micro shifts (+ za'atar spiced cauliflower with dates and roasted pine nuts)
You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
For the last four, five-- okay, fine -- ten + years, my alarm has been set to go off before 6 am. Number of times I have gotten out of bed without snoozing for an hour (or more)? Like 12? (Sorry hubs). All of which were motivated by the promise of adventure.
Today, I did get up at 6-- but didn't get out of bed.
Here's what I did instead.
I placed one hand on my belly and one hand on my heart and practiced slow intentional breathing. And gratitude.
So. Much. Gratitude.
The word that has come to me time and again over the last few years is "ease"- and every time I think of it I feel a pang of longing. So last night I set my alarm and told myself that tomorrow would be the day I would finally get up and start a morning meditation practice. My alarm went off today while I was achieving max hygge status and immediately I felt stressed- and then realized sticking to a plan I made last night was the issue. Realizing I could both practice breathing and gratitude while still in bed my mind shifted to meh, I'll just stay in bed and breathe a little bit and try getting up early tomorrow.
As I began reciting in my mind all I was grateful for an incessant undertone of striving for success was replaced with and overwhelming feeling of abundance. By the time I started an informal pranayama practice, I was golden. Inhaling "space" exhaling "ease."
When we breathe diaphramiatically we influence the state of our physical body- big time. Awesome explaination with Dr. Belisa Vranich here. Most of us breathe with 25% of our lung capacity but the magic and health benefits are found in the low deep lungs. The diaphragm is a parachute shaped muscle that separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities of the body, and when we consciously use that muscle to breathe diaphramatically, we put ourselves in a state called eupnea (eup·ne·a) (yūp-nē'ă). Eupnea is something that only mammals do and only when they are completely at ease. Picture a dog laying on it's side, sleeping- how the breath moves the belly up and down. Short, shallow breathing is what animals do when there is danger. Think of the signal we send our body when that is how we breathe all of the time- no wonder we are chronically stressed!
Over the last several months I have been attempting to get back to basics. Drink more water. Breathe. Get good sleep. Read books. Spend less time on social media and more time actually being social. Cook nourishing food (see below). Pet my dogs. Cup my daughter's face in my hands. This is my invitation to you, in this new year, to get back to the basics. Find the habits in your daily routine that you can shift to a more positive experience. Start your day on gratitude and return to it over and again for comfort when the boat starts to rock.
Assess your breathing health and refine it to serve your health and happiness. As the old sage-y yogis said: you only get so many breaths in this life, make them slow and you will live long.
Cheers to a long and health filled 2019,
What I'm Listening To
I've got a playlist just for you, Haven Healing. Wonderful for a gentle practice.
What I'm Reading
Nonfiction: Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Fiction: The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel
What I'm Eating
Za'atar Spiced Cauliflower with Dates and Roasted Pine Nuts
Author: Lisa Bryan - Downshiftology.com
Prep time 15 mins Cook time 25 mins Total time 40 mins Serves: 4 servings
INGREDIENTS 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp, za'atar spice
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup pine nuts
1 tsp olive oil
6 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
1 tsp fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with za'atar spice, salt and pepper and toss to combine.Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, and stirring halfway through.While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a small pan on medium heat. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 tsp olive oil, the chopped dates and thyme. Stir together for an additional minute, then mix together with the cauliflower florets in a serving bowl.Serve warm and add additional thyme garnish.