As we welcome in the New Year, resolutions might be on your mind. Your goals for the year ahead can fall under a plethora of categories: financial, physical, family-related, education, etcetera. However, the one thing that is going to make it possible for you to manifest these goals is to reconnect with your soul.
Ancient texts of Ayurveda have exalted the value of being in union i.e., “yoga” with your mind, body, and soul. A healthy relationship with your soul enables you to tune into your intuition and silence the external voices of doubt. It is a way to manifest your desires that are true to your Dharma–your life’s purpose. When you are working towards your purpose, making healthy choices for your mental, physical, and spiritual diet, only then can you embark upon the journey of longevity.
Did you know that the number of gym memberships purchased in the first two weeks of January are the highest? If you own a fitness company, January is your best month. However, if you check the number of times these January-joiners go to the gym during the rest of the year, you can observe that their gym-going times vary at first, then, it starts to become more and more infrequent.
Many of us might resolve to follow a new diet plan and jump into it without a second thought.
Ask yourself this question: you have many resolutions for your mind and body. However, what are you doing for your soul?
Resolutions for the Soul
Pure awareness is the source of all thought. In order to reach this mindful state of awareness, first you must learn to let the active mind be. Let the thoughts ebb and flow. When you reach the state of mindfulness in which thoughts become fleeting or infrequent, then you can transcend into finer states of thought and hence reach a pure state of awareness. That is the unified field of all the laws of nature–all of which culminate into a higher self that is within you.
Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom
It is time to listen to your body’s wisdom. Your body is wiser than your peripheral level of consciousness in which humans usually find themselves. Once you tune into your body, you’ll notice that your body expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort.
When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body. “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends a physical signal or an emotional sign that the body is in distress, watch out! If your body sends a signal of eagerness and comfort, it is in the body’s best interest for you to proceed.
This question can be applied in any situation. Ask your body “How do you feel about this?” when you first wake up in the morning and make the decision to drink warm water, when you choose to go out for a brisk 30-minute walk in the sun, when you choose to spend some alone time reading a book.
It might be difficult at first because your mind is not in sync with your body’s needs. However, as you make it a practice, you’ll find that your dialogue with your body is not only physically nourishing but also emotionally detoxifying and spiritually rejuvenating.
Live in the Present
The present is the only moment you have. You are a human being. You are wired to live in the present moment. When we spend too much time living in the past or worrying about the future, we let precious moments slip by and then spend the rest of our time fretting over “What If?” and “If Only”. Focus your attention on what is here and now. Look for fulfillment in every moment. Accept what comes to you in its entirety so that you are able to fully appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go.
Take Time to Be Silent
Being mindful raises the level of your consciousness and you are able to cut through the noise and listen to your innermost voice i.e., your intuition. An overstimulated and overactive mind is the breeding ground for anxiety. You are more prone to getting burnt out and stray from your true purpose.
Meditation is the way to unlock this potential that resides within you. Rays of pure awareness can shine through only in moments of silence. It is only in moments of silence that you can reconnect with your soul and understand your source of pure awareness. Pay close attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition. It is important to raise the voice of your intuition in order to separate it from externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn’t good for you.
Relinquish Your Need for External Approval
In this digital age, many of us focus on gaining external approval–be it from friends, coworkers, parents, spouses, etc. One must stop and reflect on why you need external approval in order to feel validated for your work.
When you find yourself experiencing anger in any situation or towards a person. You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.
When You Find Yourself Reacting with Anger
Letting go of your anger is healthy for the soul. Anger takes a toll on your body. It is like taking the poison yourself and expecting the other person to perish. Building up anger is a way of living in survival mode. In order to move into a thriving mindset, you have to relinquish the chains of anger and hurt that you’ve built up around you and allow yourself to heal.
The path towards healing is not linear but step by step if you unlearn the patterns created by old hurts and give in to the flow of the universe, you can not only heal yourself mentally but also physically and spiritually.
The World “Out There” Reflects Your Reality “In Here”
Self-knowledge is the most invaluable knowledge of all. Notice the internal dialogue you conduct when you are with people. The way you judge, perceive, criticize, love, or laugh at or with someone is a reflection of your own values. You spend most of your time in your own mind.
Your reactions towards people, whether they are based in love, hate, or fear, are the projections of your inner world. The quality that you hate the most is the one that you despise in yourself. An aspect of someone else’s personality that you love the most is what you desire the most in yourself. Your relationships are a guide to your evolution.
If wielded wisely, your relationships can act as a mirror that reflects your true self. Self-knowledge unlocks the key towards identifying your dharma and consistent commitment to your dharma turns into your karma. The goal is total self-knowledge. When you achieve that, what you most want will automatically be here, and what you most dislike will disappear.
Shed the Burden of Judgement
Appreciate the situation for what it is. Listen to the person in front of you with no judgement. Judgement is nothing but a preconceived notion of what is right and what is wrong. By holding onto these perceptions, you are denying yourself the opportunity to explore and learn something new.
If you decide to make an effort to understand each other’s emotions and perspectives, you can find it in yourself to forgive. Forgiveness opens up the door to love, whereas judgement cuts off understanding and shuts down the process of learning to love. In judging others, you reflect your lack of self-acceptance. Remember that every person you forgive adds to your self-love.
Don’t Contaminate Your Body with Toxins
Consuming toxins through food, beverages or even emotions is detrimental to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Your body is a vessel for your soul that will help you sail through this journey of life. Your body is more than a life-support system.
Your body’s health will directly impact the well-being of your soul. It is precisely why consuming toxins will increase ama in your body and slow down your agni and ojas. Thus, wearing away your strength, vitality, and resilience to external and internal stressors. The health of every cell directly contributes to your state of well-being.
Fear-motivated vs. Love-motivated
Love and fear are elemental forces that all human beings are born with. Behavioral psychologists have conducted studies that prove that fear and love are the primary motivators driving all our actions. Physiologically, love and fear are connected with our survival instinct. When you are afraid, adrenaline and cortisol are released. On the other hand, when you feel safe, happy, and loved, oxytocin is released.
Fear is also the product of memory, which dwells in the past. When we remember what hurt us before, we direct our energies towards ensuring that the old hurt or trigger does not occur again. For example, you remember to be careful while dicing vegetables after you’ve experienced a cut on your finger.
However, dwelling in the past and trying to impose the past on your present will not wipe out the threat of being hurt. Life is full of experiences to be lived and adventures to be had! You can’t live your life’s true purpose if your actions are guided by fear.
It is only when you feel self-love and a healthy self-esteem that you feel secure. You can own your truth and be motivated by the love that you feel for yourself, your surroundings, your relationships. Motivated by the truth inside you, you can face any threat because your inner strength is invulnerable to fear.
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis can help you rewire your focus on identifying the love around you and turning down the volume of fear that governs your mind and soul.
The Physical World is a Mirror of a Deeper Intelligence
Understand that you are an inseparable part of the whole that is this universe. Each one of us holds within us the intelligence of processing and organizing the cosmos. If you think about the role that you play in this universe on a physical level, you know intuitively that you cannot contaminate the planet’s earth and water.
Similarly, your thoughts, your actions, the energy that you exude, are a force of nature itself. You have a deep and invisible connection with other living beings and even inanimate objects. You have the power to influence the world around you–be it in a small way or grand! Because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence, you cannot afford to have a mind that is toxic. You owe it not only to yourself but also the entire web around you to strive for balance and a clear soul.