Resolution versus Intention

Miracles do happen. Grace does occur. But more often than not, change, transformation and growth require baby steps – many, many, baby steps. I love the turning of the New Year. It always seems that there has been a reset on a grand scale. The coming months somehow spread out and seem fresh. Time seems abundant and hope is high. New Years resolutions stream through the world, and the people run forth to the new dawn resolved to: read more books, exercise, eat better, loose weight, volunteer more, etc. For a while gyms become packed, yoga classes cram mat to mat, volunteer organizations field numerous requests, 52 new books are bought and then mid-February hits. The newness begins to wane, and for the majority, there is complete fallout. Over the years I have had a lot of resolutions blow-up, how about you? Rather than setting resolutions, I now think more about setting an intention. These words are often used interchangeably, they seem so similar, but there meanings are meaningfully different. After so many years of failed resolutions I now choose to start my New Year not by what I am resolved to do but what I intend to do. To feel the energetic difference between resolution versus intention, say the following two statements out loud with your eyes closed: I resolve to practice yoga regularly. I intend to practice yoga regularly. They create a different feeling, right? Just like wanting change and choosing change: I want to change. I choose to change. Here are my intentions for the coming year: Be better in all areas of my life and...

Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease

Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease vs. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome At the age of 25, I was officially diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. When my doctor told me, my first thought was: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) was the stupidest name for what I was experiencing.  To be honest, I never got over that. I still think that the name is dumb. My battle with CFS lasted for several years. For a time I identified with my illness, I wrapped it around myself like a blanket and slept away my days.  I was a year in before I decided to try to figure a way back out. It was almost two years before I chose to identify more with healing than with my illness. Looking back, that shift in my focus from illness to healing was in many ways a miracle. Someone I loved once gave me a box of darkness. It took me years to realize that this too, was a gift. ~ M. Oliver During the time of healing I learned far more than I lost. I recognize now that the process of healing from CFS was a remarkable teacher.  My illness, in many ways, woke me up to my life. Nearly 15 years since my diagnosis and it turns out that I wasn’t the only one that hated the name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Recently the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has chosen to reclassify CFS as Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease.  It may seem silly, but even now, ten years out from my healing, I am glad for that change.   In my healing practice I specialize in helping others find...

Become a butterfly

When I am in the midst of significant change. I practice a lot. I find that it keeps me aware of my moment so that I catch when the fear is climbing in, and push myself in its way. Fear is consuming, and when it is at the forefront, it keeps us silent and in our place. When I am aware, and I notice the fear begin to fill first my feet and then my knees, I choose to remind myself of what becoming a butterfly really means. As a child I had the notion that the cocoon was peaceful, the gestation was like nap time, the wings just grew, and voila butterfly. But that is not the truth. There is nothing peaceful about becoming a butterfly. Caterpillars are not hibernating in the cocoon, when they become a butterfly, they are disintegrating. Frigging disintegrating! Perhaps all the dragons of our life are princesses, who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. ~Rilke     The Caterpillar let go, willingly became goo and transformed into a butterfly.   When I am aware, I tap into this metaphor  and look at what my fear is paralyzing me with. Funnily enough, most of the times my fear is not real. My fear is about something that only serves to trap me. By facing it I can decide if I need to align with it or let it go. More often that not, I breathe deep and give myself over to the change. After all, it worked out for the caterpillar, which was once inching and can now...

Keep it simple

It use to be that I didn’t mind mess and noise. internal or external, and I would participate in the pettiest of dramas.  Chronic Fatigue changed my tolerance and my life shifted and changed accordingly.  By embracing my practices during my illness I was able to carve out a space of safety within myself.  Where once it was uncomfortable to be silent and still, now I literally long for my  mat. I choose to keep my house simple, uncluttered, and nicely lit. I buy myself cut flowers weekly because to me they are like putting spots of joy in my rooms.  Joy is one of the highest vibrations – sneak it in wherever you can! I drink my water with lemon and when I have time I let it sit and infuse with sunshine. The majority of the food I eat is whole, with a handful of ingredients and freshly prepared. I now shy away from personal drama and have let go of many friends and some family who create it, or co-create it with me (after all I ain’t no victim). I practice my practices every day. I am grateful to them because they keep me calm and my mind clear. If you haven’t been taking care of your precious self, if you haven’t given yourself any time, my rituals may seem over the top. But trust me when you get into the swing of it, with a little practice, they will become easy. Life is stressful and one of the ways I combat it is by allowing myself these simple pleasures, nurturing myself without a lot of...

What choices are you making?

I believe that there is a huge difference between choice and habit. Making a choice, also known as a decision, requires presence, awareness, and discernment. Habit is a default setting. Habit is you on repeat. Habit, is your foot on the gas while you are asleep at the wheel. We become what we repeatedly do. Sean Covey Since most of our daily behaviors are habituated we stay on our track, comfortable with the familiar. Humans dislike discomfort and when I say dislike I mean HATE, humans hate discomfort. It doesn’t matter one lick if the habit is helping or hurting you, I guarantee you that even your baddest, darkest, ickiest habit is comfy like a perfectly worn pair of jeans. So many people desire change. They want it so badly they can taste it. They yearn for it. Yet they run their day exactly as they did the day before. Each habit bolstering the track they are on. They get to the point where even the desire to change becomes habituated. How many friends do you have that are talking about creating the same changes in their lives that they were embarking on a decade ago? Life is a series of choices. Each choice leads to the next, a chain reaction that starts in the past and impacts our future. Minor choices, major choices, and all the choices in between create ripples of impact, ripples of possible change. Repetition is not failure. Ask the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind. Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening. The simple truth is that when we change it is going to...

5 Things to create healing and foster change:

Healing is a journey. During my process of healing from Chronic Fatigue (which is far more than simply being tired) I found that creating a correct relationship with myself was absolutely key.  The suggestions I make below are a mixture of my discoveries during my healing journey combined with my observations of thousands of students over the past decade. I wish you well on your personal path to wholeness! 5 Things to create healing and foster change: PRESENCE.In order to heal the very first step is becoming present, waking-up, being aware. Often times we live our life on autopilot, without realizing we are on repeat. We aren’t even aware that we had the same thoughts yesterday as we do today. We stay head down in our ruts. We root further into our habits, running the same courses through our day-to-day patterns. We need to become present in order to notice where we are currently at: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This awareness will then enable us to become present with our behaviors, know our thoughts, witness our choices and ultimately foster the ability to discern whether they are leading us to joy or drawing us further into despair. RESPONSIBILITY. In order to heal. In order to be whole. In order to be courageous. We have to take full on responsibility for our THOUGHTS, choices, behaviors, beliefs, and habits. We have to take responsibility for ourselves. All of the changes necessary to create deep and meaningful healing happen from the inside out. WILLINGNESS. We have to choose to heal. Once we are willing, and set the intention to heal, it...