Published in 2021, the book is a New York Times bestseller.
Some text straight from The Intuitive Fasting:
“Your goal during Week 4 is to rebalance the most intricate hormones in your system, which means you are tailoring your approach to support:
• Improved thyroid and sex hormone health • Leptin and ghrelin balance, which means balanced hunger signals • Healthy melatonin and serotonin production, which means better sleep and a healthier mood.
One of the biggest focuses this week is on cultivating a healthier relationship with food and with yourself.
You can do this by practicing awareness – awareness of your thoughts and feelings about food.
Ask yourself: What habits were really serving me before this plan and which ones were not? Consider which thought patterns you would like to leave behind and which you want to bring forward.
As you move through this last week of the plan and decide how you’re going to incorporate intermittent fasting into your life, listen to that quiet voice inside you, your intuition.
At this point, you’ll have established some metabolic flexibility and you can trust your intuition about what your body needs. If you feel better eating more carbs, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you enjoy the way you feel on the keto diet long-term, have at it! This week is about slowing down, showing yourself some love, and coming up with a plan that works for you in the long term.”
Some key facts at the beginning. Robin Sharma: – Interested in neuroscience and more precisely bdnf (brain-derived neurotrofic factor). Bdnf lights up when the exercise 20min starts! “Writing gives you the precision of thought.” “The things that get scheduled are the things that get done.” “Vague goals lead to vague results.” “Is a gamechanger.”
The things NOT TO DO:
– Lose sleep. If you only get 3hrs of sleep just to wake up at 5am, then just don’t. You have to look at your evening rituals as well: going to bed earlier. Make sure that you get enough sleep — ~7-8 hrs/night
– Be too rigid. 20-20-20 could mean exercising 30min, and the reflection time 20min could be 10min. Customize.
Taj Mahal: it took 20 yrs to complete, so willpower+consistency = automatic behaviour
— The four focuses:
1. Focus on key areas — capitalization; find where your gifts are and focus on them. Successful people tend to focus better than the average. Your gifts might not come naturally, so look for them!
2. Eliminating distractions — in social media world focusing doesn’t mean going to Facebook or Instagram etc. Move technology far from you or close them altogether.
3. Personal mastery — as soon as you face it the better: you’ll never be perfect, no matter how much you try. Sharma’s personal development is as follows:
– mindset: your self-talk
– heartset: your emotions
– healthset: physical fitness
– soulset: contemplation/meditation on who you are
4. Day stacking — making the following day even better than the day before. Couple of key words: consistency — planning
✔5am-lifestyle: 66 days to thoroughly sink in.
💫Things gathered from YouTube of other people’s 5am.s:
– A vision board under your journal, for reflection 20min.
– Sitting At The Table whilst a reflection time/studying and not slouching on a sofa.
– Changing (into workout clothes) while doing other morning chores, ready for the exercise part.
– Love to wake up while the sun is rising! (Side note: hah! You mean the moon?)
– Listening to an upbeat podcast while walking (before breakfast).
– Showered+makeup on ready at 7am, then the ‘last remaining hour’ before 8am is all about getting some work done. (Side note: you WANT to get things be over and done with, that is the magic of the victory hour!)
– Avoiding ANYTHING that other people do or expect you do in the am. It’s Your Time, let others do what they do.
– Skincare + slapping cold water on face + brushing teeth.
– Lemon water is the first thing before coffee. (Side note: those four are my routines as well.)
– “I was too excited to even journal in the morning and I journaled: ‘Can this be over already?! So I can go back to actually working on them..’ Writing every day out my goals meant I couldn’t wait to get to start doing them.”
– Knowing your WHY. Why are you waking up? Why is anyone waking up at 5am? What goals do you want to work towards? Know your why.
This “living like” is kind of personal as well. It’s a breakdown week in someone’s life, right.
Friday day 1💫
Here it goes. Oh no..! Already thinking beforehand that this is a bad idea, with no sleep deprivation. I usually wake up pretty early, but definitely my sleep rhythm has changed, so that I’ll go to bed at about 11pm or earlier (9-10pm), and fall to sleep at 11.30pm (or earlier). Thinking of an alarm waking me up at 5am is just..god NO.
Normally, I wake up somewhere around 8am. Sometimes I wake up when everyone else is still sleeping at 3-4am, but that requires extra (being extra quiet takes a lot of work!). I’ve also found that in the early hours of the morning there isn’t any schedule, as you’d expect.
💫Some beforehand troublesome issues: it’ll take about 15min to even wash-up in the morning (brush teeth etc.), so that would mean it’d be as late as 5.15am. Dear lord… Having coffee and breakfast means that meanwhile drinking and eating, I am watching something that’s on TV at that time (usually Top Gear). And if I wake up really early, before I breathe out it’s already 7am with not much accomplished. Or if I wake up let’s say at 8am then it’s soon 10am, and still nothing reasonable done. You get the point, right? I’m beginning to learn the importance of scheduling mornings.
Saturday day 2💫
1am, 1.30am, 4.58am. 4.58am. Stress: 110% and checking the clock the whole evening and the night. Finally 5am!!! And good morning to you! God damned. Should one get up and exercise at this time?!
