Be your own guru!

A photo by Greg Rakozy. unsplash.com/photos/0LU4vO5iFpMCan having a new experience, every day, for 30 days boost creativity?

This is the question I wanted to find out when I set myself this challenge 30 days ago. Will I feel more insightful? Will ideas flow more freely? Will good things take place? Will the challenge improved my mental and emotional wellbeing? Will I feel happier? Will I gain more clarity?

Honestly… the answer to all of these questions is YES!

When I started this challenge, I’m not going to lie, there was an element of pressure that I felt in trying to find something new each day to experience.

But after a week in, when it came to picking something, I realised that new experiences were not hard to find, they happen every day without much effort at all, all you need is awareness.

Over the last 30 days, I do feel like I have become a lot more insightful, I’ve definitely learnt more about who I am.

I feel a lot more self aware, a lot more in tune with what has been holding me back, what I need to change ( in my mind ) to consciously grow in to a happier, more loving human being.

More than anything, this challenge has made me become more aware of how I am living. Becoming a witness to what’s happening in my day to day, rather than taking it for granted, has actually inspired me!

I’ve learnt that every day, every new experience can offer something positive, it all comes down to your mindset, how you choose to see the world, glass half empty or half full sort of thing, the choice is always ( and only ) yours.

So if you are feeling uncertain, unhappy, I highly recommend taking the simply action of becoming more aware of what you are experiencing in your day to day. Take some time to reflect at the end of each day ( meditation or journal writing is awesome for this! ).

Maybe start your own personal challenge for 7 days, and write down your thoughts and feelings and see what comes up, you might learn something new about yourself, that changes everything!

By becoming a witness to life, each new experience becomes a lesson that will teach you something about who you are.

Being mindful will help you grow, it will connect you with your unique being, the limitless love that you have within you, pure conscious awareness, your own inner guru! 🙂

The New!

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I was told by many that quitting my job, to travel to overseas and return to the unknown was very brave. But to me it never felt brave, it felt sane! Why would you keep doing something you are bored with, when you could be doing something exciting and new?

I honestly feel many people never really question why they are unhappy, I was one of them, I just keep doing the same thing over and over because it felt comfortable, even though deep down I felt frustrated, bored and incredibly restless.

I was over feeling this way, which is why I quit my job, flew to India, where through plenty of meditation I had a inner conscious awakening. I realised my old way of thinking, doing the same thing because it felt safe, was not working, I had to let go of my negative old beliefs, love who I am, trust I’ve got the goods within for greatness and embrace the new!

Since returning home last week, each day I meditate, tune in, listen to what I need to do, 100% trust that my inner guru ( intuition/being/God ) knows best, let go of expectation and just go with the flow.

By following through on every idea that pops in to my head, without questioning it, I have quickly noticed many positive changes take place! I’ve decluttered my entire home making it a beautiful and useful space, effortlessly lost weight, got an interview for a dream job, saved money on a new latptop, found a entrepreneurial workspace that’s affordable and registered for an online course to help turn my dreams in to a reality! All in just 1 week!

It can be overwhelming returning from 2 months overseas, with no job, living off a certain amount of savings. I notice that my mind craves security, so every time I spend money ( especially on an expensive notebook and online course! ) my mind freaks out! But the thing about money, if you are not spending it to improve your life, help you achieve your dreams, whats the point of having it?

Rather than let my mind be consumed with fear and anxiety, I’ve shifted it to trust and love whatever happens today, including all the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Since quitting my job I am the happiest I have felt in a very long time! By choosing to love and embrace the new, trust that I am supported no matter what, I now know what its like to feel free! 🙂

Today I loved Yoga

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Christmas Day, I’ve woken up hungover, not badly hungover but enough for my Mother to question my tone of voice on Viber, asking if i was ok? This year I’m spending Christmas solo in Varkala, India. I resigned from my job in Australia end of November, deciding to spend 9 weeks traveling India to regain some clarity around the direction of my life, as I felt it needed to change.

The first 4 weeks of my trip was spent in Madurai at the Sivananda Meenakshi Ashram completing a 1 month intensive yoga teaching training course, which I graduated from last Saturday! Yes, I can now officially teach hatha yoga classes, well my certificate looks nice anyway. Completing the teacher training was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, it pushed all the right buttons and the sense of accomplishment at the end for me was indescribable, especially as I never thought I was capable in the first place. I highly recommend doing this course if you want to upgrade your internal and external software and of course, walk away a certified yoga teacher and help people also feel good about themselves!

So now I’m spending week 5 relaxing in Varkala, enjoying freedom, hot showers and muslie for breakfast again! Varkala is located in the south of Kerela, down by the beach, a cliff side paradise of cheap restaurants, shopping, massages, beach swims and of course plenty of delicious food and booze! I did have this plan of staying sober and eating healthy after completing the teacher course but my mind convinced me to let go and enjoy myself, have some beer and cocktails, eat a veggie burger and chips, undoing all the wholesome ‘yogi’ work I’d clocked up at the ashram the past 30 days. I leave Varkala on Sunday, to spend another 4 weeks in Tiruvannamalai before I fly back home to the unknown, and as I type this, feeling somewhat average, I now realise the importance of every decision I make.

