February 5th, 2016
Many like to work with intentions, but often find there is a deficiency between creating the intention and seeing it become manifested. What if there was less “working” with intentions and more PLAY? Let’s take a look at intentions and then how to amp up the empowerment of them through a playful FUN spirit that FUNds the intention into creation.
Keys to setting Intentions
- Keep them simple – less is more with intentions so finding the seed is important.
- See them clearly – take the time to hone down the noise, confusion, doubts, fears, uncertainty and find the core to what you are seeking.
- Hold them close- share them with those who will support, encourage or create space for you to fulfill them.
- Be persistent – creating something new is a timeless practice.
- Surrender – there is a certain amount of letting go that fuels intentions. Get ready, get set, let go!
Intentions vs Affirmations
Intentions are the dreams, visions, directions that you are proclaiming. They are expanded through the senses as you see them, feel it, hear or maybe even taste it.
Affirmations are the statements you use to fuel the intentions. Let them be in the present and positive. Then speak in terms of what you wish to become, not what you are getting rid of.
“I will be less fearful” becomes “I am courageous.”
“I want to be less angry” becomes “I am accepting.” Or “I am tolerant.”
You are Not Alone
Intentions and affirmations are empowered by a willingness to be in collaboration with that which is greater than you are. Trust, faith and love are key to this practice or path. You become open to assistance from “other” forces and you become aware of how the support is showing up in your life. As much as you will want to create actions that are in line with your intentions, it is EQUALLY important to create space for life to nourish your intention, and stillness to let it unfold. The more tension that exists in your “pursuit” of your intention, the less ability it has to expand, formulate, and grow. Relax, breath and feel the power of trust.
Make it FUN
Another important element that many fail to see, let alone allow in the creations of intention, is to shine great amount of light, in all forms, upon the intention. I already spoke of it in discussing the importance of clarity in creating your intention but consider also a lightness of spirit. FUNding your intentions with a playful approach will allow the vibration to magnify the intention.
Here are 10 ways to FUNd your intentions:
- Create a Dreamboard – get out the old magazines and start cutting out bright and colorful pictures that embody your intentions. Let then inspire all of your senses!
- Write out a check to yourself from the Universe. MAKE IT BIG~!
- Gather all your change and toss it out on your front walk, let the Universe flow more abundance to you.
- Pay it forward – open up the channels of receiving by first giving in a way that feels GREAT!
- “Go outside and play” was a powerful place for many of us as we grew up. Live it again and enliven your intentions with the joyful spirit of play and nature.
- Appreciation raises the value and vibration of things. Make it a game you play- i.e. 100 days / 100 ways of Appreciation or pick an action you do (like yawning) as a stop point to pause and appreciate something!
- Have a party to celebrate Intention. Invite all those supportive friends to come share their intentions and celebrate as if they are fulfilled!
- Play dress up: Get up today and live your day as if the intent
ion was complete. How would you dress, eat, speak to others? Live it now!
- Link your Intention with a song, and sing it often!
- Decorate your home with your affirmations. You can be subtle and paste a few in your bedroom or office, or go full out and place them all over the house!
The key to this practice is to make it fun! It is the spirit of playfulness that fuels the intention. In being playful we are open, receptive and limitless in potential. Have a blast and may all your intentions be fulfilled!
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January 8th, 2016
2016 is here and for many of you this new year has brought forth your dreams, New Year’s Resolutions or maybe an intention. Reflect for a moment on past New Year’s Resolutions. Some of them may have been fulfilled or changes made, while for other resolutions you may have had great intention yet somewhere along the way the will dissolved or the intention was distracted.
The yoga tradition includes a practice of resolve called Sankalpa. The meaning is to vow or commit to that which is our highest or true nature. It often is rooted in aspects that already exist, and we vow to uphold, express, live them.
It is important to understand the difference between what you may have been taught about New Year’s resolutions and Sankalpa. Let’s begin by looking at how many make up resolutions that are about doing something different, often reflected on what is lacking or too much in their life. The resolutions then reflect doing more or less of something. “I weigh too much and vow to lose the weight this year” or “I don’t exercise enough and I’m going to exercise 3x per week” are examples of resolutions that are viewed from a perspective of not enough or too much that bring us to an action or doing something different.
A Sankalpa begins from recognizing something powerful and deeply heartfelt. We already know that this exists in us and our vow is to become it in our live choices or way of being in the world. A Sankalpa becomes a mantra or affirmation of what IS that helps to keep it in our field of consciousness. “I vow to be compassionate.” “I feel compassion towards others.” “I am compassionate.” All of these would be ways to express one’s Sankalpa. Personally I find that present tense statements (rather than future tense) empower the Sankalpa.
The first step is to be still, listen to your heart’s desires and feel. Sankalpa is feeling derived rather than a thought process. For many of us steeped in action, running from here to there, you will need to slow down and find stillness and silence to listen to the heart. Feeling what is birthing within is that first step, then proclaiming it often during the course of your day will help nurture it into being.
Awakening it with your mantra or affirmation would be the next step. Remember to empower it with a present tense verb of being. An example would be to transform an affirmation like “I will be more patient” becomes “I am patient.” “I want more love in my life” would become “I am loving.” Then vow to speak it out loud or to yourself often, and do it daily. You might find it helpful to link it with an activity during the day like brushing your teeth, going in or out of your car, or at mealtimes. I find it even more powerful to link it to those thoughts or actions that are in opposition to that which I am vowing. For example thoughts of fear or judgment might be the perfect time to proclaim, “I am loving.”