At 5.18am, well, I just only washed up and I want nothing more than to make coffee. No!! But since 20-20-20 -method requires you to exercise in the morning for 20min, choosing to have a glass of juice before any breakfast. I try to do energetic yoga movements to start up blood circulation. The first 5min is tough. Tough! Like nooo, me want to sleep! But then..into 10min I begin to feel like ‘this is Awesome!’ and by 20min in my mind begins to shift.
✔One could get used to this and you begin to actually crave for it! Of course I have sleep deprivation (about 4+hrs) and the clock is 5.40am, so getting the blood circulated at that time is just…oh no! But, in the meanwhile I’m dreaming about proper outdoor walkings in fresh air for 20min before any morning coffee and breakfast. They’d taste way better, this I imagine. Before 6am some of the neighbours seem to be awake. Are they doing The 5am Club as well, or just fellow morning-owls?
💫I feel amazing for the whole morning!!! Coffee has never tasted better and never been so hungry before. Also inspiration seems to be 120%. I have evolved definitely to a morning person in the last few months. This’d be a perfect time for reflection 20min (inspiration). So this I’ll do while having coffee and eating. Coffee-caffein 100%: Pinterest! Instagram! Day’s to do -list: done! Catching up on inspirational tv-shows: done! Even more energy from that: check! More coffee: check! As if I would need any.. Getting so much more done than just on a normal morning. Exercise: done! Reflection: done! Studying for me is every day every hour kind of thing, so don’t think I need to focus on that so much. People just are starting to wake up. I’ve been awake for 4hrs by now. C’mon!
✔All this energy is going to bite me in the ass later, I know it. I start to f.n bake at 9am.
•Following 5am Club’s 20-20-20 -method is 20min+20min+20min (of one hour -5am to 6am) — Victory hour: movement, reflection and studying. Exercise puts you in a perfect cognitive state, reflection is journaling or a meditation etc. and studying; reading a book, listening to a podcast or studying, this puts your brain into a high gear.
1pm: I’m tired af. Baked from 9am to..well, until 1pm. At 1.45pm: I am sleepily reading the f.n book: The 5am Club and resting (see don’t nap..never ever! I’d have to be put to sleep by anesthesia.).
7.15pm: been inside the whole day, although having the insane amount of energy to go out for jogging in the morning. That’s long gone! I realise that it’s the first day, so I might be adjusting to new rhythm. It might be the most difficult day, that is what gets me through.
9.15pm: every.cell in my body wants to go to sleep. Lights away away, over and out. G’night!
Sunday day 3💫
✔Woke up at 9am. All I can think about is “what a failure!!” And as the alarm went off at 5am: “I just don’t want to be that tired than I was yesterday.” was all I thought about. So in that Zzz state of mind made a decision of sleeping more. The +8hrs (more like 10hrs at this point) sounded more appealing than 6hrs.
Morning thoughts: usually I’m so go-go-go 24/7 and falling head over heels into a new subject. So, a relaxing weekend is not my thing. It’s a Sunday and I’m making to do -list for today. This I know, that most people are sleeping in and having (Netflix and chill?) a proper day-off. The only thing separating Saturday and Sunday is that some of the stores are not open.
It might based on the profession in healthcare; it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Wednesday or a Sunday, and whether it is a holiday or just a regular working day. Everyone of you in healthcare is like: “Yeap!” I don’t know about normal office work for example. Of course being 35 yo now I’ve had jobs, all kind of jobs. An office in a court f.e. (one of my first jobs at 19, so I knew it then, and I know it now, that it’s a downhill from there on.) So… remembering those previous jobs, where the weekend was expected..Yeah it was as important af.
I know that if I didn’t eat right, my energy levels would be low. I can see that immediately if one meal (or the whole day) is out of place! It straight away affects my energy in that.. I don’t have any.
After compelling myself to slow down since it’s a Sunday, waking up ‘late’ (9am is late for me, no matter if it is a weekend!) now feels like a good idea when it’s an evening. The time is even 9.40pm, and I’ve been tired af for couple of hours now.. I know the next morning is an early morning again, yes I scheduled it beforehand. Went for an evening walk and on it (always great ideas are issued there when the energy is higher) I decided that the alarm will be set for 4.50am. Aaaand here we go!! It’s a Monday. This might’ve been not so good of an idea..we’ll see.
Monday day 4💫
Again stress levels high✔ Time to go to bed tired: 10pm. Time to go to sleep: 11.30pm. See I knew(!) that today’s wake-up at 9am was bad for trying to sleep this evening. Time: 2am. Time and the alarm went off finally: 4.50am! Time: 4.57am.
Seeking Sisterwives on, immediately! Excitement level: 110%. It hasn’t been on for ages, even missed this tv show…so 4.50am it is! It already started at 3am, but not planning on having a few hours of sleep because of the re-runs. Time: 5.09am. Still too excited as one should be at 5.09am, because of a returning tv show. Time: 5.22am it ended, now time for the daily tasks to begin!
