[read time: 6 minutes]
…or… “what L.A. has taught me so far”
as many of my readers know, i moved from DC to LA for 9 weeks this summer. sunday, july 25th marks the midpoint and i was struck by a few reflections on reinvention that i’d love to share with you.
- change what you eat. everything is so fresh and tastes so much better here in california, so it has been really inspiring and even sensual just choosing the fresh produce. i recently had napa cabbage for the first time… YUM! even if you don’t feel stimulated by lacinato kale [like me], just improve the quality of what you like to eat. the quality your food is directly correlated to the quality of your body is directly correlated to the quality of your attitude is directly correlated to the quality of your life.
- bust a sweat regularly. if you’re interested in re-invention for a better self, find a physical activity you love. whether your mental mind likes it or not, your body WANTS to work and sweat; even your hormone system is set up with a positive feedback loop directly related to sweating. i’ve recommitted to my yoga practice and chanting. yep, that’s right yoga students, the cat is out of the bag… as a teacher, it is super challenging to maintain a personal practice routine. being physical increases body awareness and can enhance your somatic intelligence.
- break from your routine. eat or brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand. travel a different way between your regular appointments, work, school, home or other regularly visited places. take a class to learn something you don’t know. read a book or magazine on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose. mixing it up helps you shake loose old patterns that get in the way of your new self-expression.
- be a hedonist. the more that you do the things you enjoy, the closer you come to bliss, the more your energy resonates with happiness, and the more you are presented with opportunities that can provide a similar feeling. get into a yummily fun groove [the author energetically asserts that yummily is a word regardless of how many times spell check brings it to my attention].
- get out of dodge. identity is contextual while the true self is constant regardless of context. without a bunch of people reminding me who i was 5 years ago, things associated with my past become descriptive sentences, a narrative. living in the moment matters and the experience of the true self is being created now. there is an incredible liberation and excitement generated in acting from the true self everyday, all day.
- fiercely commit to your own personal style. i bought a cowboy hat, primarily to combat the intense LA sunshine, and i have figured out how to use it to produce interesting looks: from yoga clothes to dresses, from casual to edgy. it is totally working for me. because personal presentation and adornment is a huge part of how you communicate yourself to the world, explore aspects of style and once they feel right, they may become your signature expressions.
- honor your inner conversation. take more time to listen to the subtler perspectives from within. the main motivator, the loudest voice [for so many people this is the voice of the root chakra in survival or scarcity mode] takes center stage. hold a space for your own inner wisdom to provide guidance for expression of your true self.
- connect in new and more truthful ways. this is your golden opportunity to get real with the people in your life. i have had the luxury of a single point of focus during this trip: get workshops on calendars and teach yoga… well, maybe it’s a bi-focal point. i am here to work and that has been central in my communication. along the way, i have participated in a variety of activities and modes of engaging with people. in order to manifest my intentions, i have had to be clear, truthful, vulnerable, and brave. within your work, family, and social circles, play with the possibility of openness.
- take a break. let yourself just be. it is best to do this without distractions like electronics or really interesting people. although my favorite break-time spots are in natural settings, the best place for you might be something else. the important part is to allow some unstructured time, even 15 minutes, free from agendas and the demands of being social. when you return to shared space, do your best to represent who you truly are.
- prioritize self care. this should be item should be number 1 but i wanted to emphasize it by leaving the best for last. self care is the best way to get the love, caring, and attention you desire. once you start, you’ll attract people and situations that will help you keep the love fest going. self care will also re-charge your batteries, re-stock your generosity, and re-fresh your zest for life.
with all of these steps taken, you may find yourself with enough energy, confidence, and zeal to move forward and make a splash as the real re-invented, or re-presented true self that you have always been, even if it has been, perhaps, a little inconvenient to express. perhaps even more accurately, you can express the self that is too big for the little life you’ve been holding on to. 😉
wow! i think i just got the *triple nerd score* for using two words that begin with the letter “z” in two consecutive sentences!