What does it take to make lasting changes to your habits?

Making changes is not simply about will power or discipline. But instead a shift in your beliefs about who you think you are. 

As author and “habit-change guru” James Clear says:

“Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your current identity. What you do now is a reflection of the type of person that you believe that you are (either consciously or subconsciously). To change your behavior for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself.”

For some of us, the idea of changing our beliefs or identity can feel anywhere from a little edgy to totally terrifying. To some extent, this is normal. We have a function in the mind (the ego) whose job is to try and keep us the same—even if we are miserable. For the ego, old and familiar is better than change. 

That’s why it’s so important, as a first step to creating real changes in your life, to learn how to work with the ego. Otherwise, we allow ourselves, and our lives, to be led by the smallness of the ego. We get stuck in its stories and beliefs and forget that we are SO much more than the ego. 

As part of getting unstuck from these stories, we want to dream, and dream big. As James Clear indicates, “you need to start believing new things about yourself.”

So I want to invite you to dream up: What new things do you want to believe about yourself?

I’m giving you full permission to fantasize here. Any holding back you do in your dreams, means the ego is still involved. Free write about this and see what you come up with.

For pragmatists, this may be a difficult exercise that seems futile. ‘Why dream about something you can’t be?’

But I would argue that only when you allow yourself to dream, could you begin to see the possibilities of how to make it a reality.

What are you dreaming for yourself? What behaviors do you want to change? And what do you need to start believing about yourself to become more of who you are?

If you’re having a hard time connecting to your dreams–it’s not uncommon. We often get ver disconnected from our deeper desires, especially if we are caretakers of any sort. If you’d like to have a complimentary session with me to discover your desires, let’s chat.

Want to Know What Your Future Holds?

I read a great article by Benjamin Hardy the other day. The gist of it: Whatever you’re saying yes to today, determines your future self.

In other words, are you saying yes to binge-watching Netflix until late tonight? Or are you saying yes to getting to bed early so you can rest well and attune to your body’s natural healing rhythms? This choice impacts your future self. 

Are you saying yes to eating processed foods that ultimately make you feel like crap, or whole foods that make you feel grounded and nourished? This choice affects your future self. 

Are you orienting your mind and activities towards stress and worry, or taking steps to cultivate more calm and ease in your life? You get the idea.

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So when we continue to say yes to habits and activities that don’t serve us, we know the consequences show up in our future. 

However, if we take the steps to create new and healthier habits, which includes making sure we get the support we need to make those changes, we know there’s a different future in store for us. A future that involves improvements in how we feel on all levels–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A future in which we experience more personal growth and development. And a future which gives us the health and energy to experience more of the life we want to live. 

What are you saying yes to today? What do you want to be saying yes to?

The Key to Starting Any New Habit

I’ve been speaking with a number of my workshop attendees–can you guess what I hear about the most in these conversations?

1. I know the habits I have are not great.

AND

2. I want to change those habits, be healthier but I don’t know where to begin

OR

3. I’ve tried making some changes, and it works for a while but then I get thrown off track and struggle to get back to those bad habits.

Change is rarely easy. We’re often working against some deeply rooted patterns. But it’s not impossible to change those patterns.

Today I’m sharing my top tip for getting started on creating a new habit:

GET CLEAR ON WHY YOU’RE DOING IT. 
The first step I take with any client is clarifying why they want to make changes. Understanding what’s sparking this desire to change will keep you anchored to your motivation. It will help you get through the tough times on your journey and remind you why you started in the first place.

And we gotta go deep here. No one wants to lose weight simply because they want to fit in their pants. So it’s important to keep asking yourself “why” in order to get to your deeper desire. For instance, ask yourself: Why do I want to fit in my pants? Why is that important?

And whatever your response is to that question, ask again–well why is that important? I recommend asking yourself “why is that important” about 9 times.

There is always a much deeper reason underlying your desire to change that you may not have admitted to yourself before. Find out what it is. 

TIPS: As you ask yourself why, get out of your head. You’ll never find the answers there anyway. See if your responses can come from the heart or the belly. Allow the deeper desire to emerge from your whole self. Try not to edit what comes up. You may want to “free write” or talk into a recorder without worrying about anyone (especially you!) judging what comes out. 

Once you’ve got your BIG why answer, write it down. 

How powerful can this be? As an example, that client who thought she wanted to lose weight to fit in her pants? She made another discovery. What she really wanted, was to lose weight because she wanted to have more energy to spend time/play with her kids, and to show them that they can do things they set their minds to.

A little more powerful than pants right? And by the way, she’s lost almost 30 pounds.

