Regularity: Creating Bliss with Consistent Practice


The second virtue of the Eighteen ities, is regularity.  Regularity has always scared me.  I pride myself in being free, flexible and able to go with the flow.  I do not want to feel or be seen as rigid.  Sticking with a set schedule not only seems boring, but generates a fear in me of missing out on things.
Fears of being uncool aside, regularity forms the backbone of our yoga practice and creates a strong foundation in our lives.  Finding routines and consistency, rather than pinning us down, creates freedom through stability.
We all have different demands and life gets messy and unpredictable.  Setting up consistent practices can begin to help ground us amidst the chaos.  Rather than trapping us in obligation, regularity in parts of our lives will help us stay connected to our foundation while we rise to meet the challenges of life.
When choosing practices to reinforce, be realistic and find balance.  Begin with rituals which feed your soul or nurture your body.  If your schedule does not allow for a regular bedtime, work to have a regular wake time.  Create consistency around your morning and evening routines and meals.  Meditate or pray and practice pranayama each day.  A few minutes is enough.  Practice asana each day.  Try not to sabotage yourself with the expectation of what your practices should look like or how long they should be.
Some habits will bring you peace and feel natural.  Those practices will be the ones you will be able to savor and stick with easily.  Other efforts will be unsuccessful.  Avoid judgment and negative self-talk.  Keep coming back to them for as long as it takes to establish a positive pattern.
It is a choice to be rigid.  Regularity is not the same thing as rigidity.  This week, choose just one change to make.  Start small.   Invite regularity into your life as a way to ground and strengthen your foundation.  Consistency is a pathway to true peace, freedom, and bliss.

What regular practices support your life?

Peace, Joy, and Serenity in Each Moment

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life


5 Ways to Cultivate Serenity, Now!

It sometimes seems as though we spend much of our time searching for peace and serenity in our lives.  But are they really sensations we need to grasp for?  If we could just finish this project or complete that task, would we finally be more at peace?  Or are they intrinsic qualities each of us possess, but perhaps have simply gotten buried under every day stress and the busyness of life?
This week, do NOT attempt to solve the mystery or fix anything in hopes of finding SERENITY NOW.  Make a conscious shift towards cultivating existing serenity and peace.  Awaken to your innate serenity.
  1. Find a space that already exists in your life that creates a sense of peace.  Remember, we are not fixing anything, so no effort has to go into creating this space.  Rather, can you remember or take note of where this place is for you?   Try to spend at minimum 5 minutes in this space.  Maybe close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly.
  2. Take note of rituals which calm and nourish you.  Do you love the smell of your morning coffee or the warmth of a mug of tea?  Do you find a meditation in your daily walk or preparing dinner?  Notice how even the seemingly mundane rituals such as brushing your teeth, washing the dishes or putting laundry away can nourish our souls.
  3. Cultivate moments of connection and community throughout the day. We often meander through our days coming into contact with others without truly connecting and acknowledging them.  Remember, we can put down our devices and look people in the eyes.  Smiles are free.  Asking someone about their day or sharing a story are opportunities to feel part of a bigger community and thus more at peace with the world.
  4. Eat mindfully and move each day.  Even if we have very few resources it is possible to eat our food consciously and nourish our bodies with movement.  Finding gratitude for our bodies, despite challenges, can bring peace into our lives.
  5. Find stillness and rest each day.  Allowing ourselves time to restore and relax does not require visits to fancy salons or exotic resorts (although, wouldn’t that be nice?)  Take time each day to find moments of stillness. When we pause to take deep breaths or find stillness, we begin to form the habit of coming back to our center and finding our foundation.

The ity Project



How do we find peace and joy in our lives?  How do we live our fullest potential and not get swept up into the darkness and negativity that can sometimes seem to dominate our world today?  These are tough questions with seemingly no perfect answer.
Sri Swami Sivananda taught his students how to achieve this peace by using the Eighteen ities Song.  He believed when one focused upon and cultivated each of these “ities” or virtues, one could begin to transcend everyday things and find a deeper meaning in life.
The Eighteen Ities

Serenity, Regularity, absence of Vanity,

Sincerity, Simplicity, Varacity,

Equanimity, Fixity, non-Irritability,

Adaptability, Humility, Tenacity,

Integrity, Nobility, Magnanimity,

Charity, Generosity & Purity

The ity Project begins now.  For the next eighteen weeks, we will work to cultivate each of these virtues.  Follow along with this blog, my instagram, Facebook and Twitter to gain insights and inspirations each week.  Eighteen weeks from now, my hope is that you will feel better focused, more at peace, and closer to your true nature – just in time to move into 2016!