After returning home from recent travels in Bali, I decided to set a Sankalpa (intention) for myself: to maintain my 'Bali Bliss' and feel as healthy, joyful and inspired in my daily life as I did while in Bali. I knew it would take two key steps:
1. To acknowledge what it was that actually gave me the positive sensations?
2. Commitment to cultivate daily practices into my life to maintain these sensations.
I began to journal everything that was coming to mind from my time in Bali...streams of consciousness came out in my notebook through scribbled notes, bullet points and doodles. I listened to songs I had played during the trip and flipped through my camera to visualize my journey.
I came to the conclusion that my 'Bali Buzz' was thanks to three aspects:
1. I was in a training course which gave me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of Yoga and my own personal development. I began each day with self-practice, listened to lectures which sparked my interest and was surrounded by teachers, mentors and fellow classmates.
2. I ate high quality vegetarian (and mostly vegan) foods daily. I ate more fresh foods (and less in general) leaving me feeling light and clear. I consumed far less sugars and caffeine than in my normal diet and found those cravings diminish over time, which meant less time thinking about food and more time/energy spent on other things.
3. I felt nourished from being immersed in nature, the tropical heat and weekly massages. I felt nurtured and energized in both my body and mind.
Although I am no longer in Bali, my current practice is to accept and surrender to the present moment to make the most of it. I know that it takes effort to maintain the inner abundance even if my physical environment has changed.
As many of you are avid travelers, you can relate to returning home from life-changing experiences abroad and feel as if you have a 'travel hangover'. The hangover can include feelings of boredom with the familiarity of home, and/or as if our very home (the place we thought we knew so well) suddenly feels strange, unaligned with our ethics and like an unfamiliar place.
Trust that this is all normal and part of our personal evolution as humans. We are constantly going through experiences to help us learn, grow and open our hearts and minds. We experience this transformation at home, but most often this growth is amplified when we are traveling as we feel the contrast of two cultures/rhythms/lifestyles. Upon returning home we can feel heavy with feelings of resentment, discontentment, disconnection or fear.
Remember that the practice begins mentally and extends into our physical existence, everyday, through positive mindset shifts and daily actions to help maintain the joy that we feel when our sense are awakened in foreign lands. To cultivate balance and spark your inner radiance (in any place, any time!) takes dedication. The following practices are simple, yet profound when practiced. They are used to reflect on reality and help us to reconnect in times when we need it most...
- Look back at times when you felt happy and states of well-being. Recognize what is from time period that brought you those feelings. Journal everything that comes to mind. Next to each item listed make a checkmark if it is something attainable in your current situation. If not, draw an arrow and write an alternative action that you can try instead. You may find at the end of this journal exercise that most of the things you have listed may be possible in some capacity. For ex: if you wrote 'Hiking a Volcano' from your recent trip to Hawaii, yet you are currently in a flat part of the world without mountains, you may find that the experience of 'Hiking a Volcano' brought you a sense of adventure which you can find through trying a new experience...kayaking or indoor rock climbing.
- Look forward at all of the positive possibilities your current situation can offer you. Create a vision board with magazine cutouts with images (realistic or conceptual!) that you want to cultivate in the next year. If you aren't feeling as creative, simply journal all the things that you are grateful for in your current situation. Place the vision board or journaled list beside your bed or in your work space so you are reminded daily of your potential.
- Look around at your relationships. Actively choose to spend time with loved ones who truly support you and those who have a positive approach to life. Reach out to someone who inspires you and seek their friendship and guidance if you don't feel that you have anyone in your life that is worthy. Think quality over quantity...spend less time socializing in situations that leave you feeling depleted, and spend more time in 1:1's or small groups where you are all fully present and feel rejuvenated from the positive dynamic.
- Look within to self-reflect and build your intuition. Develop the practice of Pratyahara (turning inward) to focus on what specific qualities you need to feel more nourished. Remember that you are in complete control of your life experience and at any time you can make whatever changes (subtle or great) that are needed to bring you into a state of bliss. Yoga, meditation, journaling, time in nature and self-care rituals are all ways in which you can spend time with yourself and reflect on what is lacking in your life and ways in which you can recalibrate. It may mean ending a relationship, going back to school for studies or packing your bags and taking time to soul search in a new part of the world.
LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here