Time: 6.14am. Today I did it! Went outside for “a walk” which turned into a jog. At 5.45am for 20min. It was partly snowy, so sneakers were a bad idea. Didn’t expect that! But, I have more energy than I thought. Though it might be just ‘the morning energy’ before the 1pm hits. But waking up before 5am (with sleep deprivation again ~4hrs) was ok. A person on a bicycle passed me, I expect going to work (at that time, right?). And I thought; she has No Idea what I’m doing, does she. She’s just minding her own business and having one of those days, when it’s just a Monday morning and having to go to work and just grind (I imagine with teeth crooked). Okay I might’ve been exaggerating, she might actually have a dream job, which she cannot wait to get back to.
Now, as I’ve been hungry since watching The Sisterwives, finally I’m going to go make coffee and breakfast.
Time: 8am. This morning feels different. Maybe because whether I’m used to the wake-ups or this Monday has a different flow to it: more relaxed although effective. Last evening’s try-out walk for 20min might’ve still affected.
Time: only 10am.. only. Jeez I’ve been awake for sooo looong!! As said earlier, I’m definitely resting more (aka not cooking or baking this morning); laying down and reading The 5am Club. Maybe I’m too scared of the other day’s insane tiredness, that I’m resting more, instead of napping!
Time: 11.40am. Rested for 1,5hrs. Feel again ready to tackle the world! Time: 3.30pm. Couldn’t even remember that went for a jog This Morning, just remembered it while re-reading the post. God almighty!
Thinking about what I read on 5am Club, and then wondering if I’m focusing on enough of stuff. Sure there’s md studies+tests, Gem, my son, planning for his future (kindergarten etc.), and I’m light years ahead, already planning into 10 yrs. Few businesses after Gem.. It’s the now, that is difficult at times being so future-oriented. But reading made me wonder like..am I focusing on The Right things? What else should I then focus on? Those thoughts are new, because I felt like I had it. Like I was doing a lot of people’s worth of tasks. What if that’s not enough, though?
Time: 8.50pm. Jeez I feel exhausted, and I’ve felt exhausted for couple hours now. Went for a nice and quiet walk, meanwhile yawning, at about 7.45pm. On the walk, every muscle hurt in the back. At close to 9pm, I just want to go to sleep. … Made it to 9.40pm and over and out.
Tuesday day 5💫
7.30am. Decided again to just ‘sleep in’ to get more hours under the belt. The alarm went off at 5am, but as I recall it, I just pushed it off. Kind of feel failed again, and kind of am like..it’s still only 7.30am Without alarm. I think once this 5am week ends, 6-7am will be my thing. Occasionally 5am or even earlier. Have to note that the 5am wakes are golden. It is more difficult to get the same ‘on top of the world’-feeling at 9am. Plus it’s exactly what Sharma speaks of: “The victory hour”. Even thinking about it, is just excitement!
Chose to work out some (to get my bdfn/20min done) before breakfast while watching a super funny+real TV show (Single Parents) that’s on in the am.
💫💫💫 App: Kiwake. – easy memory games + an alarm. Simple memory games before the alarm is off. Daily goals: (x 3) check off.
🥳 What I’ve learned: GEM 150% done. Of course ever since Gem got published, it has been a full on a lifestyle morelike. But the last week waking up at 5am, the energy of it has been just: 200%. So of course in that process Gem gets done!
1pm. Got some shocking news. Now when you imagine ‘shocking’, you can make that at least five times shocking. It takes a lot to count as “shocking” for me.. Right now, I don’t know how to do this week..know that I need it, though. And now wish I had the energy of waking up at 5am at least. The structure. The routine.
Basically, everything you have believed in over two years has been wrong. Just in the wrong. And on top of that, I’m getting sued for something that I didn’t do in the first place. It’s sooo familiar, like you wouldn’t believe.. I get that all of you Finnish people absolutely adore Finland, but compared to other countries, it is harsh and (too?) effective. Attacking by your, supposedly safe, country for years now. If it makes you wonder why is Jojo so international..Well you just answered to your own question. I’d need a new word for shocking. I guess I have been personally faced with sooo many setbacks that I’ve grown strong. (-er) and just resilient.
All I can think about (what I personally have known before), like the book said: anything that you have to deal with, is not more than you can handle. Now, for me..oh boy. It would take a lot! As proven again, it’s a lot! Too much for most..Now, you can be upset about that and grow, but one of the things that I’m not afraid anymore, is to be blunt in truth.
✔You’ve got no other way than to grow when faced with challenges.
💫I actually thrive from this!! It’s quite magical now, that the last sentences I highlighted were: “…you’re exactly where you need to be to receive the growth necessary…If you sense your life’s a mess right now, this is simply because your fears are just a little stronger than your faith. With practice, you can turn down the volume of the voice of your scared self. And increase the tone of your most triumphant side.” Now, I’ll perhaps put this too on the Gem Bookshelf -post. 💫Truthfully, I can’t stand people who are overly emotional and crying for every darn thing they’re faced with. I don’t know man..just remembering that it’ll blow off So Fast. Like the saying goes: if it doesn’t affect in 5 years then don’t dwell in it 5min longer. And it, whatever it is, makes you stronger.
