This year, my challenge for 2016 will be to make resolutions that focus on the long-term, the “bigger” picture. Every year, we resolve to make a change for the better—eat more veggies, drink more water, exercise every day. These are all great ideas, but often the actual focus of these resolutions is, what I like to call, “commercial” beauty. Eat more veggies….to reduce my inner thigh gap. Drink more water…to get rid of belly bloat. Exercise more…to tone my bingo arms. Good habits, weak motivations. These goals are more likely to feed into the idea that, unless you achieve them, you are ugly or wanting.
Coco Chanel once said, “Beauty begins when you decide to be yourself.” This quote is incredibly wise, especially when the ultimate focus of your determination is to make “yourself” as good a person as possible—on the inside—in your mind, your spirit, and heart. I’m definitely not belittling physical exercise. I’m an avid health and fitness freak, and it’s a scientific fact that physical exercise gives people clarity and makes them happier. But I do believe that, no matter what your New Year’s resolution is, it should focus on a greater purpose than just looking good. Drink more water…to keep my body clean and healthy. Eat more veggies…to show my daughter that health is beautiful. Exercise more…to live longer and have the energy I need to give back to my community.
These resolutions don’t even have to be personally physical. We can read more books, meditate more, teach someone to read, make meals for the homeless, visit a home for the elderly. These goals can all be made with a long-term intention of purity and enrichment. And it’s true that when you take the time to stop looking at your body and start looking at the greater picture around, you do become a better “Self.” And then, as Coco says, being yourself is the most beautiful thing you can possibly be <3
For my part, I look at my kids and I know that I want to spend as much time with them as I can. I’m already a pretty healthy person, but this year I want to start doing little things so I can do everything in my power to see my family grow. I want to teach them that nurturing your body to keep it running efficiently for as long as possible is one of the puzzle pieces to a well-rounded, happy person. Here are three of the small things I know I can do to improve my Self and keep journeying towards a better spirit:
Cleanses kind of get a bad rap from some of the scary stories you hear about celebrities only drinking water, cayenne, and the tears of unicorns for six weeks straight. In reality, a responsible, conscientious cleanse can do wonders for your physical health. You know when that little light appears on your coffee pot telling you to run some vinegar through it to clean out the build-up so your coffee tastes better? Well, your body needs the occasional detox too. A healthy cleanse plan will flush out your system, remove harmful toxins, and leave your body feeling exponentially better. I’ve decided to go with a green tea/whey protein cleanse made from cow’s milk untreated by hormones or other chemicals. It consists of meal replacement shakes and then one full day cleanse a week, so you’re not starving yourself or doing harm to your metabolism. Honestly, I’ve already started my cleanse because I was excited about it—and to tell the truth, I already feel gorgeous! I know I probably look the same to everyone else. But I feel so energetic and healthy and I know this sense of well-being is emanating from me!
Yep. I’m talking about Bikram Yoga. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s also known as “hot yoga.” It’s that thing all your friends are so happy to be miserable about. Basically, you do yoga in a really hot, controlled environment. You sweat. A LOT. And yes, you guzzle tons of water as part of the journey. But there’s no better way to expedite a full body cleanse than a good hot yoga session. And it’s actually a pretty good gateway for beginners, because even though it’s difficult because of the heat, the poses are basic enough that even someone new to yoga can get the most out of it. I’m particularly psyched about this one because I’ve never had a studio close enough to enjoy this type of yoga. A new studio just opened up near my house and I can’t wait to get started! Check out some Bikram yoga studios in your area here and sweat your way through a cleanse!
Green and Clean, but Never Mean <3
Another of my resolutions should be pretty easy to stick to. I’m going to drink more green tea. There are so many studies about how good green tea is for you and how it helps your body through a natural cleanse; it’s pretty much a universal fact that drinking more of it is the way to a happier, healthier existence. Green tea can help cleanse the body, remove toxins, and precipitate weight loss. It improves skin condition and gives you an incredible, “clean” energy that leaves the mind vibrant without the jittery side effects of coffee. Some studies recommend drinking up to ten cups a day, which sounds difficult if you think of it as ten cups of hot tea. My plan is to make a big pitcher of powerful green tea every night, store it in my fridge and drink it all day. It’s an easy way to power your body and quench your thirst simultaneously!
This last little goal is probably the result of having green tea constantly on the brain. All the Tea42 products are full of it, so even if I haven’t implemented my idea to drink more green tea, I’ve still been dousing myself in it every time I shower and style. I think that’s part of the reason why I love working at Tea42 so much. Around here, everything is about roots. And I don’t just mean hair roots. Tea42’s whole philosophy is all about cultivating health from the bottom up and the inside out—an inspiring journey of self-enrichment. Healthy scalp, healthy hair. Healthy soul, healthy body, healthy woman. All of us are complex, mystifying layers. I know when I spend time meditating, or reading a beautiful book, my mind and general outlook on life will be better, brighter, and smarter. And when I spend a little extra time putting good things into and onto my body, not only will I appear more beautiful, I’ll actually be more beautiful. I think that’s a goal worth setting <3
So tell me, What are some of your New Year’s, Become-A-Better-You resolutions? What are your favorite habits—physical, spiritual, or both!—that make you feel more beautiful? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!