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?

Your Only Real Safety Net in Uncertain Times

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Before COVID-19, you may have felt secure in your job. Or maybe you were certain you’d be taking a spring break or summer vacation across the country. Perhaps you were convinced there’d never be a shortage of toilet paper!

It’s always been the case that there is very little that is truly secure or certain in life, and the pandemic has spotlighted this fact for us all. Life is full of surprises. Always.

But according to Pat O’Donnell, environmentalist and former president and CEO of Patagonia (among many other accomplishments), there is one safety net we always have: OUR VALUES.

In his early years, Mr. O’Donnell left a comfortable and secure job as an engineer in San Francisco to flip burgers in Yosemite National Park because he wanted to do more rock-climbing. When asked how he made such a big decision, he responded that:

“Each choice I made was consistent with my values and my vision, at the time. That’s what I’d always come back to. Your values are your only real safety net.”

Yogic philosophy and Ayurveda suggest that values are what connects you to your Higher Self, what creates integrity and allows you to discover your dharma, or purpose in life. In fact, Ayurvedic wisdom goes so far as to say that one of the main causes of disease and suffering occurs when we don’t act in accordance with our values, our inner wisdom.

In other words, knowing your values and aligning your actions to those values brings fulfillment, joy and healthy living. 

Do you know what your values are? Do your actions and habits align with those values?

Despite the fact that we all have values, many of us go through life without clarifying or articulating what our values are.

Are you interested in learning more about clarifying your values and leanring how to live in alignment with them for a more meaningful life?

Contact me for a free Wellness Strategy Session and I can help! We’ll clarify what you value and what’s getting in the way of you acting on those values.

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.

Introducing: THRIVE HIVE

Today I’m excited to introduce to you: THE THRIVE HIVE!

What is the THRIVE HIVE?

A quick overview:

First and foremost,THRIVE HIVE is an online wellness community that is NOT connected to social media outlets. That means: no advertisers, no distractions, no drama, no spying, no tracking of what you say, do or click on while in this private community. Just a space where you can focus on bringing healthier habits into your life while getting practical tips, peer support and professional coaching. Currently, membership to this community is free! And as long as you join while it’s free, you will not have to pay for membership ever. 😍

In the THRIVE HIVE we will take tiny steps towards learning and adopting healthier habits. We will overcome obstacles, mess up, try again, get smarter, cheer people on, collaborate, and share our experiences to help each other grow. 

We will build confidence,change limiting beliefs, laugh, possibly cry, and in the process we will become healthier, happier versions of ourselves, realize more of our potential, and live more fulfilling and joyous lives.

Sound too good to be true? Do not doubt the magic that can happen in a hive! 

I’ll be revealing more details about THRIVE HIVE in the coming weeks, but it you want to get the full scoop, sign up for my email list.

Doors open September 3rd, with an official launch on September 9th.  Mark your calendars!

How Ayurveda Helps Us Manage Life Changes

There’s been a lot of change in my life this year.

A lot of time and energy spent in unknown territory. Which is not a place many humans prefer to be. It’s uncomfortable, unpredictable and it’s easy to get insecure in what we’re doing and who we are.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, life changes can often throw someone’s vata dosha out of balance. Vata is an energy that everyone has to some extent. It is composed of the elements air and ether (space), and is often referred to as the windy dosha. When someone’s vata dosha is in balance, it spawns lots of creativity and big ideas and can help one solve difficult problems.  When there’s too much, it can generate anxiety, fear, worry, confusion and we often feel scattered by its windy tendencies.

During times of upheaval and change, it’s important to keep vata in balance so that we can move into the unknown with more ease and confidence.And one of the best ways to do this is by creating and sticking to daily routines. Because when we structure our day, we create a container for this windy dosha, so it’s not scattering our energy all over the place making us feel anxious, depleted or fearful.

Something as simple as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can work wonders. Having a morning routine that includes a grounding practice like yoga or meditation is especially good for balancing vata (even if it’s just for 5 minutes!) because it sets the tone for balance for the entire day.

And while for me, it wasn’t always easy to stick to my routines, when I did, it made a world of difference in how I felt and how I handled the challenges that come with making big life changes. 

The Power of Practice

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a while! Too long I’d say. As some of you already know, my husband and I moved down to Southern California a few months ago.

It’s been a HUGE transition and a tremendous test of maintaining the healthy Ayurvedic habits I’ve learned (and teach!). Because, as I’m sure you’ve all experienced, stress and change have a way of bringing up old patterns. And I was not exempt from this.

Even after years of practicing these habits, my past patterns showed up, seducing me with familiar and comfortable ways in the face of new and challenging situations. And at times, against my better judgment, I gave in to those old ways in hopes of some relief from the stress I was feeling. 

But here’s the thing: When we practice taking better care of ourselveswe develop a solid foundation of self love and self respect. And THIS is what helps me forgive myself when I did (do) have momentary lapses of judgment. THIS is what reminds me that sometimes I fall down so that I can learn how to get back up, and that self-criticism and shaming  myself are a waste of energy because they only take me further out of integrity with the healthier, more aligned, more courageous and more fulfilled person I’ve become because of these habits.

So I want to encourage you all:

If you are working on embracing healthier habits: Keep going! Don’t worry about doing things perfectly. If you mess up, forgive yourself and take small steps to get back on track. It WILL get easier with time. And the foundation you are building will sustain you even during the most difficult of times.

OR

If you’re not yet making steps towards healthier habitsWhy wait? Start small and start today. Even the tiniest step in a positive direction is better than no steps at all. You are totally worth it and you CAN do it.