At some point in your yoga practice, you’ve probably been asked to set an intention or San Culpa. Setting an intention is a wonderful way to start your practice, your day, or any new beginning, but in doing so it’s always good to step back and ask why you’re doing it. What is intention? What does intention mean to me?
As you grow and deepen your conversation with yoga, it becomes quite clear that the yoga practice must stretch far beyond the boundaries of that little sticky mat. Naturally, your practice begins to bleed into every part of your life, saturating your world with concepts like ahimsa (non-violence). Part of that concept is living in a way that is non-harming to the Earth.
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to explore this mind-set, as we look for ways to give back to our life-sustaining planet. Every moment we are nourished and blessed by the abundant gifts of the Earth, and on this particular day we have the chance to give gratitude back to the source! This is a special chance to develop lasting rituals in your yoga practice and in your life that nurture an eco-centric approach to everyday living and that have the potential to last all year round.
It’s hard to believe that it was only a few weeks ago that we were contemplating the end of the world. Not only did we survive the apocalypse, we survived the holidays!
Now the conversation is all about ‘New Year = New You!’ and making huge life changes now!
I prefer to work with the earth’s gentle cycles as my guide. For me, the winter season is for hibernation and quiet contemplation … a time to go deep ‘inside.’ It is a time for rest (with so many hours of darkness) and for reflection, a perfect time to tap into dreams and journal.
When we attune ourselves with the seasons, we allow our inherent natural rhythms to flow, which are easy to follow and feel good about.
I took a lot of the summer off to rest and rejuvenate. It was a really powerful time for me and I used it to contemplate and reflect on many areas of my life. It is very interesting to me that when we slow down, the opportunity to witness our thoughts and behaviors amplifies.
One of the things that I noticed is that there are times when I will resist something or someone only to discover that the event or person is bringing me an amazing and unexpected gift. I paused and asked myself to explore the habit of resistance. It’s a habit I often see in my clients, so we work on dismantling the need to resist without reason. And then, here I am, watching the same behavior in myself. (We never really arrive, do we?!)
Whenever you’re growing or entering new territory, you’ll feel fear. But the problem isn’t the fear — it’s letting fear hold you back. The beautiful thing is that fear can be greatly diminished in your life when you feel the fear and take action anyway.
What are some of the fears that hold you back from living a life you really want to live? Do you have a fear of rejection, being alone, failure, quitting a negative habit, getting in or out of a relationship, illness, aging, making a career change, losing weight? This week, empower yourself to take an action you’ve been afraid to take. Build a habit of believing yourself so you can trust yourself to keep a promise you make. Your self esteem, courage and belief in yourself will grow, and your fear will diminish.
I did a Google search on what causes stress in people’s lives and I found things like unemployment, divorce, financial problems, health issues, fatigue and so on. In reflecting on how I deal with stress, let’s just say that far, far less than unemployment has caused me to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting!
Yes, I’m talking about stress eating. Most of us have had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing it at one point or another, and it is not for the faint of heart. I can down a whole can of party peanuts if Auden has a particularly bad day at school! Thankfully I have come to terms with the real me and I am now able to recognize the signs of impending stress and do a fairly good job of not eating us out of house and home when things get rough. Please allow me to share some of my tips, and I welcome any you have to share that have worked for you.
Let me begin by saying, you are a powerful manifestor!
Every single person on this planet has, at the core of their being, the power to create a life of grace, ease and abundance. Think about it: There are people, including Oprah Winfrey, who had difficult beginnings and yet have created lives that amaze us all. In the last year I have been experiencing a series of miraculous experiences in my life. I want you to know that I believe that this is our natural state of being. Miracles are occurring every day, and when we recognize that truth, we begin to understand the power of co-creation with the Universe.
It’s January and the gyms are packed.
I have written many times over the years about correcting poor form or bad habits at the gym. It’s not a new subject, but I have been “moved” to write about it one more time after last Saturday morning when I was at the gym and was compelled to offer some free advice to the woman next to me. Here was the scenario: I like to exercise on the Stairmaster Stepmill…you know the machine with the revolving stack of stairs. I usually mind my own business, but last Saturday the woman next to me was so slumped I couldn’t keep my blinders on.
Yes, you can have it all, really!
How you eat, think and exercise dramatically affects your mood. You can break the cycle of unhealthy habits and learn to have it all.
Are you having fun yet? I think of fun in two ways. First there’s the possibility of actually enjoying a new behavior. That’s especially easy when we’ve chosen something potentially fulfilling — learning the two-step, getting to know your new neighborhood, getting the pile of papers off your desk, following your dream of getting a pilot’s license. The more you can find ways to make your new habit fun, the more likely you’ll stick to it. Do it with friends, create a contest with your kids to see who’s better at it, make it into a silly game.