3pm. But on-the-go life keeps on knocking in the midst of just wanting to press pause. Where as the rest of the world doesn’t, though. Press on pause.
4.30pm. Purpously watching TV, to get my mind off the day. It hasn’t been great so far. 10.30pm. Still awake and too pumped up for sleeping. I may suspect that it’s this morning’s (7.30am) fault. Tomorrow is a long ass day, will need to have energy throughout the day, so waking up at 5am is out of the question. Now I’m pondering whether it’s going to be 6am or 7am. Just to get maximum hours of sleep is the most important thing. 11.30pm. To bed, to read the book, if that way sleepiness comes. It does. The last time I watched the clock was at 1am.
Wednesday day 6💫
Alarm goes off at 7am. It’s raw! Dear lord, how long would I have slept otherwise? 7.15am. In the middle of a morning wash, my throat feels sore. Yeap, analysing some..it might’ve been the crying yesterday. I rarely cry anymore, but since the baddest of bad news I just wept for every once in a while for 2hrs.
7.40am. Listening to a slow music playlist and flowly moving for 10min. 8.30am. Am drinking coffee and having a breakfast while watching the absolutely glorious reality tv show: Darcey & Stacey. If I actually saw them I’d be fangirling so much!
9am. It’s absolutely no surprise, that I’ve got the most energy in the mornings, with or without the 5am wakeups. 💫10.15am. Watching Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown (the amazing Vishen Lakhiani) on YouTube. I figured focusing on other things than Sharma’s 5am.s, is in fact part of the reflection time in The 5am Club.
Widening out exercise, reflection and studying throughout the day is key! Note to self: it’s not just the victory hour 5-6am, or the golden hours from 5am to 8am, but THE WHOLE DAY. It matters a lot what you do after 8am. What you do at 3pm? If I recall new inventions in my head, that are quite finished, I haven’t made them in the morning. They’ve been made on mornings, middays, evenings and nights. It’s just on 5-6am, at where I crafted the ‘finished’ idea. That is the “why” for me, is to have more energy to work at them.
✔ Focusing on ONE task at the time. F.e if I watch YouTube, I only watch YouTube. Or if I’m on Twitter, I am only on Twitter. The list goes on and on.. Whenever though I watch YouTube whilst on Twitter and highlighting a book or studying, that just means my focus is spread out. Perhaps whatever takes the most of focus gets done, although slowly. Focus on one thing, that’s the thing if anything I’ve learned!
✔💫Things to learn: this might be an ongoing list! I watch other people’s mornings and I’m like..hmph. Well, THAT AND THAT isn’t done.
– Journaling after 5am. The reflection time is so much better for me thinking them out; goals, to do.s… I’m so much better visualising them!
– Journaling gratitudes. This might be the most one to learn!
So, I have one morning to go as living a week 5am-style, and definitely going to focus more on the things that are dragging on. I am a procastinator in the league of the worst kind! Right I am. A lot of you might be thinking that ‘but she’s so ✔’. Sure I have a lot of ideas, but the execution is for..later and preferably by someone else.
7pm. Just got home. Knowing that this was going to be a long ass day, am still just exhausted waking up at 7am, with going to sleep at 1am. Still tired af went for a walk, because I know that tomorrow is going to be the last day of The 5am Club. I don’t know, just wanted to get some fresh air before an evening of relaxation with heat and a home-spa. One of my negative features or strengths is pushing myself to a limit and beyond. Like the day before, muscles hurt. Last night I got 6 hours, so..is it going to be another 6 hours? Based on the absolute tiredness, I’d predict no. I made it, struggling to 10pm. Over and out.
Thursday day 7💫
1am. 1.15am. 1.30am. Still 1.30am. Finally 5am! I was relieved that it finally was 5am. Dark as hell outside. “Hello darkness my old friend!” Goddamn. 5am. All I can think about ‘this is the last morning..’ Jeez, went to the terrace. The moon was freaking visible!🌙It’s quite laughable that one advice is to exercise whilst sunrise. You mean pretend you never went to sleep but stayed up all night instead? Good morning! Good morning! Exciting day! Exciting day!
5.30am. After brushing teeth and a wash-up, I kind of failed..was going to go for a walk outside, but was just sooo cooold. Didn’t want to spend 5min of dressing up to go outside (yeah it’s not Spain, it’s kind of warm: +6°C). But hey, I thought, not the End of the world right? I can go for a walk After breakfast and warm coffee. So, decided to again flowly move and dance to great beat for about 15min.
Man, I forgot my “why”. Why is one waking up at 5am, other than to write about it. I’ve not been sleeping that much, so of course I’m like: f this s**t. I unplannedly (?) got even less than 6 hours. Thought I was getting more!
6.40am. Got my “why”! Today it’s Gem and particularly a one that comes after Gem, wayyy into the future ~10 years. No, not going to share, not my thing. But without planning ahead, there wouldn’t be Google for example. Finally went outside for a 10min walk, it’s still so cold and the moon is shining, so I’m here freezing, ready to journal.
