Archive | Inspirational RSS feed for this section

A New Mindset for Changing Habits

Our health, happiness and our success is a direct result of our habits.    We are not taking about the harmless or inconsequential habits but a pattern of behavior that repeats over and over again and keeps us stuck.   It is an established pattern of being, of feeling, of living, or relating and is deeply wired  in our psyche and  has deep neurological grooves that are difficult to overcome with affirmations, will power and discipline alone.

There is no doubt how hard it is to change these patterns of behavior!   Much harder, though, is to live a life that does  not look like anything we had wanted because of our habits.

Habits are learned, we are not born with them.  And when something is learned, it can be unlearned.  Denial, resistant and rationalization is a natural part of the process as long as we are not stuck in it forever.   We have countless examples and inspiring stories of people making radical changes in their lives.  They change the way they view themselves, they change the direction of their lives, go back to school to finish their education,  they leave that job that was sucking the life out of them, they leave that toxic relationship, kick the worst of addictions and much more.   We all have that fire inside of us waiting to be lit.  Once we discover that fire, it is no longer possible to live any other way.

Changes that stick are the ones that are made from deep within.  Habit patterns are a symptom of  our deeply held beliefs about ourselves, about life, about relationships, about health, about money and other things that affect the quality of our life.  We know that in order to eradicate the symptoms completely, we must treat the root cause of those symptoms.   Until we dive deep and change our beliefs, any change we make on the surface level will only be temporary.   Our beliefs are a result of our past experiences, conditioning and old structures( that we once had to establish  because they served a purpose then). Once they served their purpose and no longer represent us now,  they are no longer needed.  However, they become part of our conditioning and will continue to control our behavior unless we evaluate them from time to time and discard them once they have served their purpose and are no longer needed.

in that sense, habits by themselves are not good or bad, they merely feed the belief patterns that we are holding in the subconscious. The subconscious does not judge the habits, it simply does what it needs to do to maintain the status quo – the belief.   A habit is a good habit if it is taking us in the direction we want, if it isn’t then it simply is a distraction away from our goals.    It is up to us to decide our direction and evaluate whether a habit/choice/action  is taking us in that direction.

Before doing the deep inner work that is necessary to make long lasting changes,  it is  important to establish a mental frame  of mind that can serve as a foundation to make these changes.

  1. Changing habits are about Self Discovery not about Self improvement

Number one thing to realize is that changing habits is not about self-improvement, rather it is about self discovery.   It is a much kinder and encouraging way of thinking and it actually IS the truth.    It feels exhausting to think that we continuously have to improve regardless of where we are in our journey.  It can feel like chasing our tails at times.    The question to ask  is, “Is this habit a true representation of me?”   Anything that is not a true representation of who we are will naturally fall off as we move more and more towards who we truly are.

  1. Replace an Old Habit with a New One

Replacing an old habit with a new one works much better for our psyche than getting rid of the habit. .   Taking away something creates a vacuum and the subconscious will fill it with something else  unless we consciously fill it with what we want.   One of the most common example of that is weight gain after someone quits smoking.   As life changes, what we need also changes.  Therefore, it is good to review our habits from time to time to see which ones are no longer in alignment with our growth and our goals and replace them with the ones that are.

  1. Refrain from Negative Self -Judgment

Habits are not a moral compass to judge ourselves or others by,  i.e., bad habits don’t mean that you are a bad person.  It just means that we have been there, done that and it no longer holds our interest.      Ultimately, we are not our habits.  An over identification with our habits is a mental trap that keeps us stuck in the same pattern.   The negative self judgment makes us feel the familiar bad inner feeling that acts as a magnet for the same old habit that we are trying to change.  So, putting a positive spin on this even on temporary basis and believing that we CAN change the habits works to our advantage and becomes a catalyst in doing the deeper work to make the changes stick.

  1. Remember Your Why

When we are in the middle of the challenges, naturally we want to give up and do what we have always done.  Our comfort lies in the familiarity  not what is best for us;  comfort, however, does not bring growth.  It is in the middle of the challenge, that we must remind ourselves as to why we wanted to make the changes in the first place.

