HOW TO LIVE LIKE AN URBAN GODDESS
7 TANTRIC LIFESTYLE PRACTICES FOR HEALTHY URBAN LIVING
I have lived in NYC for most of my adult life. Having been on a spiritual path for the past 20 years, it still baffles my mind that I live amongst all this concrete and hustle and bustle when I am not in Costa Rica, my respite and second home. But the truth of the matter is, I have spent more time walking these mean streets and navigating the subway and crowds than I have on any beach, boat or country ferris wheel. Having practiced tantra for the past 10 years, and some sort of spiritual practice for the past 20, I have gathered some wisdom about what it takes to make it energetically in the midst of urban sprawl. This article will be informed by NYC life but it can apply to any urban experience across the globe. New York, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, but it truly is up to you and how much coffee you drink. Just kidding. Well sorta.
- ENJOY….yes. I put this as numero uno because living in a city is all about enjoying it. Let’s make one thing clear, if you come to a city and bitch and complain that the city is too loud or dirty or over-populated, well then, it will be. You don’t come to a city to find yourself and merge with tranquility. You come to a city to live out loud, express, explore, experiment and make connections. The times I have gotten back from Costa Rica, chilled out, tranquilo and tanned and hit the streets complaining, uncomfortable, wishing for more sun on my face, have just made me miserable. When you fight with reality, it really can only fight back. Surrender to what is. Surrender to the fact that you can now shop for things you would never find anywhere else, eat food you may never find anywhere else, and meet people of all shapes and sizes, some of which are brilliant, ambitious, traveled and interesting. Surrender to the fact that some of the best culture can be found in a city and surrender to the fact that loads of immigrants from other countries have worked like mad to just be able to be here to even have a shot at some sort of better life. Find the aspects of your city that you dig, the restaraunts, the activities, the people and seek them out and ENJOY them…Enjoying is the key to peace, health, wealth and distraction from the more challenging aspects of life. It is also your birthright and I believe the reason we were born. Enjoying is a healer totalmente (yes I made up that word)…do not underestimate her fierce grace.
2. FIND TREES AND GREEN THINGS AND SUNSHINE….The main challenge I find living in a city is the lack of nature. Do what you can to get your daily or weekly fix. It wont be enough for a normal sane human but you can meet the minimum requirements thru city parks or thru simply getting out of the city into a close by natural setting. Even 5-10 minutes a day changing your walk to work to pass thru a park and simply sitting and doing nothing (not sitting and checking your phone) will help ease your over-active city buzz. Try and meditate if you can in that green or better yet, take off your shoes and walk thru some grass and get on the earth. There are serious ions in the earth that travel up your feet and in to your entire system making your soul greener, you step lighter and the lines on your face soften. Nature is the master healer and what our bodies need to balance themselves. If you can’t get to a park, add some plants to your apartment. They will oxygenize your space and make you happier, I promise. Apartments without plants make no sense to me, you really feel a shift when you add them and the watering of them keeps you connected to nature even in a small way. The same with sun. City people tend to be lacking Vitamin D. If you can get outside and get some sun on your face and exposed skin for 10-15 minutes, say at your lunch break or in between shops, you are adding a lot of general magic to your system. On the days I don’t do this, wow I can feel it. It blows my mind how this little time in the sun makes a big difference to my mood. If you are lacking Vitamin D and really just never make it to daily sun then take a supplement, for women this is super anti-breast cancer. Just make sure not to over due it, too much Vitamin D is also not the best. You can get a simple blood test from your doctor to see your range. And by all means: GET OUT…go to the country. Just Go. Don’t think about it. The retreat out of the city will make you much fresher when you get back in. Or you will decide to move. Either way you have options.
3. MEDITATE..I know, I know, we busy urban junkies are too busy to sit and do nothing, but that’s exactly why we need to. Our minds are so over activated in an urban sprawl that we have to give ourselves time to clean them out. Think of it like re-booting your computer. You just have to do it now and then and install the updates. The brain is like this. Too much stimulation and it just does not run as effectively. And ends up running you. Even if you just get in 5 minutes a day, twice a day it is enough. Something happens when we stop and let the universe in…..things get clearer, brilliant solutions come, we remember what is important, we begin to feel our lives again, rather than over think them, we stop wasting time on repetitive or circular thoughts that lead nowhere but to tension. We also calm our nervous systems and up our immune system. Stress is the greatest disease. Meditation is the magic pill. Even if you have to go to the bathroom to do it. Even if you have to put on your head phones on the subway and close your eyes. Even if its 5 minutes at the end of your yoga practice. Stop. Collaborate and listen.
