Get Your Free Ecourse!
is ALWAYS protected.
You'll also get our popular weekly ezine with the latest articles and classes for solo entrepreneurs
Creating Your Own Aloha
Kelly Eckert | Follow me on Twitter
| More by Kelly Eckert
Visit Kelly Eckert's website for more!
Solo Entrepreneur Articles > Mindset & Personal Development Articles > Self-Care Articles
My parents traveled a lot when I was a kid. While their marriage was often rocky at home, they always vacationed well together. And that kept their marriage together years beyond when it otherwise might have ended. With kids and bills and boring jobs out of the way, they could relax and refocus on what they loved about each other.
When I was in Hawaii last week, living the aloha spirit was easy. Just being in a place of gorgeous contrasts with virtually no plans and no deadlines—how could you not relax? Spending hours every day swimming, walking, exploring, watching the ocean for humpback whales—those moments of complete presence have a similar effect as meditation. You worry less; you smile more.
So does that mean that the only way we can relax and focus on “big-L” Life is to join a monastery or go on vacation? Of course, not. We just have to find a way to relax and focus in the midst of “little-l” life.
Relaxation isn’t a reflex, like fight-or-flight. Relaxation is a choice. Once we choose to relax about the distractions of “little-l” life, we can then focus on the joys of “big-L” life. I returned from vacation to bills and deadlines and chores. And those pressures immediately distracted me from the deeper sense of being—the spirit of aloha—that I had experienced in Hawaii. That feeling is too wonderful to end just because a vacation ends. And it doesn’t have to. I can live aloha every day. I can choose to relax about the distractions and live with a greater sense of purpose.
Here are some things I do to keep aloha going:
1. Look at a visual representation of relaxation every morning
After my last trip to Hawaii two years ago, I hung on my bathroom mirror at home a postcard of the beach where we stayed. I look at that image every morning and remember swimming and snorkeling there—and I immediately start to relax. Looking at the image first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day. I tend not to wake up chipper, as dreams and confusion tend to linger. So I have to shake off sleep and a potentially bad mood just about every morning. Looking at a picture of my “relaxation place” helps me settle into a better attitude quickly. When I got home from this most recent trip, I added a new postcard to the bathroom mirror.
What picture or postcard do you have to hang on your bathroom mirror? It’s great if you hang a picture of a place you’re been and that you associate with being relaxed. But it’s OK if it’s a place you want to go as long as you think a relaxed “aaahhhh” when you look at the image.
2. Meditate on my relaxation place
When I am feeling particularly tense, I meditate for a few minutes on that beach in Hawaii. What I mean is, I sit quietly and imagine being in the water at the beach. I remember my last swim on my last day there and how relaxed I felt floating in the water. Just a couple of minutes meditating on that swim makes my tense shoulders melt.
What scene from your life makes your tension melt away? Once you’re chosen a scene or a moment, sit quietly with your eyes closed. See yourself and feel yourself back there. Maybe you’re at the beach or a lake or hiking or with friends. Just feel how you felt then and bring that relaxation to this moment.
3. Create a visual reminder for later in the day
Looking at the postcard of my relaxation place every morning really is helpful for starting the day in an upbeat way. But sometimes I need a pick-me-up later in the day, and I may not remember to do a quick meditation. So I have a “Live Aloha” bumper sticker on my car. When I see my car, I see that bumper sticker and am reminded to relax. This has really been helpful when I’ve been particularly impatient or tense. I read “live aloha” and suddenly feel silly for being anything but relaxed.
What visual reminder can you use to wake yourself out of tension? It doesn’t have to be a bumper sticker. It could be a different photo or postcard hung somewhere else. It could be a piece of jewelry you wear or some trinket or memento. When you stick/hang/place your visual reminder, set the intention that it will trigger relaxation when you see it.
4. Listen to relaxing music
Relaxing music can be anything you like, anything that makes you happy. I particularly love Peter Gabriel, though not all of his songs make me happy. I keep a playlist of songs that I know will pick up my mood. I do have some Hawaiian music in there, too! There are even a few perky songs from 1940s. When I’m feeling tense or down, I’m always tempted to listen to music that reflects my mood. But the danger is that the music will keep me there. So I’ve got to choose to listen to something that will help bring me out of feeling tense or down. I admit, it’s a hard to choice to make. But I’m always glad when I do.
What music helps you relax? Create a playlist of songs you know will calm you down when tense or pick you up when down. Then keep the playlist on you and ready. Even a single song on your phone can be a lifesaver in a mood emergency.
Visit Kelly Eckert's website for more!
About the expert:
|Kelly Eckert is a life/branding alchemist for spirit-led solopreneurs. She helps them release mental, emotional and spiritual blocks so they can expand their idea of what's possible, reach their highest potential and bring their deepest vision of the world to life without losing themselves or selling their souls. Kelly uses her own brand of biospiritual coaching to help her clients create awesomely authentic brands that get noticed.|
© Copyright 2012, Kelly Eckert