Your yoga practice will also help you to settle inward, and hear your heart’s desire. As you transform through the practice of yoga you may feel an alignment to your heart’s desires, which creates a sense of ease in releasing those “ways” that no longer serve you. You may have already experienced the letting go of something in your life that seemed so easy and natural that you dismissed it in some way, as you are used to more difficulty in changes in your life. Enjoy the sweetness that comes with this form of change. Embracing that each of us has the potential to transform with ease can be a keystone to the practice of Sankalpa We are simply breathing life into those parts of us that already exist.
I wish you a most splendid New Year, and may your heart’s desires be realized as you create them through Sankalpa.
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December 3rd, 2015
She screams from deep inside her heart – STOP IT!
Stop the hatred
Stop the fear
Stop the bigotry
Stop the bloodshed
Then her heart pushes harder and says “what then my dear?”
A gentle embrace please
And a deep sigh is heard
Today I reflected on all that seems to be stirring, boiling up and spurting out. I struggle at times on how to hold the vibration of love, to keep my focus on how I can BE the difference and this poem came forth. As I was inspired to express these feelings and thoughts, may you be inspired to live deeply from the heart’s purpose. May you approach those trying moments, challenges and fears by listening to the wisdom of your own heart.
Compassion Love Understanding
Its a beginning.
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December 2nd, 2015
There are people around you who inspire you in their actions, their speech, and their thoughtfulness. You already thought of some of them as you read that first line didn’t you? Have you ever wondered what it is about them that inspires you? What is different about them that brings you up, or maybe simply draws you in like a moth to a light?
Well here is just one thought to ponder – they are people who know how to actuate a RISE UP MOMENT! What is a Rise Up Moment you say? They are those moments when you feel you “can’t”, “shouldn’t”, “fear” or simply are sitting in “doubt”. In those moments you can choose to Rise Up or not. In Rise Up moments we are often unconscious which leads us to fall into habits that can either get us paralyzed by the fears and doubts or consciously awaken to query what will lead us to Rise Up.
It is those who Rise Up that are often our inspiration. They live a life from moment to moment making a choice to “go for it”, “do the right thing”, “listen to the higher inner voice” and stretch themselves.
You’ve seen them doing it, but may never have recognized what is actually happening that is inspiring you. Maybe you slip into a habit of not doing something when the inner doubts are activated. Those who inspire you actually are awakened in that same moment you may have fallen asleep. They hear a voice of wonder, see a moment of great opportunity and have repeated the pattern enough times to know how good it feels for everyone (including themselves) to Rise Up.
“Can I do this?” No, and I hate to fail OR YES I CAN!
“Should I do this?” No it will be _________(enter any words that express fear or uncertainty)
OR YES I WANT TO!
Those who inspire are willing to take a risk because it feels good to do it (based on repeated evidence) and although they may not succeed the first (or 5th) attempt, they have created a feeling of personal power that is raised up each time they do go for it.
You see it is not the fear of failure that stalls them into inaction, it is the joy of being more, learning through the attempts, or feeling the inflammation of personal power that motivates them into action. They smile when they are covered in the muck of a failed attempt, and like a dog, shake it off, and then look around to see what the next attempt will bring. And all of that is what inspires others.
So be inspired, notice when it is happening around you and be awakened. For that is how each of us begins the journey to personal power through a Rise Up Moment. Others raise us up, we are awakened, and then it is up to us to make the changes we want to be. It is a personal journey each of us defines. We know when it is OUR Rise Up Moment, and we take flight. Each risk is ours to assess from this new point of view, and we plunge in. Take the leap knowing that you may take flight, or land in a mud bath. Either way leads us to RISE UP, again.
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November 2nd, 2015
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward
November is an excellent month to spend exploring this quote on a daily basis. How often have you felt gratitude, and yet missed the opportunity to express it in words, deeds, or actions?
Maybe this hits a nerve because you have a house full of things you have bought “just in case” you need to give a gift, but you never give them. They are tucked away in safekeeping or forgotten, in that box in the closet, under the bed or filling your attic. In that state they are stale, useless things until you dust them off and give them away. Then they become a brilliant expression of your love, connection or feelings for the recipient. What are you waiting for? Start giving today!
Or maybe you feel reticent to express your feelings of gratitude in fear of rejection. You don’t want others to put you down or reject you for being too exuberant. So you hold back and bottle up those deep feelings that gratitude creates. Why are you letting others bring you down? Bottled up feelings can often “hurt” a whole lot worse then any sense of rejection. Unblock the cork on your feelings of gratitude and let them free! I promise you the outcome will feel fantastic!
For some of you your month of exploration will begin with a gratitude practice. Your daily life has you focused knee deep in the “losses”, “lack” or “suffering.” Turning to recognizing all of the gifts, or grace in your life is the beginning of exploring this quote. Why not start right now? Take a moment to write down 5 things you are grateful for. Need more help? Here is an excellent article about it from Helen Russell, How to Start a Gratitude Practice to Change Your Life.
Once you get this going there is no holding back. Don’t forget to then start expressing the gratitude you feel. Let the feelings grow and be expressed. You will find many ways to express them. Sometimes it will be by speaking the words, “thank you.” At other times you may find a warm smile, a gentle touch, or a look of deep gratitude shared will be enough. Don’t hold back when the gratitude needs to explode in song, dance, a leap of joy or a great big hug. You’ll know when expressing BIG will do no harm to anyone else. Get ready cause you may discover how POWERFUL expressing gratitude is! Spread the feeling.
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