Most of my life struggles revolve around not giving myself enough empowerment, so over the years I kept finding ways to lift myself up and stay on track on the roller coaster of life. Turns out it doesn't take anything of grand, but it builds up and up slowly through these specific small habits:

 

1. UP BEFORE THE SUN. I managed to build the habit of staying up after my dawn prayers instead of going back to sleep like I usually do. Watching the sunrise by my window is like witnessing a dark world coming back to life; by the saturation of colors, the sound of distant, awaking chirps and the gentle breath of cool air brimming through. To be able to stay up and connect with this incredible energy gives the feeling of being reborn again. And really, that's exactly what everyone needs to begin a new day.

 

2. POSITIVE ENCOURAGEMENTS. Life as we know it, is a constant battle mostly done solo, so encouragement, mainly from self, is essential. I figured encouragement has two jobs: 1. To keep us going 2. To keep us sane along the way. Although harsh, judgmental and self-loathing "encouragements" can sometimes give us a forceful push, nothing of my life had changed as drastically as the day I decided to eliminate them as much as I can and shift all that energy into words of love. I tell myself "let's try this one more time, you're amazing", "you are loved" "you're almost there" "see, you're doing it" "you can do this, I believe in you" "you don't suck. Try again. You can do it" "I love you, don't worry" "please don't give up"

 

3. CONNECTING TO THE SOURCE. If there's one important thing to know about this life, is that behind this great universe lies The Maker, which the image of His Greatness and Power are beyond any mind's reach, yet He is closer to us than our jugular veins. Besides obligatory spiritual rituals, I would in any day give out a constant expression of gratitude, of helplessness, or just small ramblings towards Him/Her, like a best friend, or a Mother. This is small but a profound act that tightens my spiritual bond with The Great Spirit, hence giving me an unexplainable strength and elevation.

 

4. SKINCARE ROUTINE. I don't own any fancy skincare products or do any profound routine and to be honest I hardly do them consistently. To me it's not just a normal cleansing routine, but a constant act of self-care, happily embraced by my face. To come out in the morning and return to myself at night with a fresh, clean and glowing face out of being nourished by green tea + clay facial cleanser, coffee exfoliator, carrier oils and self-love is one of the things I look forward to. 

 

5. BEING INDEPENDENT. It's nice to know in some cases we are able to make changes or achieve things actively, or in other words, purely with our own efforts, without being dependent on anyone or anything outside of ourselves. Though we are social beings, its important to be reminded of this from time to time.

 

6. SITTING BY (MY POOL'S) RIPPLES. I've just done this recently, I find it a sort of meditation. I sit calmly, crossed-leg, and while staring at the ripples coming out of the filtering hole I fixed my eyes to it with a sharp focus, as if I'm "submitting" a great portion of my energy to flow and follow the expanding current.

 

7. CREATIVE WORK. Since I'm a creativity-enthusiast and more of a right-brainer, I develop mostly through doing creative work. It keeps me centered, because I love expressing my personal interpretation of the world, uncensored and unrefined, hence it also helps me understand myself better. It is not just a chance to feel more and think less, but also a space given to completely be myself and create my own world. You can probably tell from the poems I often post on my Instagram and Tumblr.

 

8. REMEMBERING MINI ME. Sometimes, when looking at old pictures or reminiscing my childhood times, it seems like looking at a different person, when in fact she was the earliest version of myself. I notice I've outgrown a bit of what filled the liveliness of that girl everyone loves; her boundless smile, friendliness, assertiveness, quirky imagination... but since it means I owned these qualities once, I am able to build them up again with a strong determination by my side, out of knowing it was once a part of me.


9. LIFTING UP A SMILE. There's no denying the fact every time we smile, even when we don't feel like it, there's that slight sensation of happiness. Though it seems to be an effortless gesture, it's powerful enough to lift our mood up and because it's contagious, others as well. I get the benefit of both by smiling towards a mirror.

 

10. PAUSE. INHALE. EXHALE. So often we get too caught up by the hurricane-like rush of life we forgot to take notice of the tiny flow of air wafting in and out of us, to actually breathe consciously. As I remember to do this, I became still, still enough to feel the liveliness of a single moment, as rich as infinity, centered on me. 

Published by Sonia Azalia