It’s officially summer! This is the time for fun vacations, indulgences, changes in routine, and all those parts of life which you can and should experience to lead a joyful life. The key is to partake in this excitement without falling off the yoga wagon.
Today on the blog you will be anchoring in your spiritual practices using JUST ONE TECHNIQUE, which will allow you to stay focused on yourself and your needs throughout the summer (and amidst life in general). It’s very simple: you don’t negotiate. You don’t leave any room for negotiation regarding your spiritual practice or where your betterment is concerned.
Everyone negotiates on a daily basis. Allow me to remind you of a few negotiations you’ve probably made in the last few days:
You decide you’re going to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to meditate, and the hit snooze a few times instead.
You eventually do sit down to meditate for 15 minutes. Half way through, you casually say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just finish early today…this once”.
You quit smoking. Then, when at a dinner party and a fellow attendee offers you a cigarette, you take a puff “just this once” because one cigarette isn’t the same as smoking all the time.
This is a slippery slope because if you are willing to negotiate on your boundaries you haven’t actually set firm boundaries at all.
REAL boundaries are solidified only when you know your bottom line. Once you make that decision, you can now draw a line in the sand and commit not to negotiate what’s important to you.
Maybe your bottom line is doing yoga three days per week. Maybe it is meditating for 5 minutes each day. This happens whether you are on vacation, at home, on business trips, etc. Nothing gets in the way, because you have made the commitment to do it no matter what.
Let your mantra be, “No matter what happens, this does not get shortchanged”. Usually said shortchanging starts with good intentions. For example, you skip your practice to clean the house or spend time with someone you love. It feels so easy to do it once and (hopefully) nobody gets hurt in the process. So, the next time you are tempted by negotiation, you take the bait, basing it on past experience. If you want to prevent it from becoming a long term hiatus from your spiritual discipline, you must recognize the behavior and take action. It’s up to YOU to set the boundary.
Think of something in your life that you NEVER negotiate on. You are a vegetarian and no longer eat meat. You always start your day with a cup of organic coffee and always have what you need to make sure it happens. You never go to bed without brushing and flossing. Notice a few of your own habits in order to remind yourself you ALREADY have this level of discipline and commitment, so applying it into a new area of your life is completely possible. You simply have to decide.
Isn’t it amazing that one decision can be so immensely powerful?!?!
If you find yourself saying, “Oh, it’s a busy time of year. I’m just going to do my practice twice this week,” or, “I’m going to shorten my practice just this once,” or, “I’m going to have a sip of alcohol just this once,” you have to stop this negotiating behavior right in its tracks. Get clear on your boundaries and uphold them. There is actually great freedom in knowing where you stand. You’re not in a constant state of bewilderment or questioning what you should or shouldn’t be doing. You know where your bottom line is and you’re not willing to shortchange it. Lastly, remember your WHY. What made you set this intention to begin with? How will it help you be stronger and more focused in your life? Stay in connection to this why and it will help you move through tricky moments to a place of ease.
If setting your daily spiritual minimum and upholding it is the only thing you do this summer to maintain your awareness, you will make progress. It is a powerful tool and a valuable one. Think of how someone in the 12 step program does not drink alcohol. They don’t negotiate. That item is not up for discussion in their life, whereas other items might be. It’s the exact same thing for you. Know your bottom line. Decide you are not negotiating on it and then build upward from there.
As always, thank you for tuning in today. Have a wonderful day! Namaste.