Daily Habits

I believe integrating small yet healthy habits each and every day is the key to long term success, overall health and living a truly enriched life. The way in which you move about your day today is an accumulation of previous habits formed over time. Routine used to be happy days surfer girlthe root of all evil for me as I had continual desires to be in a different country every few months, experiencing different cultures and riding different styles of waves.

Now I view routine as an important component of stability and closely intertwines with my habits, not forgetting spontaneity is what distinguishes between a routine and a mundane action.

I love that health seems to be “trending” where many, especially in my generation, are ditching boozy nights out for waking up at dawn for a workout followed by a green smoothie and organic muesli at their local cafe.

Social media in particular has allowed the growth and expression of lifestyle through captivating images and inspirational content and I believe is largely attributable to big trends such as what is occurring in the fitness and health world (and any other industry you can think of).

Small habits I integrate into my day 

Early bird gets the worm

As surfers we naturally know that the best waves often break early in the morning, before the wind has had a chance to make up its mind as to what it wants to do for the day. It’s also a beautiful time of the day around sunrise when the sky is painted vibrant colours andsunrise surfer

usually a good chance to beat the crowds. Other than from a surfing perspective, I always have been an early riser and find it a good time to fit in some form of exercise before work.

I always feel my days are longer and more fulfilling when I get up early and believe it’s a great habit to form. The flip-side is I have grandma like tendencies and am usually in bed by 830-9pm on weeknights, but I do find nighttime a little boring and have never had nocturnal tendencies.

Yoga

When I wake up I love to jump straight into some light yoga even if that means I’m starting out on the mat half asleep. If you watch many animals whether a dog, cat or pet rabbit, one of the first things they do when they wake up from a nap is downward dog (yes I had an indoor rabbit and they even do it!).

Downward dog not only stretches out your entire body but strengthens your arms and legs, stimulates vital organs and encourages healthy blood flow as your heart is above your head. After regular practice you will also notice a much healthier posture and an increase in energy.

While in the evenings I try to dedicate half an hour to yoga, my morning flow is only brief yoga for health-usually no longer than five minutes. I do however notice huge benefits in stretching out for this small amount of time and want my muscles to be a little prepared for a morning surf.

In the morning I focus particularly on sun salutations, spinal twists and hip stretches to awaken my body out of slumber. I find a quick morning yoga session equally as important as eating breakfast.

Health shots

Turmeric

This is a habit that I picked up on when I was in Bali. Sounds exotic but it was actually turmeric health benefitssome trendy Westernised cafe on the beach at Bingin that offered an array of “health shots” on the menu.

I remember getting a little bit addicted to a turmeric shot in particular, aptly called “the warrior shot”. Turmeric has been touted for its enormous health benefits being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, a known fighter against cancer, a potent source of manganese, iron and a long list of other essential
vitamins and minerals.

I simply stir in one teaspoon of turmeric in a shot glass full of water and take every morning followed by a swig of orange juice.

Apple cider vinegar 

As I’m a coffee drinker I take a particular focus in balancing out the acidity in my body as ACV apple cider vinegar coffee is very acidic and quite harsh on the body.

Consuming processed and acidic foods without the balance of fresh vegetables and other alkaline balancing foods and drinks will leave you open to sickness, viral infections and disease.

Disease however cannot survive within an alkaline environment and it is well researched that many of our modern chronic illnesses have the common denominator of being borne of an acidic environment following a diet of poor nutrition.

Apple cider vinegar is very alkaline and therefore welcomed in my diet. I follow the same regime as the turmeric shot and (lazily) swig from the apple cider vinegar bottle of about 1tbs equivalent then shot it with the orange juice to hide the potent taste. I also ensure a daily intake of probiotics, usually in the form of home brewed kombucha, in order to keep good and bad bacteria nice and balanced. See my post here on making your own kombucha.

Consumption of Greens and fruits

I cannot emphasize the difference that fresh vegetables and fruit play in maintaining my energy levels. Yes many times I’ve had days where I’ve gone without them, usually if I’ve got a long day in transit eating airport fast foods or if I simply cannot access fresh produce.

I notice a huge difference at the end of the day and even the next day as I feel sluggish knowing I’ve loaded my body with processed foods. My secret weapon is always salad. Yes healthy fruit vegetableyou can make friends with salad (Simpson’s song?).