💫It’s like Noah: a tantrum for going out and a tantrum for going back in = me today
5.57am. This morning I might nap, I know! But I feel So Tired, in where my night sleep was too little. Yesterday was so physically and mentally draining, that I would’ve needed a full night’s sleep..
🌙 I’ve posted especially on Ig stories of Some pics of this week, but people have no idea, do they, about what I’ve been though. That’s the life of a person: to be camouflaged, without having celebrity where again Some of life’s events are seen and shown. Or maybe I’ve just watched too much of reality tv!
2.51pm. I am tired, just absolutely on the verge of falling asleep, the whole day. Didn’t nap, as figured, in the morning. I’d thought I’d nap, but resting for 30min took any napping-blues away away!
5pm. Get more energy when I’m just eating and resting. So.. Writing this and the Bookshelf book: 5am Club. Joyful times!
I wondered this myself: what has been the very best morning 5am wakeup? Well..there’re good features on every one of them! Perhaps Monday day 4 in many things, in where I believed I got the hang of it: a surprising rerun of Sister Wives (at night it feels like), the first outdoor walk/jog before breakfast(!).. All in all, it’s been a good week; tiredness yes, feels you get when others are still sleeping and the insane(!) energy.
This has been a week of other stuff too, like hearing the worst news ever on a “day-off”, just resting and eating, when you just wanted to be totally pumped up and ready to take on the world. Well that didn’t happen, and Tuesday is by far the worst day of this week. It definitely affected me yesterday, but not a lot anymore today. In the midst of “other life-altering things” I can still do other tasks, without it affecting me in the background. Don’t know..it might affect Your life, but Not the other person’s.
7.30pm. Been resting and reading the book. I watched Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown’s Vishen Lakhiani -episode, and that was kind of a mistake. See, I now confuse all the time Lakhiani and Sharma. For a week now, I’ve been watching so many interviews of Sharma, studied his mindset, read The 5am Club and watched how other people do their mornings. Still, in my mind…I can see freaking Lakhiani. That’s why I like to focus on one person for a Bookshelf book and/or “Living like that” and that.
9.30pm. Still wide awake. Bling bling or bing bing! I don’t know. 10pm. Falling down like a tree..🌲
Well, this has been crazy and fantastic, crazily fantastic. Are continuing 5am.s.
Did you know that by thinking negatively about someone or something is only increasing your own stress and your own negativity? Your formerly positive energy will begin to be replaced by negative flow, and it will consume you faster than positivity ever would. So why would you ever want to be the reason you are feeling negative things? You wouldn’t.
For some reason, it’s negativity that resonates fast, and focusing on positivity seems like hard work sometimes.
In the past two years I’ve leaned in to a more mindful and respectful way of facing others. I also changed the way I think about people. That includes the people I don’t personally know, but might recognize from, for example, the media. I have practiced this by placing a real thought behind it. To practice living loving kind, is to make it happen. That’s it.
Especially for me, the year 2015 was a tremendous shake and a wake up to this method again, because I really at times struggled with connections with the people I cared about, to the point of total break-offs. And only because I hadn’t practiced “loving kindness” in my day to day, but more like pushing through my own way and sitting too much on my ego. Only by returning back to kinder ways of thinking, doing this meditation for example, I started to make these connections work again. I again released the thought of always being right and doing things just my way. Last year was a teaching one for me, and thankfully I did learn.
Everyone can relate to this. There isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t thought negatively about someone or placed some sort of opinions about celebrities which they seem to know from the gossip news. You know, on that mark, the media does make a person look a certain way by discarding other aspects of their personalities. And there is nothing to add to that. When someone is in the eye of the gossipy lens and people feel or say negative things for it, I feel bad. At the end of the day, we’re all the same, and we’re all vulnerable at times.
The same goes for the people in our lives. I know people who get easily upset or who don’t ever step in another person’s shoes so to say, and start lashing out, which always underlines the same thing: “I am right. What they are saying, or doing, is wrong, and because I’m currently sitting on my ego, everyone should live and think just like I do.” I’ve been like this so many times in my life that I can’t keep count. But nowadays, it’s hard for me to listen to people’s loud egos. Sometimes I feel like I should have a sticker on my forehead that says: Live and let live.
And then there are the people who have it amazingly together. The ones who are so patient with themselves and everyone else, and who won’t say one bad thing about anyone, including themselves. I’m in awe of them. I just recently met one person who is like this. The energy they have around them is welcoming, lacking of any negativity.
If someone is thinking that they don’t need to ever change, fantastic, and good for them. Something like living kind has to be a full-on mental shift, and it takes many fall-outs. However, the results are remarkable: more patience, deeper relationships and more mindfulness.
Even if it’s tuning your thoughts back every day to ‘how am I feeling about this and that?’ and ‘how should I really react to this person, and not add more negativity in this situation?’. I assure you guys, you will start to gain these great mindful tools once you start this practice.