Address Your Stress with These Two Tips

For those of us in California, our stay at home order, unsurprisingly, was extended another month. Eesh.

Regardless of where you live, the restrictions and changes we’ve experienced over the past month have been a LOT to process emotionally. To various extents, we’re all experiencing more stress in our lives. And it’s important that we address this added stress and counter it with healthy activities.

And yet, sometimes when we’re feeling stressed, it’s hard to think of anything but the stress.

We forget that we already know so many ways to help ourselves.

So here’s a couple of recommendations I’ve made to my clients, and advice I am following myself!

1. Keep a list. Take a moment and write a list of healthy activities that help you reduce or manage your stress levels. Write everything down you can think of that makes you feel better without compromising your health (in other words, keep activities and substances off this list that aren’t boosting your health or immune system).  

Keep this list handy, and when you have time or urgently need to de-stress, take it out, pick one activity on the list and do it.

TIP: Try not to get into your head too much about which one to do. Pick the one that caught your eye first. Or you might even decide before feeling stressed which activity you’ll do when you are feeling stressed. Either way, avoid paralysis by over-analysis!

2. Make de-stressing a daily habit. Commit to doing one or more of these stress-reducing activities every single day. Rather than doing these ONLY when you’re super stressed out, designate a particular time of day to de-stress daily. Not only will this help you create a good habit, but it will also help you build resilience to stress.  

TIP: Try doing your daily stress-reducing activity with a partner. This helps you both be accountable to each other.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #5

REASON #5: Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom stands the test of time.

Has Ayurveda caught your eye yet? It has certainly been getting a lot of attention from modern science. And Ayurveda-lovers like me are thrilled to see that researchers are now recognizing how the principles and practices of this ancient tradition are incredibly relevant and healing to the imbalances and diseases of modern living.

For example, just last year the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to three doctors for their studies on the effects of the circadian clock on our health and wellness. But Ayurveda has known this for thousands of years!

Dinacharya, or daily rituals, have been an essential part of Ayurveda’s prescription for health on all levels. These rituals emphasize the significance of aligning our activities, such as eating, sleeping, meditating and exercising, with what is referred to as the dosha clock in Ayurveda. This clock demonstrates that different times of the day are governed by the different doshas or bio-energies. And a fundamental teaching of Ayurveda is that if we align our activities with these energies, we support our bodies’ ability to heal and thrive. This is effectively the same conclusion these Nobel Prize-winning doctors found regarding the influence of the circadian clock on the body.

Modern research has also found several other Ayurvedic practices to be of great benefit to modern ailments, including the use of turmeric and other plants and foods for healing, abhyanga or self-oiling, and neti pots and nasya oil to increase immunity, not to mention the well-known benefits of yoga and meditation, which are part and parcel to the Ayurvedic lifestyle.

And it seems every month I’m hearing about another study that validates what the Ayurvedic sages learned centuries ago. Follow me on my Facebook page for postings on these subjects including links to articles and podcasts.


Ready to learn how these ancient practices can heal your modern woes?

Sign up TODAY!! Early  Bird Pricing Ends This Week!

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 24th, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #4

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REASON #4: Ayurveda reminds us of our deep connection to our eco-system and community.

When Ayurveda was developed over 5,000 years ago in India, the concepts of “going green,” being “eco-friendly” or “socially conscious” were unknown. The Ayurvedic sages lived in attunement with nature and thus were already all of these things.

In our consumerist culture, however, we are out of sync with the natural world, and thus out of sync with our own true nature.This has led to disease in our bodies, minds, spirits and environment. Just take a look at the increasing numbers of auto-immune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive disorders, to name a few.

Is there a correlation between these rising numbers of disease and disorders and the declining health of our planet?

Some would say yes, and I would agree with them. What I’ve learned and experienced from Ayurveda, is that when we align with the principles and rhythms of nature, we learn how to take care of ourselves, take care of each other and the planet. We begin to understand that our relationships to each other and to earth are interdependent and must be nurtured so that we can all enjoy good health.

Because Ayurveda is based in nature, its practices inherently honor and revere the eco-system that keeps us alive. And its principles recognize and appreciate the fundamental abundance and interconnectedness in all life.

By adopting Ayurveda’s natural practices and principles into our daily lives, we find a more balanced way of living in our bodies, with each other and on this beautiful planet. And I believe if we, both humans and the planet, are to thrive for many more centuries, this ancient tradition, must be the wave of the future.


Ready to learn how you can change your health and the planet’s? Join me for my upcoming workshop on Ayurveda.

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 24th, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #3

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REASON #3: Ayurveda teaches the power of self-healing.