You too need to find what meal it is that you know you can rely on to boost your energy when it syncs with your particular body type.

Find it and incorporate it as much as you can in your diet (provided it’s healthy and nourishing!). When my day is abundant in a high load of fruit and vegetables I can think clearer, my sleep quality is improved, I surf much better and most importantly my mindset about life is so much more positive and I can go about my day with much more grace.

I have always grown my own vegetables and herbs (mostly organic) as I see a vegetable garden as a highly valuable asset given the price of organic produce!

Move those bones!

In Australia the Department of Health recommends a minimum of 30 minutes exercise a day. When you think about how much you walk say to and from work, the supermarket, to the coffee shop or anywhere else throughout the day, it’s not too hard to make up that 30 minutes.

I see 30 minutes as an absolute minimum especially if you’re in a sedentary office job like I am. I strongly believe in the saying “use it or lose it” and create daily habits surf paddlethat increase my time being active.

Luckily as surfers we can participate in a sport which doesn’t even feel like much of a workout as we’re so focused on the conditions around us and are having too much fun to notice just how many muscles in our body we are working out.

I often see boot camp type workouts going on in my local park as I’m walking board under arm out for a surf and always giggle to myself as the participants torture themselves lifting kettle bells and rolling tyres across the green. I always feel like yelling out “buy a surfboard it’s way more fun!” but surfing’s not for everyone and kudos to the guys doing crunches in the park.

Chemical free

While it took me a few years to almost totally eliminate chemical products from my life, it’s something I’m pretty proud of now. It’s an important part of my day to be conscious of photowhat’s going on and around my body.

As soon as you delve into the ingredients of common household products such as shampoo, toothpaste, moisturiser, makeup and all cleaning products, then you totally open up a huge can of worms.

Many companies aren’t required
to list many of their ingredients in their products and the chemicals that are listed are pretty detrimental to our health once you carry out a bit of research.

I always make sure I know what’s in my favourite bought items and if I have to use unknown products then I do so sparingly.

Along with what’s in our diets, the chemicals we surround ourselves in from moment to moment do quickly add up and increase our risk of cancer and other disease especially respiratory, allergic reactions and skin disorders. See my page on chemical free living here.

Attitude of gratitude 

Yes every day be grateful for something. Even if things in your life are pretty average right now, I’m sure you can be grateful for at least one thing. When I lost my job, relationship and house all at once I spent a lot of down time meditating and reading.

I carried out a challenge to write down 50 things that I was grateful for at that point in my life. It sounded1601300_10151881214930168_729639942_n like a ridiculous number but once I got into the flow of things it was actually very easy for me to think of things as simple as a roof over my head (my mums) and food on the table (thank you again mum!).

When life sucks it can seem like there’s nothing that’s going right and you can very easily get caught up in a spiral of negative thought patterns. This exercise helps to break that pattern and form a new habit.

You can feel a notable energy shift in the body when you are grateful for the things you have in your life. Gratitude is basically sending thank yous up above to whoever it is you believe in, whether a God or some other higher power. On that note, find ways to connect to that higher power every day as it will certainly give your life more depth and prevent you from living just at surface level.

Starting out your healthy habits

Setting up daily reminders to start out with is the best way to solidify your habits in theirhealthy living early stages. Set an alarm when you wake up to remind yourself to take part in whatever positive habit you want to include in your life.

Placing inspirational photos or mantras
around the house is something I’ve done since I was a young kid and probably will still do when I’m old and wrinkly. Visuals are a great aid in transforming your life from where you are now to where you want to be.

Remember the brain cannot distinguish between something that is real or something that is imagined. For more on this concept read the article “The Flaw of the Human Brain” which contains a simple brain exercise to help explain in further detail.

There are many other habits I incorporate into every day but the ones above are certainly ones worth mentioning! Remember that if you start out small then you will get the momentum once you start kicking goals to keep moving to bigger things.

Resources

Turmeric anti-cancer: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2758121/

Turmeric- World’s Healthiest Foods http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

Alkaline environments and lack of disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/

The importance of spiritual truth

Spiritual truth to me governs and moves my entire being. I’m eternally grateful for various events and experiences that have shattered my universe and all of the times that ripped reality from my very grasp. These are the moments that enabled me to discover spirit.  Through losing a baby to nearly losing my own life almost exactly a year later (see my e-book here and story of headbutting reef here). I choose to openly publish these events to inspire others to see the light amidst the darkness and to (in time) proudly own and embrace those experiences as who you are. I find the complete alteration and re-building of everything you thought you knew about yourself and the sheer courage to make it through some of life’s events to be a true strength of character.