I wish you are going to try this Loving-kindness meditation with me. And I have to say, I don’t usually like to meditate, because I think I’m too “on the go” of a person to focus through all the thoughts that pile up and clutter the mind, with the basic practice of silent meditation. But I will try to implement that in my life this year. However, I do like Loving-kindness, because it gives your mind these tasks to do through the meditation, so I think it’s both fun and heart-opening as well as helpful for focusing.
Shailene Woodley, an actress you probably know from The Divergent series, Fault in our Stars and The Descendants to mention a few, is far from the typical Californian Hollywood-actress type. She forages her own food, makes her own toothpaste and drinks clay.
Shailene (Shai for short) uses natural remedies like no one else – at least it’s safe to say that when it comes to young actresses in Hollywood, she is one of a kind. Even her interviews and articles radiate fairy princess -like, wood nymphish glow. If it was broadcasted that Ms. Woodley now knows how to talk to animals while she gets her own water from natural springs, I would believe it in a heartbeat.
STEPPING IN SHAI’S SHOES
Though I’m already living an alternative lifestyle of my own, these Shailene days will be fun. In these two weeks, I’m going to focus even more than regular on the whole Earth goddess thing that she has got going on and on more natural ways of taking care of myself. The timing for the Woodley weeks is beyond great right now as my cellphone got broken on Sunday, just a day before starting this, and when I think about it, I don’t want a new one. So, off the grid I go; just like Shailene! Then comes Monday, the start of a week. Coincidence, I think. It begins, stepping in Shailene’s shoes. Or better yet, stepping in Shai’s Vibram FiveFingers that she is said to love. I’m trying to live quite similarly to Shailene for 14 days and write my thoughts down every day. Here are a few random days from my journals. Starting with Day One and going on to Week Two.
MONDAY, DAY 1
9 am – I wake up. I know about Shailene’s ways of waking up to a new morning, and I will definitely try them later. I drink a cup of Chaga coffee with butter and coconut oil. Shai drinks her coffee Bulletproof style. Hello energies! I catch up on some articles and interviews of Shailene Woodley. This girl is amazing!
1 pm – I go to a whole foods store to get a natural toothpaste by Urtekram. Shailene makes her own toothpaste with clay, but I decided to skip this part of her lifestyle and go with a ready-made-one. And now that I’ve read all about oil pulling and how Shailene does it, I’m really fascinated with the whole process and excited to see if it works. I’m going with an unrefined, organic sesame oil bottle and Instant Chaga powder from Four Sigma Foods. Hurray! Natural goodies. It always makes me ten times happier to buy something from a whole foods store than from a regular market, because I know that the products are ten times better than the others. I bet Shai thinks this way too, if she is not making or collecting products on her own.
2 pm – One with the nature and earthlings and out with the two canines. As I am in Finland at the moment, the weather is not ideal for something Shailene would perhaps do: yoga in the park or getting Vitamin D in the sunshine or walking barefoot on Californian soil. Instead, the weather is cold and grey and I’m just lucky it isn’t hailing.
5 pm – Astanga yoga for an hour. Shai does yoga, so do I.
11 pm – Oil-pulling time is upon me. As I read, dental plaque is fat-soluble, not water-soluble, so the old-as-time Ayurvedic oil-pulling technique should get rid of the dental plaque and make your teeth whiter. Ok, let’s try this. One spoonful of sesame oil feels weird, really oily, but I like the taste of sesame. I swish swash the oil through the teeth, really well and not lazily. You could do this with olive and coconut oil as well I guess, but Shailene’s favorite is sesame. Into one minute I’m thinking I won’t make it to ten, but I do somehow. Then I brush my teeth normally with the Urtekram toothpaste that is based on chalk. My teeth feel amazingly clean! This really works. How come I haven’t tried this before, I wonder.
11.15 pm – Shailene’s evening rituals are all about winding down after a day of urgency, which is not a huge strech for me. Shai says she has a cup of tea, does yoga and reads. Her favorite authors include Anais Nin. I read some quotes and relax with easy yoga asanas.
FRIDAY, DAY 5
9 am – As I’m waking up, I recall Shai’s way of starting every morning; being thankful, shouting and singing “Good morning, good morning!” from Singin’ in the rain, which she continues with shouting the words “Exciting day! Exciting day!”. Maybe I should start doing this. Because, why not?
9.10 am – Oil-pulling was horrible again for the first five minutes, but after that, I could have gone on for twenty. It was still the regular ten minutes. My teeth are very clean, soft and altogether nice.
9.20am – Morning Chaga coffee with coconut oil to drink and for breakfast rye bread, a banana, carrots and an orange. It’s still winter time in Finland, and unlike for a Californian girl in the sun, my choices for absolutely fresh products from street markets are not that vast.
11 am – Out in the ‘Twilight weather’ shopping for good stuff. I have my mason jar with me (mason jars are a big thing for Shai) filled with beet root juice. I’m on the hunt for a good thermos mug and also some natural beauty products from Dr. Hauschka. The whole foods store I visit informs me that my clay order has arrived. I am not finishing with my Shailene days until I drink my clay!
