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Cultivate a Zen State of Mind
By Kayla Moses-David
Peace, Love and Light to you Beloved! I am Lady Kay, A Wife, Mother, Student, Manager, Dance Instructor, Yoga Instructor, Performer and a Writer for AFIYA Magazine! As one can assume, based upon these titles and the responsibilities that come along with them, I am a very busy person. What drives me to keep busy is my desire to accomplish great things in life! I have already accomplished so much and still desire so much more. One might ask how are I am able to balance all of those aspects? Where do I find the time and the energy? How am I supported?
My simple response is this, I keep my mind in check! Understanding Psychology and the way the mind works is very key to being able to function on multiple levels. First, I had to acknowledge that I made a decision to accept these relationships and the higher level of accountability to myself. Therefore, I must be committed and dedicated to seeing them through. Then my thoughts became more objective based than overwhelming. My process becomes then, what is the most effective way to manage my energy and time while still maintaining peace of mind? Below I have listed some suggestions for keeping your mind, body, spirit balanced and assisting in keeping a healthy mental landscape!
YOGA! This beautiful ancient Art uses movements and postures to get you out of your head and into your body. A lot of times the thoughts you are contemplating are manifesting aches and pains in your body. When you begin to stretch and purposefully move your body in different ways and directions, then you are in a better position to handle anything. Through yoga you are building your body and working out your physical kinks which translates into a peaceful mind. Remember, a clear mind is a creative mind!
MEDITATION! When was the last time you completely stilled your thoughts. In this Aquarian Age, Meditating is as easy as going to YouTube and plugging into the search box “Meditation”. Up comes an influx of pages filled with guided meditations and soft, mind calming music. You also have the luxury of finding a nice quiet park surrounded by lush green landscape to sit and observe. There are hundreds of books written on this particular subject and other free and available online resources. Your practice is yours just as your internal transformation journey is yours. You can start with just five minutes of quiet time after your evening shower everyday or whatever works best for you. The beauty comes in doing it consistently. Where in your day would you normally have an opportunity to navigate the time as you wish? Through Meditation, you are more effectively able to handle stress, move past blockages, develop mindfulness, become familiar with your true self and examine your true nature. A Focused Mind is a Life Changing Mind!
PRANAYAMA! Did you know there were different ways to breathe? And each of them produces changes in your body? The fire breath is cleansing and energizing! The long, deep breath is calming, cooling and centering. The alternate nostril breath is detoxifying and balances both hemispheres of the brain! Your breath is your source of life! Your breath is that vital life force within you that can be cultivated with practice. Again, we have an abundance of information readily available to us through the use of the World Wide Web. Learning about Pranayama is as simple as going to google and plugging in “Pranayama”. Up comes an influx of articles, blogs, videos, books, and images teaching and educating on the breath! To stay energized throughout your day, monitor your breath. When you need a little boost, do one hundred fire breaths. When you have a moment to sit down and rest do a minute of long deep breathing. Are you breathing right now? Try it with me. Inhale for four counts. One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand. Now exhale for four counts. One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand. See if you can continue this breath to the end of this article. (I am doing it while I am typing!) I believe in you. Through the controlled breath practices, we develop a light heart, a keen sense of peace, strengthened mental clarity and toned internal organs. Remember, a vital mind is a sharp and productive mind.
ORGANIZATION! Get a small notepad that can fit in your pocket or purse; one that you are able to carry with you wherever you go. Write in there all your tasks and to dos in order of significance and a step by step list for moving forward towards your goals. You also keep track of your progress this way because you are able to check off things as you go. Also use it to jot down notes and important updates. Make an effort not to keep everything in your head as the information may get jumbled and overwhelm you. Instead utilize the notepad, a daily agenda or the memo pad on your phone. You are a multidimensional being! Sometimes you think of amazing plans and ideas and need to record them instead of trying to remember them. Through Organization, you develop a clear understanding of your goals and what it takes to accomplish them. This improves your success rate by sixty percent. The other forty percent goes to following through with your plans of action and doing what you say you must. Remember, If your mind can conceive it, You can achieve it!
I encourage you to explore these paths of cultivation. Begin to put into practice one of these four modalities and see what becomes of your life. I practice them daily and have been doing so for at least three years. It does not get old or irrelevant, my practice and I are one! These are a few of the ways I am able to stay balanced, centered, energized and optimistic despite my active schedule. You can do it too! Through loving and nurturing yourself you are able to achieve and become more than you ever imagined.
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