It probably has to do with Spring…or maybe I’m bored …or just tired of the routine. Not exactly sure what it was but I had this yearning to shake things up. Although my days are never the same, I am a creature of habit and have a very structured and organized routine in place, especially with my diet and fitness.
So to fulfill this desire to uproot my norm, I’ve been working on these 4 small changes the past few months and I am loving it! Not only because I stepped out of my comfort zones but I began to experience all these subtle shifts, mindfully and physically, that affect me throughout my days in a positive way.
#1 ENJOYING COFFEE AFTER 10AM
I’m addicted to coffee and have chosen to never live life without it. That overwhelming need for it really annoyed me. I hated the dependency and the longing I had for coffee every morning. I needed coffee ASAP otherwise I couldn’t function or I wasn’t at my best without it. That is such bull crap. That is the mental state and addiction talking, not the physical body. The morning is actually the worse time to drink coffee because our bodies naturally produce cortisol in the morning. Cortisol is the hormone that wakes us up and naturally carries us throughout the day. So it’s actually counter intuitive to have that morning cup of joe. You really don’t need it to wake you up, instead it confuses the body and will weaken the effect of caffeine leaving you with more of a dependency.
So I started having my cold brew coffee after 10am. In the beginning, it was incredibly difficult but as I stuck with it, I found myself forgetting to have coffee half way through my day and I was pleasantly shocked. When finally enjoying my cup, it became more of a treat rather than a need. There is not one day that goes by without coffee but I can say that I don’t need it to start my day and actually feel more awake during my morning sessions without it.
#2 WAKING UP TO A REAL ALARM CLOCK
I used to use Sleep Cycle as my alarm clock and to track my sleep patterns. However the idea of having my phone so close to my head (cancer stories and scares) and recently reading Arianna Huffington’s Sleep Revolution, it was time to banish my phone from the bedroom and actually purchase a real alarm clock. This was one of the best small changes I’ve made. It’s forced me to disconnect once I’m in bed (and not take another glance at Facebook or Instagram) and not check my phone upon wakening. Instead I wake up (to birds chirping and a sunrise wake up light), do some light stretches, take a moment and express gratitude (for having open my eyes to live another day and all my blessings), then get ready to conquer the day. I don’t reach for my phone until I am about to leave my house. Therefore my morning is not cluttered with messages or emails that may seem urgent and don’t compare to having a peaceful start to my day.
#3 GREETINGS IN AN ELEVATOR
One of my Buddhist teachers, Peter Doobinin, always teaches us to acknowledge our aversions and get out of our own way to face them. And how taking certain small steps lead to bigger changes in our lives that in turn connect us to others and humanity. He would always use the example of the awkward quiet ride in the elevator. You step into an elevator (probably looking at your phone) and don’t even glance or acknowledge who you share that space with. So I started putting my phone away, making eye contact with that person, saying hello, and smiling. I have had so many interesting conversations, met so many people, and had such lighthearted experiences that always leave a smile on my face when I step off the elevator. Not only just in an elevator, I try to speak to everyone around me in small tight spaces with the intention of simply connecting even in the smallest way…a smile. 🙂
#4 NO MEAT, PLEASE! (At least for now…)
After listening to Lewis Howe’s podcast interview with Russell Simmons, I began feeling a deeper sensitivity to animals, their slaughter for our feeding, and how their meat pollutes both the environment and our bodies. Plus so many other benefits to not eating meat that I started reading about. I suddenly became turned off by eating animal meat entirely. So there began my pescatarian stage and I’ve been at it for over 3 months. I must admit that I do miss a lean grass fed steak and a juicy burger from time to time but right now, I am enjoying the benefits of not eating animal meat.
Firstly, my hair grew 3 inches in 1 month (I KNOW!) and my skin glows more than it has since I was a teenager. I have had many ask about my skin care products and trust me, there is no secret serum. Secondly, I am digesting all other foods so much better. I don’t remember the last time I felt bloated or had any GI discomfort. I’ve also lost about 5 lbs without even trying. Not everyone will have the same response as I have but this has been my experience thus far. I am not saying that I will be pescatarian forever or even think of going vegetarian or vegan, nor do I judge anyone for eating meat. I am aware of all that meat has to offer. But for now I don’t mind eating meatless and continuing to reap the benefits.
I do like things in very specific order and way (so OCD!). Making these changes took some thinking and planning. I had to make sure I could commit and see it all the way through. If you catch yourself saying:
“Nah, I like doing it this way…” or
“This is the way I do it and it works for me…” or
“I need it…it’s just part of my routine.”
…then it may be time to step out of your own way and explore, experiment, and try something out of the norm. Consider making some small changes. Nothing major or permanent but something that will take you out of your normal routine and open your eyes to an entirely different angle of your day that you have never witnessed before. It may after all…be life changing.