Can you imagine a world where health comes first?

Do you remember the last time you put your health first? Not only physically, but perhaps, also mentally? If you have to think about it then that’s where the first problem arises.

As the world continues to fast track, leaving anyone who’s not capable of keeping up with the demand of a fast-paced lifestyle behind, the need to take care of our health is more vital and crucial than ever.

HCF​ is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health insurance organisation and asked me to help them in challenging Australians to put their health first in bigger and more disruptive ways.

No matter how healthy you are today, or want to be in the future; ​HCF ​prioritises members’ health and works hard to put your health first, and now they want to empower you to do the same.

I live in Sydney where a stressful lifestyle is often synonymous with the city and in particular the Eastern Suburbs where I reside. My mornings start at 5.30am, and I work in a sector that entails keeping up with demand and often knowing what tomorrow will bring even before it’s started.

It’s a thing that my practice of spirituality and meditation is counter-balancing as I think I’d otherwise get lost in the mix of it all. I don’t know what I did before mindfulness, spirituality, meditation, yoga and health-consciousness found its way into my life.
I don’t believe I truly lived back then – I simply just existed.. Which goes against everything I now believe in; that we are here to make a difference as our souls take space in these human bodies. But as long as we do, and as long as we are meant to be here, we’d better take care of our bodies along with our minds in order to live the fullest life possible.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t fret.

The smallest changes in your life and consciousness can set you up for success. There’s a reason why you felt the need to come to this space and read this post – you want to look after yourself; mentally and physically.

And that is the very first step to making a conscious change..

Below is an outline of what I like to incorporate into my life on a daily basis to take care of my body, mind and soul:

Yoga:

Yoga to me is so much more than a form of exercise. To me, it is a deeply spiritual practice. When I practise yoga I feel at ‘home’. I feel every inch of my body, every emotion, every thought, everything. I feel connected with my innermost self and have faith in whichever obstacles may be thrown at me serves – I will always come out on the other side stronger and wiser.

You may think how all this is possible simply by doing a downward dog or a pigeon pose?
It’s very hard to explain in words, but for me it’s the raw, unedited version of yourself that you have to deal with in these moments. It’s not a team-sport, it’s not about who finishes the race first

– it’s about being aware of every single point of your body and letting yourself embrace every single feeling, good or bad and ultimately having to deal with these in that very moment.

I often cry, smile, laugh.. when I’ve finished a yoga-session. Why? Because like I explained above, I let myself feel absolutely everything that comes to me in this time.

Yoga, to me, is dealing with the past, living in the now and preparing myself for what the future may hold for me. I always walk out of the yoga studio feeling enlightened about some aspect of my life or my soul.

Meditation:

I have recently started taking up meditation and incorporating ​vedic meditation ​into my life. It has already changed me in so many ways and brought peace to my inner being and the way I deal with this human life.

Vedic Meditation is absolutely simple and can be learned by anyone, regardless of beliefs or ideas to the contrary. It is a simple technique practiced for twenty minutes twice a day sitting comfortably in a chair with the eyes closed.

Though Vedic Meditation originated in ancient India, it is culturally neutral. The practice of the technique requires no change in one’s beliefs, nor must anything be taken on faith.

As one meditates, the mind settles down to a state of restful alertness where one has a direct experience of the level of Being, the level of Bliss and the place of fulfillment.

Like a wave settles down on the ocean, one’s individual self stands aside to make way for the larger Self and one begins to experience life as a place of joy and possibility rather than as a place of suffering.

Vedic Meditation also acts as a stress relief for your body and mind, and can help lower your blood pressure, relieve anxiety and increase your energy among other things.

Cooking:

I love to cook! And I’ve been lucky to, from a young age, spend time in the kitchen with my mum who’s a phenomenal cook!

I believe cooking encourages an imperative view on wholefoods, the importance of what nutricious foods do for our bodies and a gratitude for the beautiful produce we are lucky enough to have available to us and nurture our bodies with.

I also de-stress when I cook. There’s just something about working with your hands, using your imagination to create a dish and seeing what each, single piece you carefully decide to incorporate will do for your body to nurture it and make it stronger. I think it’s incredible that we can feed our bodies (and minds!) to become stronger every single day and there’s something exhilarating being in charge of your own health.

Reading:

I love to read, and I’m a huge book-nerd! Whether it’s listening to audio-books or podcasts when I drive, to sitting in a local cafe and reading about crystals, universes, yoga-poses, mantra’s or recipes – I can’t get enough.

Anything that’s got to do with self-love, spiritual growth and awareness, habitual patterns as human beings, soul-wandering.. You name it; I will eat it right up!

But really, reading is also a great stress-relief. Letting something consume you in a way that you give up all thoughts about the present, past or future, is really a form of conscious meditation.

Also, keeping our brains engaged and learning new things is vital as we grow older. The brain is a muscle and we have to remember to exercise it daily!

Love:

Well, I’m sure you’ll say: ‘​I’ve heard that one before!​’. But, have you really?

I don’t necessarily mean in a relationship capacity, but love in general.

When was the last time you approached life or anything you did, with the ‘lense’ of love?

Could you see every mistake, every wrong step, every obstacle, every hurt and every wrongdoing from another human being, with loving eyes?

When we shift our perception from judgment and hatred to compassion and love, it truly changes our lives in more ways than can ever be expressed. We go from living with a closed heart and body to a soft, open mind and heart that releases tensions our bodies may have held onto for years.

Without forgetting yourself in the equation, try to see a person with loving eyes the next time you feel like they’re doing you wrong and try to have compassion for what this person may be going through. Realising that nothing is ever because of you or against you, but only an internal inner conflict they may be facing, helps to keep you on your own path.

To find out more about HCF’s Health Come First campaign check out their website here:

www.hcf.com.au/imagine

** This blog post was sponsored by HCF, however all words and opinions are those of my own.

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