  1. Remember Your Potential

Our potential is always greater than what we have accomplished today.  Just because we can’t do something today does not mean we can’t do it tomorrow.   Self – identification is important for us to find our purpose in life but the negative Self – identification can be detrimental.   ” I am just a lazy person”, “exercise is not my thing”, ” I have anxiety or any other disorder”, are sure ways to remain stuck.  We only know what we know.  We never really know our potential until we put ourselves in the challenging or unfamiliar situations and realize we can do far more than we thought.  Then we begin to see ourselves differently and more than what we once thought of ourselves.  Attaching negative labels and adjectives to ourselves only undermine our potential as human beings and becomes a major mental block in uncovering that potential and really serves no purpose.  We are all a certain way until we are not!  We can break free of these mental limitations and labels that we impose on ourselves.    Since Self- identification is important, find the one that is going to uplift you, make you more of who you truly are and take you in the direction of your goals.

The whole of life is a learning process.  Just because you don’t know something today does not mean you won’t tomorrow.  Actually, you can and you will!

Comments { 0 }

Welcome the New Year by Letting Go!

The whole of human life is a process of letting go.  As children, we let go of old friends to make room for new ones,  let go of our parent’s homes to make our own mark in the world.  We let go of old for the sake of the new, we let go of our needs for the sake of the family’s, let go of our children so they too can make their mark in the world.  As the letting go in our youth seemingly leads to expansion of our outer world (creating a family, home and all the material comforts of the world), the letting go in our later years leads to expansion of our inner world, if we let it.  We go full circle and end up where we started.  We may go back to what used to inspire us, invest in our growth, rediscover ourselves, or redefine our purpose. All of this prepares us for the ultimate letting go, letting go of our body and returning to the Source.

There is a flow to life; to resist that flow is to cause suffering but to dive in the flow is to gain momentum in finding our truth. A letting go that makes us more of who we are;  one that brings ease and lightens the load is a good letting go.

Here are the 5 key points to ease the process:

  1. Shift Your Perspective

Letting go is painful when our focus is on what we are giving up. However, when we shift the focus on what we are getting or where we are headed can give us that much needed relief.  It is better to focus on where we are going instead of where we have been.  We can choose how we see the process.  If we keep our eyes focused on the rose that has just bloomed instead of the bud that it was before, we enjoy the flower. The truth of the rose lies in its bloom and the fragrance it shares.  In the same way, our essence/truth is in our deeper Self, our inner Self.  Every experience that takes us closer to our true Self is a good experience.  Life is an evergreen rose bush, new roses continue to bloom.

  1. Be In The Moment

We are usually frightened after or in anticipation of what will happen but very rarely in the moment. As we master staying in the moment, we are continuously letting go of the moment past and are not anticipating the next. So we can begin to let all our life become one big letting go experience.

  1. Be Quick and Adaptable

By not reacting, we can turn any situation around and create an exhilarating victory for ourselves.   This all comes from developing and culturing our nervous system through self care, self investment and meditation practices.

  1. Be Vulnerable

This is our ultimate strength and defense as it brings lightness, freedom, flow and happiness. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.  Let go of clutter, grudges, limiting beliefs ,  and notice how you feel.  Become empty of all that is weighing you down and get full again with what you consciously choose.  Realize that you do not have to do it all and figure it all out! Why would you impose on your soul to figure out the why of others?  Think of letting go as the ultimate act of self-love.  You are only responsible for your actions. Do what you know to do.  Create boundaries, cut the emotional cords, and invest time in unlocking the treasure that lies within you.  That is when the answers will come.

  1. Recognize the Process

Realize that resistance is not the final picture, It means you are not there YET, yet being the operative word and the process is underway.   The resistance does not have to mean anything other than that it is natural, it is movement, and it is superficial and transient.

The human purpose is evolution as it paves the road to our next life. Letting go is not giving up, it is becoming more of who we are.  It is not emptying, it is approaching our true Self which is fulfilling.

What we let go becomes part of ourselves, strengthening and carving us into our true Self, much like the leaves; when fallen become part of the tree strengthening its roots and sustaining if for years to come. It is a beautiful process that continuously fills the gaps and comes back to us multifold.

Comments { 0 }

5 Essential Tools for Transforming your Health in 2015

Happy New Year!  How wonderful to have another opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start all over. There is a certain excitement, a readiness in the air that is inspiring and uplifting. We are reminded again of our dreams and desires and our fire is lit. 

State of our health affects every aspect of our lives, so naturally it is at the top of everyone’s resolution. While there are many ways that we all may have found to work for us, I have summed up the 5 essential tools that have helped many clients over the past year.    