When we get sick, most of us are trained to seek answers or healing from somewhere outside of ourselves – usually from doctors who hardly know anything about us! Or some of us look to the internet for solutions to our symptoms.

Ayurveda asks us to instead develop a deeper connection and level of communication with our own bodies, so that we can listen to its messages and learn what it needs.

As I mentioned last week, Ayurveda tells us that we experience symptoms because of an imbalance in our constitution, which is composed of the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. And the key to restoring health is to correct that imbalance.

Ayurveda teaches us the qualities of the doshas so that we can become familiar with the characteristics of our unique constitution. Such knowledge enables us to recognize 1) when we go out of balance, and 2) how to take action to bring ourselves back into balance.

In other words, Ayurveda provides the language in which our bodies are speaking to us. It helps us understand our bodies’ messages so that we can understand how to restore that balance.

That is not to say you should abandon your ties to Western medicine. Instead, it’s an invitation to notice where that model has gaps in its approach to healing, and to open yourself to the possibility that you have much more self-healing power than you have been led to believe.

Stay tuned for next week when I share REASON #4 for loving Ayurveda.


Want to learn how you can bring Ayurvedic self-healing practices into your life? Join me in my upcoming workshop: 

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 24th, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #2

Ayu-2REASON #2: Ayurveda’s holistic approach heals ALL of you: body, mind and spirit. 

I wrote last week about how I turned to Ayurveda to heal from IBS. And while I healed myself from these digestive issues, I received some unexpected healing bonuses!

Since embracing the practices of Ayurveda, I have said “so long” to seasonal allergies, chronic sinus infections, and a rash (which I was told I had because I was “aging”). I no longer suffer with bouts of depression and my anxiety levels have dropped dramatically.

Why?

Ayurveda tells us that we get sick or experience symptoms because of an imbalance in our constitution. Over time, how that imbalance shows up may change. We may start noticing some digestive issues, then get tendonitis. Later we develop issues with anxiety and our skin is constantly dried out. Seemingly unrelated issues, right? Not with Ayurveda.

While a Western medicine approach might look at all these symptoms separately, and provide different treatments or prescriptions for each one,

Ayurveda would instead look at them holistically, considering all aspects of our lives to determine the root cause of imbalance.  And once that root cause is understood and addressed, we can bring healing to our whole being.

Consequently, not only did I leave behind physical symptoms, I’ve also begun to let go of outdated and unhealthy emotional and behavior patterns. And this deep healing has allowed me to gain more clarity about my life’s purpose, and given me the confidence to pursue that purpose.

Stay tuned for next week when I share REASON #3 for loving Ayurveda.


Want to learn how you can bring Ayurvedic practices into your life? Join me in my upcoming workshop: 

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 25, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.

 

 

Why I LOVE Ayurveda

If you’ve taken a class from me, you’ve probably heard me talk about this holistic healing system that is considered the sister science to yoga. But why am I so smitten? Well…lots of reasons! There is so much to love about Ayurveda. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to reveal the top 5 ayu1Reasons why Ayurveda has captured my heart for life!

REASON #1

  1. Ayurveda provides answers and healing for “incurable” symptoms.

Years ago I was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). If you know anything about it, you know it’s no fun and can be quite debilitating, even humiliating.

Western medicine has had very little success in treating IBS, and I personally did not receive any effective therapies from my doctors. It was a deeply frustrating time. I didn’t understand why this was happening and why no one could tell me how to fix it.

But I knew that there must be answers somewhere. And in my search, I found Ayurveda. Though I initially doubted such an ancient tradition (Ayurveda is over 5,000 years old!) could be relevant to modern ailments, here is where I finally started receiving answers and healing. And today, I am completely IBS-symptom free. And I feel stronger, healthier, happier and more energized now in my 40s than I ever did in my 20s or 30s.

So what answers did I get? Namely, that I had an imbalance in my constitution. In Ayurveda each of us is born with a constitution composed in varying proportions of the 3 doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. This constitution, unique to each of us, is our personal state of health, our balance. When go out of balance, especially for long periods of time, we get sick.

To come back into balance, treatment involves “calming” the aggravated or excessive doshas, mainly through changes to diet and lifestyle, as these are the main causes for imbalance. In some severe or chronic cases, taking herbs and other treatments may be recommended.

To be clear, Ayurvedic healing is not a quick fix, but a process of changing our habits, learning better ways to nourish ourselves, and aligning ourselves with nature’s rhythms so that we can address the root cause of our symptoms and heal from the inside out.

Stay tuned for next week where I share REASON #2 for loving Ayurveda.