Last week I was thinking a lot about how our physical environment affects our well-being. I posted on my business blog about why it’s important to be mindful of you working environment plus tips for how to make your work space more awesome. It’s a topic that has a huge effect on me since I run my business from home and spend a majority of my day in my home office.
After writing that post I realized that my office was actually not my sanctuary – yet – and I spent the next two days giving it a complete makeover. During that time I was thinking about what kind of changes I wanted to make in order to created a joyful environment.
Through this experience, I got to thinking about how it’s just as important, if not MORE important, that we be mindful of our internal environment.
Have you ever stopped and taken a moment to notice what’s going on inside your head? I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels as though my train of thought is constantly barreling through my head at 100 miles per hour!
Just like it’s easy to get so caught up in our work that we forget about our physical environment and the clutter piling up on our desk, it’s also easy to get caught up in the clutter within our minds.
It’s easy to get so caught up in our list of to-do’s and deadlines that we don’t take time for self care.
It’s easy to stay mad about some injustice we may have encountered.
It’s easy to feel like we’re not good enough to create the life we want.
What’s NOT so easy is to take time to notice where our mind is going and decide if that’s really what we want to focus our energy on. But it’s super important.
Whatever we give our attention to, we strengthen our relationship with.
Why do we want to give away our energy to things that make us unhappy? Taking a moment to step back and observe what’s going on is the key to shifting our energy towards beneficial outcomes.
We do this through svadhyaya, or self-study, an essential part of living joyfully and creating positive change in life. Svadhyaya is observation of oneself. It’s being curious about what’s going on inside.
Something I learned in yoga teacher training that really stuck with me is that whatever we give our attention to, we strengthen our relationship with. Svadhyaya is noticing what we are currently giving our attention to.
For me, I remember all of the times that I’ve said “I don’t have time for ___” or “I’m not good enough to ___” and, of course, “It’s not my fault that I haven’t ___ yet.”
Basically, all of the stories that I’ve told myself that are based in fear. For example, I remember a time when I had so many reasons that I could never “go vegan.” The more I thought that way, the less likely I was to commit to making a change.
It wasn’t until I shifted my thinking to the abundance of a vegan lifestyle that I actually made progress toward that goal. I took time to acknowledge the fears I had that surrounded that change. I recognized the stories I was telling myself and broke them down until I realized they were lies. Then I shifted my attention to what I wanted and used visualization techniques to align my energy with how I wanted to live. I shifted the things that I was giving my attention to so that I could open myself up to new possibilities.
Today’s affirmation from the Own Your Awesome affirmation deck is directly related to this idea that our thoughts create our lives.
My life is my canvas. I create it from moment to moment. I can re-create it at anytime.
Take a moment today for self-study and see where your mind is going, what you’re paying attention to. Is it really what you want to be focusing on? If not, how can you create something new right now?