How to Create Good Habits and Radiate Health
Many people are tired, stressed, inflamed, overweight — in short, a hot mess. When we’re not living into our energetic potential, we are not fully engaged in life.
Ayurveda is the art of living into our energetic and conscious potential. I’m talking about the wisdom to wake up all parts of yourself, to live your life fully awake and on purpose for the good of yourself and all beings.
INTUITION: YOUR EVOLUTIONARY GPS
Intuition is your ability to receive direct information from your experience about what is better (healing) and what is worse (degenerating or causing disease).
Have you been trained to make spot-on, highly intuitive decisions? As a species, we have the potential to access intuition, to become our own healers, who shift our bodies towards heightened experiences of balance, informed by our insides (awareness in our bodily tissue) connecting with our outsides (circadian rhythms, seasonal rhythms, and ecosystems).
How do we learn? We experiment.
When you get curious, you start experimenting. Curiosity is the necessary stance. From curiosity you step into your personal biochem lab to experiment with optimizing your body/mind/emotional/relational/spiritual experience.
As part of the evolutionary process, humans are designed to learn from experience. When we do, we make better choices. When we don’t, we devolve and suffer.
Physically and metaphysically, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If the reaction is desired, we want to repeat it or improve upon it. If the reaction is not desired, we seek to avoid recreating the experiment/experience. In yoga, we call the action-reaction cycle karma. Karma is the residue – the results – created from an action.
For example: If I eat a late, heavy dinner, I’ll stay up later and be sluggish the next morning. Rising from bed will be a little less exultant. My morning breath body practices will be harder than necessary, and I’ll struggle with the not-enough-sleep hangover I resent. Resistance will dominate and forward momentum will slide out of reach as I try to make amends and just find neutral. Forget thrive. I’ll reach for stimulants to navigate what is on the schedule.
What I’m describing is a cascade of minute choices that lead to a flood of undesired experiences. Notice the direction of the momentum. If this becomes a pattern, I’ll backslide in energy, weight, mental clarity, and inspiration.
Every habit can carry the power of intention. From Galatians, 6:7. — “as ye sow, so also shall ye reap”. What is the gestation period, the time delay? As we shift to better habits, we need sustaining power of intention to handle the not-so-instant gratification.
YOU ARE A BIOCHEM LAB
We don’t just want habits, we want informed, intended actions that cultivate deep consistent momentum toward our desired experiences. Intuition, reflection, and conscious decision-making are crucial tools for developing informed habits. If I’m using my body as an experiment station, I’ll notice the negative effects of staying up too late, and I can course-correct immediately.
The key here is to digest what we’ve learned. You will see this as a recurring theme here. When we digest what we’ve learned, we design a better future experience for ourselves. Of course, our old patterns have momentum. Until we shift the momentum to the new habit, we’re in a bit of a war zone. The next time I find the late, heavy dinner pattern arising, I want to put down my fork and pick up my glass of water.
If you want to enjoy your body more, you need to listen to your body. This looks like slowing down to feel, acknowledging the signals of fatigue, recognizing the signals informing you which foods work the best for your body, listening to the signals that you need to move or rest. As you trust and listen, you naturally reflect and make decisions that are connected to what you know and how you feel. It’s a start.
When you don’t make space to listen or time to feel, when you disregard your needs, you lose integrity with yourself.
You have a steady stream of data coming through your body, your thoughts, your feelings, your inner dialogue. What will you do with it? Ignore it, and lose the trust of your body. When you ignore negative feedback from your body, emotions, and thought patterns you lose the opportunity to slow the negative momentum and shift direction. If you don’t make a decision to change course, you erode your integrity with your body. You inhibit your capacity to listen to your deeper desires. You get stuck or you get unwell.
Let’s reverse any damage done.
LEARN FROM YOUR YESTERDAYS
As you become adept at leaving space to digest your experience, you naturally make more informed decisions. You build a new momentum and reinforce the pathway to your evolution. And when you don’t leave space to digest your experiences, they create a residue. The residue of undigested experience has the momentum and direction of past habits.
You are a mass in motion. Your momentum has a vector, and your momentum has a karma. Are you going in the direction you want at the speed you want? You’re in the driver’s seat.
You are always at a choice-point. Decide now how you want your body to be in the future. Line up your intention with your actions to get there. Build momentum in the direction at the velocity that will get you there in the time you want. Or at least start thinking this way and hang with others who think this way.
The 10 daily habits we teach in Body Thrive are simple hygiene practices that give you a structure for noticing the signals from your body and direct navigation towards your desired experience. Anyone can become a master.
As you move along the trajectory to better health through applying Body Thrive habits, you become increasingly sensitive to the steady stream of physical, mental, and emotional signals your body emits to help you optimize your energy, your sleep, and your life. These 10 habits open the gateways to your sacred, awake, vibrant life.