4 Daily Tips for Saying Yes to Your Soul.
By Chantal Russell.
I recently had a revelation: If I don’t prioritize my well-being on a daily basis, no one else will.
To prioritize means to put things in order of importance. My health and happiness, I realized, are very important to me. This means doing things that invoke joy and vitality, before anything else. It’s that simple.
Ever since leaving the expanse of the single life and becoming a wife and mother, things that nourish my soul, like Yoga, reading and meditation, seem almost luxurious and selfish when compared to the more practical things that need to get done on any given day.
More often than not, these energizing practices get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list (so far down, sometimes they don’t get done), and come after important-but-less-inspiring things like emails, doing laundry and cleaning dishes.
When this happens, I find myself resenting the world because it seems like everyone else’s needs come first, and they do on these occasions, because I let them.
Yes, my baby needs to eat and the garbage needs to be emptied. I’m not suggesting that we abandon our responsibilities in pursuit of spiritual bliss. I am suggesting, however, that we place as much importance on our spiritual well-being as we do on taking care of the ones we love and paying the bills on time.
I ascribe to a view of life that believes we can live in the material world, and still have a deep and rich spiritual life. Often called the Yoga of the householder, tantra is about including and celebrating all aspects of our selves; infusing the sacred into the mundane and weaving it all into our daily experience.
This means, we do not need to separate the things that feed our soul from the rest of our lives. The invitation, in fact, is to do spiritual practices (whatever feeds your soul) in order to engage with life more fully.
We are both physical and spiritual beings. We need to do things everyday that awaken, honor and nourish both aspects of ourselves.
In my experience, the more I tend to my soul, the more energy I have to get things done; and they get done with more ease and joy and flow. When I ignore my spirit and tackle my day with effort and caffeine, I burn out.
When it comes to what you do in the world, it’s not only what you do, but also the way in which you do it. When I awaken my soul, I feel more joy. It then becomes easier to experience joy in any given moment, because I’ve practiced accessing it. Soul energy is more powerful, inspired and sustaining.
Let your spirit breathe:
Get clear on your priorities: what is most important to you? Verbally share these values with the important people in your life so they can support you and keep you accountable. Ask them what their priorities are so you can do the same for them.
Begin your day with something soul-energizing. This can be as simple as lying in bed and being grateful for another day, singing in the shower, dancing to your favorite song, lighting a candle and meditating for 5 minutes. Whatever lights you up – do that before looking at emails and rushing your kids off to school.
Let go of the idea that you’ll get it all done. You never will. Stop trying to please everyone. Make peace with the idea that some people will not agree with everything you think or say or do. Ahhh (long sigh of relief), doesn’t your load feel lighter already?
Create time to do more of the things that are important to you and spend less time doing the things that are not. Things like Facebook and Instagram are great, but time-consuming. Rather than perusing social media casually throughout the day, allot a specific time of day and duration for hanging out online. Answer emails once a day. People will respect and thank you for it.
Say Yes to your Soul on a daily basis. She might show up as a soft whisper, inspiring a simple and subtle inner shift, or might radically transform the way you map out your day.
However you usher her in, when you access and activate your soul energy, it will fuel you to be the most effective, radiant and rebellious change-maker your bad-ass self was meant to be.
As a mama, wife, Yogini, nutritionista and cancer survivor, Chantal knows on a very intimate level how beneficial the teachings of Yoga are to skillfully show up for the many challenges and opportunities that life presents. She has been practicing Yoga for over a decade, teaching it since 2005, and has studied with some of the most world-renowned and luminary teachers. She currently manages a Yoga studio on an island off the west coast of British Columbia where she resides, runs retreats in Costa Rica and Europe, is a faculty member at the Vancouver School of Yoga, and the in-house Yoga teacher and nutritionist at an addictions recovery center. She dreams of becoming fluent in Spanish and writing a book, is dedicated to making the most of her time on the planet, and inspiring others to do the same. Chantal believes life is a sacred gift to be embraced, and invites us to see the beauty and feel the joy that is available to us in every moment. When not teaching in Vancouver, she can be found playing with her son Ben, gardening, reading by the fire, sharing her love of healing foods, writing or taking surf trips with her family in search of good waves. Learn more at her website and Instagram.