1 pm – Hanging with the dogs for several hours, a real tail-wagging day today. Fur-energy! I still do not own a phone, and I will not own one until the Shai-days are done. Although, at this point I’m beginning to wonder if I even want a cellphone ever again. I’m beginning to love this freedom of not being dependent on a thing, as does Shailene apparently, because she only is said to have gotten a phone when her publicist begged her to have one. Yeah, Shailene. We got this!
3 pm – The clay has arrived. So, this is what it has come down to; drinking clay. I mean, I drink mushrooms and spirulina, but this is something to think about even for me. I put a tablespoon full of clay powder in the glass and pour water over it, then mix the earth colored drink and let it settle for ten minutes. When the clay has sunk to the bottom, I drink the grey water that smells of ground. Shailene is a huge believer of drinking clay, it is said to purify our internal systems. It actually tastes a lot better than spirulina ever has, I conclude to myself as I’m gulping down the mineral-infused clay water. Nice.
7 pm – Off to the movies with my friend. I greet her, and everyone else for that matter (the people I know) with a hug. Shailene hugs everyone with a double-hug: one to the left, one to the right, to the heart. She says it is heart to heart greeting: hey, I’m real, you’re real, let’s hug it out!
7.15 pm – I’ve got my new thermos mug filled with Chaga, which I offer to my friend. She happily accepts. Ms. Woodley is an avid drinker of chaga, as am I. Shai says it tastes like dirt, but she likes the taste of dirt.
9 pm – Having cups of tea after the movie. It’s wonderful to not even check your phone, as everyone usually does when out socializing, and I don’t even have to remind myself anymore of the fact that the notifications are not there to be checked.
10 pm – Winding down this evening with a hot shower, healthy food, and some raw chocolate and tea. Instead of reading something mindful I’m writing something mindful. Reminding myself what I still need to accomplish what Shai does. I have to go forage something that is foragable in this weather. Shailene goes out into the nature to collect her own herbs and spring water. I’m thinking of going to forage some pine needles, because there are no natural springs anywhere close to where I am. It would be fantastic, if I found something like mugwort, but the chances are slim. Woodley drinks mugwort tea to have more lucid dreams á la Native American tradition, which sounds more than fun. Instead of mugwort I sleep beside my rose quartz. I do sleep better.
THURSDAY, DAY 11
9 am – Good morning with little morning mantras! Exciting day! This is definitely a more brighter way of greeting mornings than just rolling out of bed.
9.05 am – Washing and cleaning my face thoroughly with all of my Hauschka products. Amazing as always! I am using Dr. Hauschka products, which I imagine come close to Shai’s favorite brand Living Libations (Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever is her ultimate favorite, I hear).
9.10 am – Oil-pulling is like “I could do this all day son, all day!” hearing Schmidt’s voice from New Girl, during week two as I swish and swash the oil for twenty minutes with ease. My jaws have really become stronger for this.
9.30 am – Drinking coffee Bulletproof style. I’m remembering the lucid dreams I had last night (even without the mugwort) of riding trains in the vast spaces of unknown land. The sun is out today and the sky is clear. What a beautiful morning! I remember Shailene’s morning ritual: “Exciting day! Exciting day!”, and try to run with that thought.
1 pm – Taking the canines for a small walk in the sun and under the Vitamin D blasts. I visit a nearby forest, because I have a bag with me to forage some pine needles and pine cones. I take pictures of nature with my old digital camera. It takes a lot of more room in my pocket than a phone would. But it’s all good.
2 pm – I’m trying to make a cup of freshly picked pine needle tea á la me for the first time. I clean out the needles and boil the water. Even the smell of the brewing pine needle tea reminds me of the woods.
2.15 pm – If something tastes like forest, it’s pine needle tea. I am hoping to get the mega amounts of Vitamin C.
4 pm – I am getting ready for a ballet class. Ms. Woodley likes to do yoga, but as I practice it already, I thought I’d try something else. I put on ‘beet root lipstick’ which is one of Shai’s inventions, and I have to say a genius one. I slice a piece of beet root and dabble it on my lips. A hundred per cent natural and gives a lovely tint. I guess I could use any foods with red tint. If she wore this beet root lipstick for the Golden Globes, I bet it will do just fine for me on a regular Thursday.
9.15 pm – After the ballet class my legs are feeling the post-class tiredness. Holy moly, barre-work for over an hour, my body is saying ‘thank you ballet’ at this point in the evening. If Shailene doesn’t go to ballet classes, maybe I could recommend that to her.
9.30 pm – I make a huge salad with something new to my diet that Ms. Woodley eats herself; sauerkraut. She believes in eating something fermented on every meal. It tastes good. I also add artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes to give it a wonderful taste.
10 pm – How is ballet still making me thirsty? All I could do is drink water. Time for a relaxing evening. I make my own body scrub with sesame oil, honey and sugar. Wow, amazing. I’m starting to use more of DIY stuff.