Physical impermanence

Physical impermanence is a given, therefore I refuse to accept that life is simply a material10155641_10151989608795168_1577042429_n existence, that it goes far deeper than what we can see with our own eyes.

I truly believe my external reality is a true reflection of my inner reality whether by thought, form, word or deed. My kingdom of heaven is within. One touch of the outermost corners of the spiritual world leaves me begging for more.

The stressors

A strong point of focus throughout this year has been my physical body and in particular central nervous system. I left a corporate, high-stress job earlier in the year without realising how far I had pushed myself mentally within the position, nor did I realise the actual state of my health.

We often completely overburden the body through over stimulation and over consumption, leaving the only time to rest for when we finally get to sleep at night.

Meditation

One of the strongest ways to access our earthly being (for we are of nature) over our technological and sometimes robotical being is the art of meditation. It can be hard to search for a truth when our minds are constantly running and it’s refreshing to lay in a state of silence.

Multiple religions including Krishna and Hindu place a small bindi between the brows, atop of the “third eye” which is said to be “the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state”. Many meditations will focus on the third eye to access other realms of reality and to manifest dreams.

62337_10151881215375168_421054842_n.jpg

Higher dimensions

Without getting too deep, it is also believed that (real) psychics access information through the sixth dimension where “all life is directed and advanced through the work of spirit”.

Through deep meditation I’m aware of many more aspects of life falling into place, I’m more conscious of synchronicities or “coincidences” (as a non-spiritual believer would call) and I’m able to receive notions of future events before they actually occur.

Most recently this came to me by way of random thought of a friend being pregnant. I hadn’t spoken to her for a few weeks however she contacted me two days after that notion telling me the happy news. While I don’t follow a set religion or pray to an outer god I believe each of us can access our inner gods as often as we call upon them.

Negativity- A State of Mind

To think of what we don’t want in our lives is to focus on our fears rather than to invest energy into what we do want. It’s a classic behaviour of the ego, stepping in to remind us of all the reasons why we can’t possibly grasp onto our true wants and dreams- whether through lack of skill, title or talent. It’s a trait of inbuilt human behaviour but is also influenced by external factors such as culture, television and others negative attitudes. The trick is to continually recognise the egoic traits of the mind and to practice a switch of focus.

Many years ago when I found myself trapped in the vortex of city life, working full time in a corporate office environment miles from my love of the ocean and allowing my black shiny heels to audibly trek the same paved paths day in and out, I wanted to know what it would take to re-invent my life and escape this soulless routine.

I had heard of successful horse lifeathletes visualising winning gold at the olympics throughout their training regimes, with a focus on not only being as physically strong as possible but also mentally strong.

In interviews following their gold medal wins they would explain that their visualisations of winning was an important part of their recipe for achievement.

When I began what seemed to be an impossible task of finding work close to the ocean in my area of expertise, I began toying with this concept.

In my mind I would create a conversation with a make believe someone about how I had spent six years living the city life, but now I’m so glad to be out of that toxic lifestyle and living near the ocean surfing every day. I would play this scenario out in my mind every day for weeks at a time, to distract me from the lengthy robotic commute, crowded streets or whichever other situation I found myself in daily.

I would further visit areas of the coast where I most wanted to live, in order to take in the surrounding environment to help solidify my dream. It was almost as though my physical being was in the city but my soul had made its way to where it longed to be.

I truly believe that this mental focus was what finally had me break free into what felt like a surreal existence living next to the ocean while working a full time “city job”. You see if I had been caught up focusing so much on all the pains of city life, my true desire would have been so engulfed in negative energy that it couldn’t have possibly come true.

From this first experiment I have continually allowed this same concept to shape other 1472065_10151778274180168_1682323650_nareas of my life such as impassable opportunities overseas, treacherous and fearful moments travelling solo and allowing love to show up in my life.

Visualisation can become a powerful tool in achieving whatever it is you set out to do. It is said it only takes 17 seconds of thought, whether positive or negative, to begin adding to the pool of attracting and magnetising that thought into a physical form. It takes strength to remind yourself of this theory alone as you go about your day!