For the ancients, February marked the return of light and life to the world. With food supplies running low, the birth of the first lambs brought a reprieve from hunger providing milk and fresh meat. Our ancestors celebrated February as a time of renewal, a time to honor the returning light, as the cold and darkness of winter withdrew and the earth hinted at the return of spring. The birthing of lambs and the lengthening days fostered the early fertility festivals that became our modern Valentine's Day.
Indeed February is time of romance, a time to be kind to your loved ones, a time to be kind to yourself. Make this month a time of renewal as you turn away from habits that are holding you back and foster habits to heal your body, mind and spirit. This is the time to take your life back.
Simple Steps to a New You
Honestly look at your life and look at yourself. In your heart you know what is keeping you from being a better person. Take an honest look and decide what habit is keeping you from your goal. The first step to changing your life is to identify what it is that you want to change and have a desire to do the work to change it. Through awareness and ambition you can turn your energy to becoming the person you want to be.
Let’s begin with your body:
Your body is a machine. To improve this machine, you must control the input and output by refining your diet and getting exercise. This doesn't mean stop eating and join a gym. Start small, don't make it hard. Take out one unproductive thing and add one positive thing and by the end of the month you will be a new you. Substitute water for soda. Trade an hour walk, for an hour of watching TV. Eliminate fast food and processed snacks. Instead eat fresh fruits and lots of green leafy vegetables and by changing the small things, you will change your lifestyle. Remember a small step today will result in big changes in your future.
Change is a process. Today take the first step to a better you. Take an honest look at your attitude. Begin by counting your blessings. Look at your life and decide to become mindful. Be being aware, you will be able to make conscious choices and change the way you respond to people. By being aware of your reaction to others, and responding mindfully with positive words, you will avoid habitual traps. When someone rubs you wrong, don't become angry, don't hold grudges. Instead of becoming resentful and wasting all your energy, learn to forgive. When you harbor animosity against a person or group of people, you become stuck in a nonproductive cycle of anger. Learning to forgive fosters positive emotions and lends to a healthy lifestyle. The simple act of changing your attitude gives you the ability to avoid the counterproductive emotions of anxiety and depression and instead find happiness.
By choosing to react with a positive or peaceful response, we choose to be happy. Happiness is at your fingertips. Through conscious choices you will reap huge rewards. When reacting to those around choose to smile more. Praise yourself and others. Dream of success. Be enthusiastic. The shift of your energy to these positive responses will allow you to be happy, joyous, healthy and successful.
The best medicine to heal the spirit is meditation. Meditation is the practice of focusing and quieting your mind to achieve a heightened awareness of your inner spirit. When you shift your attention to each breath slowly and deeply drawn and released, you shift your mind into a quiet mode, releasing your mind clutter. The result of this shift is calmness and inspiration.
Incorporating a morning meditation into your daily routine will allow you to fill a well of peace at your center. It will give your strength and fortitude to be able to stick with and accomplish the goals you’ve set. The practice of meditation will allow you to improve mental functioning and attain greater intuition as you are granted access to unconscious resources and abilities.
This month be kind to yourself. Take time for yourself. Incorporate into your schedule activities you've wished to do. If you've been meaning to take a yoga class, now is the time. Don't make excuses, don't put it off. If you've been toying with the idea of learning a new skill or working on a hobby, now is the time. Don't let life pass you by. Your life belongs to you. You have the power to make it the life you want to live. It is up to you and you alone to become the person you want to be.