Just this past week I've been thinking of changing my relationship status with coffee. We've had a good run together, especially in the morning, obviously the best part of our relationship. We do have our issues; things get quite tense when there is no added cream. Typically bad language can ensue when I don't eat breakfast after; my kids know to stay far and wide as some crazed demon woman arises. Coffee however, seems to stay dark and handsome so I know all the problems are my side.
It was after a near miss on the road hacking out involving 2 horses, 1 Lorry, 1 speeding car and a blind spot that changed my status with coffee from committed to it's complicated.
Horses are sensitive beings; they are herd animals that in a moment can be quietly gazing to mad gallops across the field. They are magnificent creatures who rely on us to be their leaders. We communicate with them by the tack we use, as well as body language and pressure. Jacked up on a caffeine buzz before my ride frankly, was not ideal. There is a great word in Ayurveda that perfectly describes my choices that morning.
Prajnaparadha which translates to crimes against wisdom in Sanskrit or making choices that aren't optimal.
Ayurveda, which is considered the sister of Yoga, is a scientific healing art-form which dates back over 5000 years. One component of Ayurveda is body-typing which consists of 3 characteristics called Doshas. These doshas encompass the 5 elements and show up in our body types: thin, medium or larger build. We can be any combination and or have 1 that is more dominant. Ayurveda's goal is to experience harmony within + without so that you feel in b a l a n c e.
Air - Vata Fire - Pitta Earth - Kapha
Vata is my primary dosha; I inhabit many 'air' type qualities: thinner body type, a quick, magical mind and prone to worry and nerves. When my body clock is off, so is my digestion and elimination processes. This means that I need movement, routine and warm bowls of goodness to keep the inner + outer boundaries of the body happy. Vatas in the world are often your creative thinkers, idea makers and need time alone with blankets, often.
That morning, no routine. Too much coffee, not enough food, taught a yoga class that elevated my energy combined with some old hacking out fears. Did I mention that I had 1 extra coffee before I got on the horse? That right there is Prajnaparadha, making choices that are we know aren't great and still do it anyways.
I know better, I just chose on that day to ignore what I knew and instead, received a pretty big reminder why it is essential to make right choices. The only damage was some slight bruising on my ego and a bit of walk back to the barn; I did get off the horse because the road incident and the near miss was catching up with me. The cortisol was running rampart in my system because truth be told, I was turning into a nervous wreck. No amount of yogic breath was gonna help me or the horse calm down. I went into fright mode and he reacted to my energy going into flight mode. Yee-haw.
Had I not had so many coffees, jacked my already elevated system with caffeine on top of my nervousness, I may not have panicked, in fact I know I wouldn't have. That is Prajnaparadha, making choices that suck.
The whole point of Prajnaparadha is to learn what works and what doesn't, then make the right decision in the moment.
We make choices all the time that aren't inherently healthy: the world we live in throws down massive amounts of stimulation to keep us distracted. Our own mind keeps us duly distracted 'hello pinterest'. We over-do pretty much everything these days and never give ourselves a chance to slow down + tune out( from the world around us) and tune in( to the world within us). So how to change?
We know. We get it. We still do it. What will motivate us into making the necessary changes to right living?
In order to make clear choices, we need to be clear on how we want to feel and engage in the world.
Having big inspirations is important. I am re-visiting a childhood dream to 3 day event, an equestrian sport that involves dressage, cross-country( mad gallops through the countryside with big jumps that scares the pants off me) and show-jumping which is spread over a few days. As I dream big( remember I am of a vata nature, which is the air dosha, dreaming big is my magic, execution is not); I dream of riding at Badminton Horse trials, one of the premier eventing shows in England. This may never happen but working + committing to that goal is what will create necessary changes to ditch the coffee.
We need to be clear on how we want to feel and live in the world.
Do you ask yourself what you really want? By digging deep into your dreams and connecting that, with how you want to feel will encourage choices that are made in alignment with your Highest Self. Don't forget the good ol Universe is just waiting for you to kick-start the process. This is the motivation to ignite the baddassery within you. Being a bad-ass is going for it, and making smart choices that step you more fully into your loudest life. And if you are like me, having a coach who makes you do it again and again and again is an added bonus.
Make what you want in life more important then what you think you need. Me, its coffee and I'm kicking it to the curb( for now). I've got plans to achieve some goals that far outweigh an itty bitty cup of coffee. It's up-level time baby. Who's in?
I posted this video because it was 1 week after my panic in the field. My coach made me do the jumps again and again, because I was getting nervous again. By facing the nerves and trusting the process I was able to shift the lingering tension and left feeling accomplished. Don't tell anyone, but I had a coffee to celebrate after.