Just Begin

The most important and perhaps the most challenging step is to begin or to simply show up.  Too often, we get derailed by focusing on the outcome instead of our actions.  We want to know what we will get before we even begin.  Many times, the outcome is not predictable and is different for everyone

Make this an action oriented year as our actions is the only thing that is in our hands.  When we do not know what is possible, how can we know what we want?  Focusing on the outcome before even beginning is the mind’s way to rationalize away our actions and keep us away from our goals.  For anything to work,  we have to allow it to work.  It is not about perfection, it is about progress.  To begin is to make progress. Continue to begin again and again.   

Don’t wait to be ready to begin.  No one is truly ready for anything.  Time is fleeting, it does not wait for us to be ready.  It comes and goes.  There is no right time, there is only NOW.

Persevere

We give up too soon and/or begin to dabble into other easier options or quick fixes only to be further away from your goals.  There is no easy route, it only becomes easy once we trust in what we are doing.  Success lies just at the other side of failure.  Joy is the other side of misery.  It is just that we do not stay the path long enough to break through.  We give up too soon. The underlying reason is fear:  fear of healing/not healing.    It takes 40 days to change a habit or to implement a new one.   We have to give ourselves permission to go through the pressure and adversity so we can come out on the other side stronger, healthier and happier.

Dig deep and stick with it. The beauty of everything lies in its depth.  Change comes from what we do day in and day out, not just what we do once in a while.  It is about being consistent and staying the course.  

 Cultivate Awareness

Ultimately, it is our awareness that gives us insight into what is going on with us so we know what needs changing.  The quickest and most effective way to cultivate awareness that I know of is to have a meditation practice.  Wanting to be more aware does not make us more aware.  Awareness is a state of existence ; to truly understand it is to experience it and the way to experience it is through a consistent meditation practice. 

To be healthy is to be aware of the needs of our body, mind and spirit.  Too much of our lifestyle that contributes to ill health is driven by sub-conscious patterning.   Through the meditation practice, we can make conscious what is sub-conscious and therefore make the necessary changes.  

Make Peace

Too often, too many of us are fighting a battle with disease.  While not giving up, staying positive and strong are much needed attributes to deal with an illness, with some parts of us, we have to do it with a sense of peace. Ironically, this gives us more answers, opens more doors and solutions because the energy we invest in fighting is now free to do what is best for us.  Every obstacle is a teacher, a gift.   What is it asking of you?  Give up the struggle, the fight and look at the bigger picture.  Everything does not need to be “fixed” or fought with, it needs to be first deeply understood.  The mindset of fighting back creates physiological changes that drive the fight or flight response, which continues to maintain the same inner environment that hosted the disease in the first place.

Seek Expert Guidance

We are not meant to do it alone and we are not meant to know everything.  We live in the times where there is information overload.  It is important to understand that the information is too general, out of context and fragmented. To try to implement a few things here and there leaves you scattered, anxious and without real results.  Get the advice, help and guidance from an expert who knows you so they can guide you step-by-step throughout the journey to health and help you to stay the course.     

Here is to your best health in 2015!

Comments { 0 }

For the Love of Life

I like to believe that we all have been touched by love at some point in our lives, because it is as basic a need as having air to breathe. Obviously, I am talking about more than the romantic love, which is fixated or directed at one particular person.  If we have ever loved deeply, then chances are we have also been wounded deeply.  On the contrary, if we expand our definition and therefore circle of love and do not confuse love with ownership, then love can only be healing and expanding.

I am talking about the love that is all encompassing.  When we operate out of love, we let go and forgive even our “enemies” because with our hearts so open, we can identify with the humanness in them.   It flows out of us effortlessly in everything we do, how we live, relationships we build and everything we create.  Love is the vital force, a positive energy that sustains the universe.  All else is just an illusion.  Without love, all creation may shrink to nothing.  In being love and in giving love is the only way to get love.

I truly believe that inherently we are love and gravitate towards love and light.  Love is a much more powerful force than fear. Unfortunately, many of us put on the masks and layers of fear and mistrust and bury our true essence so deeply that we forget.  We become so disconnected with ourselves and consequently can never get past the more obvious ways we vandalize our opportunities for happiness and damage the people in our lives.

