow you to experience life more beautifully as your new sense of living will become your new normal.
Originally published at lesliesaglio.com.
Originally published at medium.com