Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out with the old.....

"You raze the old to raise the new."
Justina Chen Headley 

Santa Claus has come and gone and the clock is ticking down to the last days of 2010. Oh my, what a year it's been! So many growth, new discoveries, shedding the old to make way for the new.
And so it is with's a process of rebirth. Whether the change is physical (losing weight, cutting your hair) or situational (new job, new home, new city, marriage, divorce, birth of a child), the process involves letting go of the past to make room for the future. 

With each transformation, you need to carve out a little space ( a little "Breathing Room", if you will!), to get adjusted to the change and your place in it. There's a brilliant author named William Bridges who has written several books on the process of change and transition; he refers to that in-between place as the Neutral Zone. In the Neutral Zone, you may feel confused, out of sorts, unsure of your next step. That's the point. You need that time and that space to adjust, reflect, and contemplate...there's a lot of inner work to be done. There is no set time table for how long each of us remains in this phase of the process...but doing your time here is essential to any successful transition. Keep that in mind as you contemplate your new years resolutions...

As 2010 draws to a close, we are not only saying goodbye to the last 365 days, but also to the first decade of the 21st century. Take some time to reflect on all the ways your life has changed. 
What were your hopes and dreams as you entered the new Millenium? You're not the same person you were then...are you happy with the changes you've made? Still more work to be done?
What are your hopes and dreams as we enter the new year? How to you plan on achieving your goals? I hope you'll share some never know who you might inspire and you might find the help and support you need to make those dreams come true.

Wishing you all peace, joy, good health, and happiness in 2011...


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas...

"Christmas, my child, is love in action." 

~ Dale Evans (1912-2001), American film actress, singer and songwriter. Wife of Roy Rogers. 

Christmas is a just a few days and 2010 is drawing to a close. What a year it's been!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the very best in the new year.
I hope you all enjoy your friends and family and take a few moments  from the hustle and bustle to soak in the spirit of the holidays.
Love the people you're with, but don't forget to save some time to love yourself: take a walk, take a bubble bath, take a nap, spend some time reflecting on all the things you're grateful for. Care for yourself as you would a dear friend. During this busy holiday season, we often get so caught up trying to get everything done (shopping, baking, parties, etc), that we often neglect ourselves. 
I love the quote from Dale Evans which opens this post...Christmas is all about love! But as she reminds us, love is a's something we do, it's an action. 
So take care of yourself this holiday season so you are able to truly love the people in your life.

Smile at the people you pass in the street, thank your UPS driver or mailman, wish the cashier at Trader Joe's a happy holiday when you're rushing in to pick up that last minute ingredient. Give out as many hugs as you can and tell the people in your life how much they mean to you...why not? It's Christmas!

Make this Christmas all about spreading love!



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Make the change...

"The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings...

As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become."
Siddhārtha Gautama

Our minds are incredibly powerful devices. We are capable of improving our lives simply by changing the way we think. Have you ever noticed how attractive positive people are? By that I am not referring to a person's physical attributes; rather I mean how others are drawn to them simply because of their outlook on life. There's an old adage which states, "Like attracts like." Positive people are a joy to be around and people who have a negative outlook seem to attract more negativity.
I used to be a cynical, negative person; now I try to look for the silver lining in every situation. I firmly believe that we are surrounded by beauty, and that miracles are within reach, if we are able to shift our perspective so that we can see them.
Like anything else, changing your perspective requires learning and practicing new behaviors and, perhaps more importantly, unlearning the way that we used to view the world.

We are pulled in so many different directions in today's world; we have commitments and are often over-scheduled. For many of us, the first item to get edited from our mental 'to-do' list is some form of self-care: healthy eating habits, exercise, spiritual practice, etc.
Sometimes it seems easier to skip the workout, grab a quick bite on the run, or hit the 'snooze' button for a few extra minutes of sleep. It's easy to fall into that habit...but certainly not in your best interest.
Just as it's possible to learn new ways of viewing the world, you can also establish new habits in other areas of your life. It starts with a desire to make a change... and it requires action and conviction to make the shift.

One website that I have found to be helpful is
Just register on the site and pick the area you'd like to'll receive a reminder email for the next 21 days. "Habitforge" keeps a tally of the days that you successfully complete the desired change. This has worked well for me because it keeps me accountable.

In the last few posts, I mentioned incorporating more yoga into my exercise routine and eating better. I am happy to report that I made it to yoga 5 out of 7 days that week and ate reasonably well. This week has been more challenging because the holiday festivities are in full swing. However, I am happy with my efforts and know that I can continue to reinforce these new habits.

Just remember, when you feel always have a choice!
If you don't like where you are, choose again!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Astound yourself!

"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."

Snow was in the forecast this weekend, and sure enough, we got hit in the middle of the night. This is the first official snowfall of the season and several inches of accumulation are predicted.
PERFECT excuse to stay in the warmth and coziness of my home and skip my yoga commitment, right?

I even surprised myself when I started getting dressed (in layers) to take another new class at the new studio this morning. And am I ever glad I did!
The class is called yoga sculpt: imagine a one hour vinyasa class in a heated room...with hand weights.
I ran into a friend in the locker room...nice surprise...and she raved about the class..she was absolutely right.!
I feel FABULOUS and ready to take on the world. Times like this make me wonder why I have such a hard time motivating myself to work out...

Here's what I think...

Just like any other habit, good or bad, falling off the exercise "wagon" was a gradual process. I have to remind myself that it's going to take time to form a new habit of working out and taking better care of my physical health. It will be helpful if I can also remind myself to be gentle with myself as I go through the process, celebrating my victories and showing up to try again when I slip up.

I am essentially in the process of clearing out the 'clutter' that is keeping me from reaching my goals: excuses, laziness, lack of motivation. All these things have kept me stuck and unable to move forward. I have reached a point where I am ready to make a change, and I am asking for help and support in reaching my goals. I am holding myself accountable by sharing the process with you all here in this blog.

"Clutter" can keep us stuck in many areas of our lives...not just in the physical realm, but also emotionally. Oftentimes, physical clutter is symbolic of inner turmoil or confusion or fear; holding on to items that no longer serve a positive purpose in our lives can simply be fear of letting go of the past in order to move into the unknown future. But the unknown, unsettling as it may be, is full of opportunities as well...and you'll never know what surprises are in store for you if you keep yourself tethered to the past.

So...what are you holding on to? What's keeping you stuck? What secret dream have you been holding on to? Isn't it about time to try it out?

Come on...take a chance...

astound yourself!