Love expands us and fear shrinks us into nothingness.  Love is rooted in a state of ‘knowing’, whereas fear is based entirely upon ‘beliefs’, most of which are false.  When we operate out of love, we know and feel deeply that everything in the universe is interconnected and that we are part of all creation. When we separate ourselves from “them” we are operating out of fear not love.   When we love, we see everything as whole and not fragmented, we feel safety in the universe regardless of how threatening our outside situations or events may be.  To open ourselves fully means that regardless of how often we have been hurt, our love of life is much bigger and stronger than the fear of getting hurt by it. We are willing to take a chance.

Stress is a by-product of fear.  The signs are pretty obvious; we are all intuitive enough to feel our energy constricting. Tightness, pressure in the chest, clenched teeth, confusion, obsession, magnetizing negative energy are just some examples of fear and stress. Our energy spirals downward, and the fear itself grows like a monster and takes over our lives.  We close down to possible solutions because we only see what we lack or what we fear. Fear breeds self-doubt and lack of confidence.  Coming from a place of fear brings on more fear and eventually emotional paralysis.

The key is to be aware of our thought patterns and the resulting emotions and physical sensations.  We can work towards changing our thought patterns and actions and releasing the negative energy not only from our mind but also through our body.

Working with our breath is a quick and effective way to release negative energy of any type.  It also stops any negative energy entering our body and mind.  We can breathe in love and breathe out fear. Fear of what in particular?  Breathe it out gently. Continuing to breathe with this intention will eventually bring a sense of neutrality and lead to an absence of fear or stress. Every time we notice the symptoms of fear, we can pay attention to our breath repeatedly, persistently and lovingly.

Am I operating out of fear or love?  This is a question we can ask ourselves with every thing we do.  We can become a vehicle of change.  We may be the only encounter of love that someone may experience.  How do we want to touch others, with love or fear?

 

 

Comments { 0 }

Simple Steps to Health & Happiness in 2014.

Happy New Year!  How wonderful to have another opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start all over.  There is a certain excitement, a readiness amongst people that is inspiring and uplifting.  We are reminded again of our dreams and desires and our fire is lit.  Regardless of what we name our resolutions, they all come from a desire to be more healthy and happy.

As we move into the year, our energy wanes and we forget what we wanted. This happens for many reasons. One of the reasons is that the gap between where we want to be and where we currently are is too big, too ambiguous and without any template for making a change, we repeatedly land in the vicious cycle of getting off and on the track.  Naturally, we fall back on what’s familiar and therefore “comfortable”.   Secondly, we have no internal reference or experience of what it would feel like to be more healthy and happy. Our current state becomes the norm and we have nothing to compare it with.

To experience health and happiness in the full spectrum of our lives, the changes must be internally driven and not externally imposed.  Consider this to get started on some simple steps:

  1.  Every obstacle is a gift.  Can you recall a time when what you thought was a biggest hurdle ended up being a blessing in your life?
  2. Make peace with the past.  The past is where you’ve been, what you’ve enjoyed, what you’ve endured. Are you stronger, happier, and wiser or are you weaker, bitter, and angry?  What are you going to choose? The choice is up to you.  Hold on to the learning, let go of the story.
  3. Pay attention!  Where do you feel stuck?  What is the feeling? Where do you feel it? Simply breathe into those areas. Liven up the body and let the energy move. Sit with it for 60 seconds before you react.
  4. Move your body.  Walk, run, dance, do yoga or anything that is physical. Start an activity that you like and do it 3-4 times per weak.  Movement changes our body, changes the internal environment, changes perspective and opens us up for possibilities.
  5. Keep it simple.  Whether it is nutrition, lifestyle changes, career goals, family goals, make a simple change one step at a time.  If it feels too much or too big, break it down into small little steps. Do one thing per week and repeat if needed and keep going.
  6. Do not get stuck in the little stuff, remember the bigger picture.  Everything happens to take you to the new level of growth, expansion and evolution.  Do not come in the way of it.  You do not need to understand everything now.
  7. Learn how to access and claim your personal power.  One of the very powerful tools is meditation.  It will serve you well to learn it.
  8. You do not need to do it alone.  Seek expert guidance.  Join in with a friend or family member who will encourage and support you. There is a lot of power in having the right people align with you.
  9. When the time pressure is on, begin and the pressure will be off.
  10. And keep it light!  Nothing is a big deal!  We are all trying to figure out how to live.  We are in this together.  Have some fun and enjoy the ride.

This is your year!  Name it and Claim it!