4. BREATHE…yes I know you are breathing all day but un-conscious breath is very different than deep, mindful breath. Breathing is one of the top ways we detox toxins in the body and one of the greatest remedies for slowing down and centering. It also makes you sexy. And it both calms and energizes you if done right. I like an in hale thru the nose and exhale out the mouth to balance my yin and yang. Yin being the nostril breathing and yang being the mouth breathing. The cool thing about breathing is that no matter what situation you are in, you can do it without anyone noticing. And what I have noticed is if I am in a stressful situation with another person and I start focusing on my breath, they also seems to relax and become more at ease without really knowing what is happening. It really is like magic. It also relaxes you into your body, which is always in the moment and quiets the mind so you can be more efficient in your thought process.
5. EMOTE…Yes, cry, shout, scream, laugh, sing with joy. Emotions are the colors of life and without them we are robots. Living in a city requires a certain amount of stimulation and taking in a huge amount of human energy each day. This can affect us on a deep level, but because there is so much of it we barely have time to process it all and often we are shutting down or numbing out all the stimulus we receive from the outside. This can make us stuffed full of other people’s dramas and cold to our deep reserve of human empathy and sensitivity. So make time for regular emotional detox sessions. A great way thru this is thru breath work, ecstatic dance or other emotional release techniques and art. Singing, dancing, acting, painting, writing, anything that allow expression even if you are not an “artist” do it for a healthy soul. Just talking about emotions does not get us feeling and moving thru them…Stuck and stored emotions turn into unhealthy relationships, illness, abundance issues, depression and blocked soul drive. Even if you take the time to turn on your favorite melancholy music and spend some time alone, its good to get the emotions flowing so you don’t get stuck with stored up energy. Remember emotion is just energy in motion.
6. MOVE…Exercise the body. Sweat. Movement is one of thenGreatest healers ever. Find the thing you love to do that gets you in that zen mind. Whether its the gym, or park walking or all night dancing or yoga, just find the time to move your body, sweat and breathe. Not only does exercise improve mood, make your body healthier and sexier, but it also releases toxins thru the sweat and breath and gets you into a rhythmic state which is as close to orgasmic ecstasy as you can get without having an actual orgasm. The other great thing about movement is its often done to music which as we know is the great spirit lifter and sexiness shiner. I also find after exercise I feel smarter and more motivated. Over- exercising is not advised but that kind of exercise where you feel challenged but inspired, not dragging or pounding your body into some maniacal gym instructors idea of fitness. Healthy movement is when you are connected and feeling YOUR body and ENJOYING the pleasure of moving it.
7. GET OUT! Yes…please go out of the city often. Whether its day trips to natural settings, visiting family or friends in suburban settings or simply taking a vacation for a few days or weeks. Find the time to give yourself many moments outside of the hustle and bustle. Often times we are in the city so intense on doing what we are here to do, we can loose perspective on that ambition. Getting out of the noise and traffic and smog is also about getting out of the collective mind that accumulates in us. Our minds are all wired to each other and thoughts do travel. When we live with so many other human minds, thinking, calculating and worrying we can take on that energy more often. So getting out allows us some space to simply collect ourselves and our thoughts and gain some much needed perspective. Because we often don’t realize how the city is affecting us until we are out of it and reflecting on how we feel, its a good idea to just make this a rule…GET OUT!! Or better yet, move out and come visit me down in Costa Rica, where my refuge outside of the city awaits. In fact if this whole article made you realize you need to get out of the city or move then I applaude you. I love city life. Truly. But I don’t condone it. In the end I think the healthiest way to live is in nature. Pure and simple. But if you have to be in the city due to work, family, career, passions then by all means live as best as you can.
If you want more tips or tricks for healthier urban living, visit my websites : www.sensualtantrichealing.com and www.breathworknyc.com (coming soon-currently being upgraded) and schedule some one on one coaching or breathwork with me in person or via skype or simply sign up to my email list to stay informed about my upcoming online course: “Every Woman Is a Tantrika: A Live Online Course for Urban Women Who Want To Thrive Radiantly In Any City”. It is my pleasure to assist you in elevating your life with Tantric Lifestyle Practices and Wholistic Sexuality.