11 pm – I start to reflect these past days a little. Shailene doesn’t own a home, she likes to couch surf at her friends’ and drive around from place to place and travel. Shai has said that she doesn’t know where she would want to live, so until she does, she’ll drift a bit. I find similarities with her, for I haven’t had my own place with my own things in four years. As Shailene fits her life in one suitcase, I feel like I do too. It is wonderfully rewarding and teaching to live somewhat alternatively.
I end my Shailene Woodley weeks feeling a lot more grounded and mindful, not so busy and hurried. This is the right place to continue on with the rest of the year and start the next with. Only one thing is different: I do own a phone now. How uncool of me.
Welcome Leena Vihavainen-Müller! I met Leena for the first time over a year ago and we talked hours about healthy lifestyle (or I listened mostly) and we drank organic tea. Meeting Leena was a powerful experience: her stable and strong presence works as an inspiration to a lot of people. She is a yoga-teacher and a yoga-therapist (etc.) plus studied medicine in Germany for couple years. Now I can’t wait for you to guys to read and hear Leena’s wisdom. And because there is so much material, we will spread them out in different posts and in sounds on Soundcloud (Leena’s interviews years ago when the author worked at Yle when there was 1 day that she got to actually decide a subject, only in Finnish). X Johanna
“I’m Leena Vihavainen-Müller. I’ve lived abroad for 43 years, and I now live in lake scenery and enjoy the beauty of Finnish nature on my walks.
I am a yoga teacher and yoga therapist; studied both in Finland and in India. I’ve tought yoga in different countries for years, and I still teach it in Finland. I studied energetic horse osteopathy in Germany. I am also studying French, and stress management and self development in French. This year I started to study Chromotherapy in Germany.
Through practicing yoga I have learned to be conscious and present. Yoga practice is everyday present in my life. When my horse got ill I wanted to know how I could help him get better, what had gone wrong in his life. I got interested in energetic horse osteopathy, which I studied in Germany. My horse was the best yoga teacher I had. I learned to appreciate and value life, patience, trust and love, and I am truly grateful for that part of my life.
“Respect and value your body and see to it that the body is doing well.. Then the mind is doing well. If you feel good then you radiate good energy around you, and you can make others feel good as well.” Yoga is a lifestyle that includes more things than just doing the yoga practice.
“”In every situation I try to consider how I am standing, how I am breathing, what am I thinking, am I in the moment.. Am I in this moment or am I here, but my thoughts are somewhere else.””
Johanna: Before going to more mindful things let’s talk about nutrition, lymph circulation, yoga breathing etc.
“Mental speed is stress. Get moving, that takes some stress away. Not so much protein, not so much carbohydrates. And drinking water is the most important thing.”
A holding pattern means that an airplane is on a specific holding course before landing. To sum up. At least that’s what I read, because I’m definitely not a pilot.
So, I have no idea how the words came to me and kept repeating at the back of my mind for a week or so: “Holding patterns”, “You are on a holding pattern.” I felt growing tiredness, lack of interest in the things I had been raging about before, and I couldn’t listen to my ‘recently listened’ list on Spotify anymore. So I Googled the words and sure enough, the wise web dictionary stated my missing one-sentence explanation for the feelings of it.
A holding pattern is “a state of waiting or suspended activity or progress” [merriam-webster]. While ‘holding pattern‘ could mean different things to different people, for me that meant being stuck on the things that worked for me a month ago and still trying to implement them to a new month and new energies.
You know, every day is different for you, every month certainly is different, as are years. We have to change according to them. That’s what my holding pattern was about. I’m sure I, and others, have multiple similar patterns that might be outdated but go unnoticed.
All the things that worked well, fine and super in January, and I got tons of energy from, started latently pulling me backwards. Weeks went by, until I was so tired and over-emotional, still running on my January feelings in the middle of February, that only a full stop: a sit-down and a meditation could break. And I released my former patterns, and started focusing on new ones. A blank page. Or as Taylor would say: a Blank Space. Either way, they are both very creative.
As we become more mindful and focused in our lives and the energies around us, it’s easier to spot any imbalances. I’m still learning to be mindful and I don’t think the process ever ends. It wouldn’t have been a huge disaster if I’d kept my blinders on for this. But as I felt a growing disconnection with all the tasks I had been doing in the past four weeks, I really set myself up to energetically brighter and more focused days, and weeks ahead by visiting ground zero. Well, until the next shake to change things around. But hopefully that will be with the flow of life, not holding onto what has happened and trying to carry it into the future.
I hope this makes sense to you somehow. Of course, you will take it as only you would and shape it to your own life. I have loved and related to this Heraclitus quote: “The only thing that is consistent is change.”
To all my amazing and dear friends who are stuck in their beloved patterns and actually really enjoying them, Heraclitus is right. In the end, change is inevitable, and if we can get over that fact, it becomes easier to change things up constantly in our lives. Welcome new people, new energy, new clothes, new music, new places, new books, new things to look forward to, new destinations, new plans, new surroundings, new things to focus on and accept them gladly. I decided, kind of intuitively that at least every few weeks I’ll start looking for old patterns or feelings that should go. Especially now as we’re entering spring, which is all about awakening and renewing. What a perfect time.