 

Comments { 0 }

Power of Transformation

Life provides an opportunity for endless transformations.  As long as we are in the body, we are not immune to anger, pain and disappointment. The problem isn’t with the emotions; it is in the inability to transform them.

Teachers and lessons are everywhere all the time, if we choose to learn.

Where there is pain – there is a need for self-love and to reconnect to Divine love.

Where there is betrayal – there is a deeper need and commitment to our purpose in the world.

Where there is anger – there is a need for compassion and understanding and to cultivate more wisdom and intelligence.

Where there is ignorance – there is a need for better education, a need to speak up and to lead.

When there is self-absorbance and selfishness – there is a need for selfless acts of kindness.

Emotions (energy in motion) seek to flow and to be expressed.   They arise for self-examination and self-purification; they are not meant to burn others.

Guilt, shame, blame are constructs of the mind to make us feel we “fit in” so we can be  spared the criticisms and judgments.  Choose them if you are looking to fit in – otherwise look deeper!

The fire element in the third chakra helps us transform our emotions if that is what we choose.  It is the same fire in our physical body that transforms food into energy.  Too much fire can burn and too little may not provide enough momentum for the shift.  The “just right” amount can transform our emotions into devotion, intelligence and wisdom.   It has the power to transform our anger into passion, our fear into love and our anxiety into creativity.

This is the power of transformation! This is the power of Ayurvedic Medicine!

 

Comments { 0 }

Welcome

To remain stuck in the same old story and emotions is to remain stuck at the level of the symptoms and disease.   This drains our energy, results in fear and frustration and impacts all aspects of our life in a very negative way.  At this point, it is important to realize that we need to make a choice to change. Are you at that point in your life?  If so, I want you to ask yourself these questions:  What have these issues costed me in the past, continue to cost me now and will increasingly cost me in the future if I do not address them?  What are my needs?   What are my challenges? What results do I want?

Now imagine for a moment that you have no major unresolved physical/mental or emotional issues, have a wonderful support system of family and friends, there is harmony and balance in your life and you are able to handle stress easily.  What does that feel like?  Do you feel an expansion in your heart?  Do you feel you can breathe easy?  Have more energy?  Close your eyes and stay with this good feeling and now look at your current situation. Do you feel a shift in your perspective?  Do you feel that perhaps you can think clearly and may be feel encouraged or inspired to make a positive change in your life?

When we elevate ourselves to a higher state, we increase our vibrations.  Our high vibrations act as a magnet and attract the same in our lives.  We gain a new perspective; we can see the broader view, the bigger picture.  We gain more clarity and are able to look at our emotions, dramas exactly as they are and do not identify so strongly with them.  This frees up a lot of our energy to develop our gifts and talents and become an asset to ourselves and to those around us.  We find purpose and meaning in our lives.  We are free to do what we are here to do.  Our life force is no longer being choked; rather it freely pulsates through our entire being. Coincidentally, many of the symptoms begin to disappear, we take charge of our own health, and more importantly, we move beyond the emotions and commotions, and physical ailments. We realize that we are much more than our limited diagnosis and symptoms.  It is this shift in perspective that ultimately heals.

This is what the teachings and practices of Yoga and Ayurveda bring into your life.  These complementary sciences understand that we have an innate desire for happiness, fulfillment and expansion and provide a map on how to achieve it. The teachings contain the intelligence and sophistication on how to transform our anxiety into creativity, our depression into devotion, our anger into radiance.  It guides us on how to find our inner light that can illuminate our path.

It is important to note that the teachings of Yoga are not meant to be separate from teachings of Ayurveda.  Where practice of yoga provides a lab for you to experience the teachings through asana, Ayurveda guides you on how to optimize your health through diet, lifestyle changes, herbal support and much more.  The ultimate goal of all Yoga and Ayurveda is for you to experience a heightened state of vitality, consciousness and liberation from suffering. Yoga may teach you on how to have an optimal alignment of the body, steadiness in the mind when you are on the mat, Ayurveda will ensure and support that you maintain the same balance and alignment when you are not on the mat. In the trials and tribulations of life, we become accustomed to a mediocre way of being.  We take lack of energy, mental anguish and life of struggle as the norm.  We get so wrapped up in this way of thinking that we no longer see what is possible. I urge you to get out of that rut and believe that you can take a flight to a life of joy, harmony and freedom from suffering.

Comments { 0 }