When I completed the teacher training I was glowing, the physical affects of doing yoga for 30 days changes your body, you lose weight, tone up, gain strength and flexibility, but also mentally and emotionally you gain this sense of love for yourself which then radiates to all those around you. You actually wake up wanting to do yoga in the morning, you feel at peace with the world, life just flows along effortlessly, anxiety and stress melt away and happiness becomes your true nature. So of course you want to continue to celebrate this new feeling of bliss, especially on holidays when making new friends, you order booze, have some greasy food and then before you know it, you don’t feel like doing yoga in the morning, you feel tired, run down and just want to sleep, drink and eat instead. But it’s Christmas, the time of indulging the senses, so you allow yourself another cocktail and piece of chocolate cake thinking that it will bring you a sense of joy and fulfillment, but instead all you want to do is pass out from a sugar coma in bed.

When it comes to my relationship with alcohol, I clearly see now that there are two paths in life I can take. There is the path whereby I drink alcohol, which always seems to lead to bad decision making ( indulging or desiring things that aren’t good for me ) and then I feel lazy and my health gets neglected for a few days. Or there is the path where I don’t drink alcohol, I wake up feeling vibrant, choose to do loving things for my body, make the right decisions and my state of consciousness expands. In 2013 I quit booze for an entire year and even though there were moments where I swear I was dreaming about wine, overall I was much better off without it. Everyone is different, but for me, I honestly think it comes down to just one question. What holds you back from being the best version of yourself? My answer, what I choose to put in my body each and every day. Alcohol is no longer working for me anymore, I realise this today. The short term pleasure I receive from a drink comes at a cost to my spiritual growth which is why, as of today, I am choosing to no longer drink alcohol again.

Instead I am choosing to love myself, not in a vain, arrogant, I am awesome, look at me being all healthy and sober sort of way. When you choose to love something you cherish it, you give it attention, you invest time in it, when it’s happy, you are happy, love makes love expand. Choosing love when it comes to the Self means putting awareness on it, wanting nothing but the best for it which means being more aware of what you put in it, exercising, meditating, thinking positive thoughts, becoming a better human being which hopefully inspires others to do the same. This the core essence of what yoga is, having a system in place that allows you to operate at your best, each and every day.

Today I loved in the past has been a blog about picking specific challenges like being grateful and quitting alcohol and running them for an entire year. I wouldn’t have been able to complete those challenges without this blog as writing makes you accountable, it creates self discipline which is so fundamental when implementing new routines when wanting to change. From my own personal experience, if you want to change something in your life, first step is set a goal, followed by some ground rules and then the rest is a mix of will power, dedication and support. Document your journey and be proud of even the small changes along the way.

Everything first comes from a thought ( the mind ), that thought then becomes an action, which then, if repeated, becomes a habit, habits become a personality, a personality becomes a destiny. So, if you want to change your destiny, you first must change your thoughts, makes sense. But is not as easy as just saying, hey, cool, I’m going to now change my thoughts, the mind has been running the show for a very long time, you have no idea what it will think next and most of the time, through this thing called desire, it’s very good at getting what it wants. So to help change the mind you need a really good support system in place, this is Yoga. I’m not talking new age yoga of trying to look sexy doing some crazy backward bend on one hand yoga, I’m talking proper old school yoga, which has 5 basic principles, proper exercise ( asanas ), proper breathing ( pranayama ), proper relaxation ( savasana ), proper diet ( vegetarian, no alcohol ) and meditation and positive thinking.

As I want to continue implementing all that I learnt on the yoga teacher training, I’ve decided that the next Today I Loved challenge will start today. It didn’t take long to come up with this idea, Today I Loved Yoga, loving union with the body and mind, union with the Self. The next 365 days I will work on calming my mind, nurturing my body and reconnecting with my true nature. 

The ground rules for Today I loved Yoga are:

  1. Exercise the body daily with asanas or walking.
  2. Meditate and connect with Self daily for at least 20 mins
  3. Eat a wholesome vegetarian diet and cut out alcohol.

Breathing, relaxation and positive thinking automatically jumps on board once the first 3 are implemented, I know this from my experience in the ashram for 30 days. When you are meditating you are working on your breathing. When you exercise you counteract this with relaxation afterwards. When you are eating well you feel great so positive thoughts become your nature.

So this is the new challenge that I accept and will document over the next 365 days.

Today I loved Yoga, choosing to love and connect with the Self wholeheartedly, creating new healthy conscious habits to support this, letting go and allowing life to flow, being awareness to all the changes and documenting the interesting stuff that takes place!

Namaste 🙂

Camille