Ritual de lo Intentional

Photo Credit: Jess Bell

Photo Credit: Jess Bell

Here we are heading towards a new season and new year. Rosh Hoshanah (head of the year) begins September 29th. This is a time of renewal. So slow down. Take inventory of old habits and reflect on what is bringing you optimal health, joy and satisfaction. Also reflect on that in which keeps you stuck from feeling your most vibrant self.

We all know old habits die hard. Turning habitual patterns into intentional ones requires a great deal of internal power. If you are noticing autopilot -like behaviors in your day to day routine, pause. If these mindless modes are not benefitting you mentally, physically or spiritually then know you have a conscious choice to raise your vibration.

I am actively engaged with this process right now. What I am discovering is the habitual patterns I have been caught up in require minimal to no thought. I want to live my life on purpose. I want to be very deliberate and thoughtful about constructing my very own incandescent life. That’s not going to happen if I am living in the darkness or dimness of my unconscious or subconscious mind.

Harvesting new ideas and trading in habitual living for intentional living is proving to be amazingly fruitful. Maybe this is because I am literally eating more fruits! And actually veggies too. But I am exploring, reducing, replacing, adding and subtracting many different things in my life right now. Not just food. I am turning my life into one great science experiment.

Because the shift from summer to spring is the most difficult seasonal change for me physically and mentally, I continue to learn how necessary it is to turn inward and tune in on a microscopic level.

This experiment is quite satisfying. From this lens I am able to witness the invisible parts of me. My subtle body/self. The unseeable and untouchable. The elements of feeling at the most basic, yet most profound and miniscule levels of the human body.

When I am on autopilot and involved in habitual patterns or making unhealthy choices I am oblivious to what is delicate and intricate beneath it all. But keen awareness emerges when I am purposeful with my decisions in regards to what I read, listen to, eat, or what I do with my precious time. This kind of awareness allows me to observe at the cellular level.

My observations stem directly from the September goal I have set in preparation for fall - to reduce my anxiety. I am exploring a variety of ingredients (both food related and non - related). In some cases I am reducing, eliminating or replacing ingredients.

One ingredient I have added to the mix involves spending more time to write. This is my main ingredient used daily. It makes everything better.

There are new rituals now. I have replaced night time TV shows with early bedtime, more books over reading daily news, meal planning in place of “winging it”, more cooking than eating out, more water, less wine and more writing, less scrolling.

Items I have subtracted ( some only temporarily) include the major allergens known to cause inflammation: sugar, dairy, wheat, grains, soy, eggs, nuts and seeds. No processed foods of course. Or white potatoes. But plenty of sweet potatoes. I have an occasional splash of wine with seltzer and a scoche of sugar (honey and dark chocolate) here or there. I have reduced my caffeine intake to half caffeinated and half decaf for my morning cup of coffee and have added in more (mostly cooked) veggies, salads, both cooked and raw fruits, protein, broths and herbal teas.

Through this process I am simply noticing how my body responds when I remove, add or replace specific substances. Eventually I will gradually infuse some, not all of these things back into my system to determine what my triggers are. And what gives me vitality versus lethargy. Above all, I will choose carefully. If one thing is ever true, it is the body never lies.

I am on week two and already feeling lighter, less aches and pains, less foggy headed and a significant decrease in anxiety. I feel more radiant, in control, joyful and alive. I continue to lean on yoga, meditation and my friends for support. No exceptions. I wasn’t expecting to implement so many changes all at once but it occurred to me that I had no choice. My body said it is time to reset.

I would never recommend to anyone that they should eliminate or reduce too many components all at once, but rather replace old patterns with new ones in small, incremental doses. Notice what other changes naturally follow. Most importantly check in and ask yourself if you want to live with ritual of habit or with ritual of intention.