Wise life coach Marcia Goldberg once wrote, “Intention is the thread on which the pearls of our life experience are strung”. If we go through life without intention – without consciously knowing what we want to embody – we are more likely to have haphazard experiences in life.
There’s a balance between going with the flow and setting the agenda. Intention speaks to why – the motivator – of your actions that can help you know when to let go, and when to lean in.
Finding that balance is a fun and fascinating experience, if you also hold a sense of being open to the odd ironies of life that surround us. First, however, get clear on your why – set intention.
How To Set Intention
As you vision your life unfolding over the next year, consider what you’d like to have more. Peace, abundance, fun, balance? How about taking some time to visualize what it would feel like to embody a life with more of what you vision – can you open your senses to explore how it might feel to be living your intention? What would you be doing most days? How would you be feeling physically, emotionally, in your bones?
Your intention speaks to what you are seeking in life. It speaks to the why behind your actions. When I hear, for example, someone is interested addressing metabolic (weight-related) health – things like high blood sugar or high blood pressure – I always ask why. Why do you want to be healthy? That’s when I hear – “I want to see my son graduate from college”, or “I want to see my grandkids get married” – I can feel the energy behind the intention. That’s motivation!
From there, your practices for the year are grounded in and fired by the motivation of intention. In my own life, this adds meaning to my planning and what I choose to do to each day. If I can take some time daily, reminding myself of my intention – the why, it directs my conscious and unconscious being in the direction I’m aiming.
Intention Rather than Resolutions?
New Year’s Resolutions – our declarations about doing this or that, being this or that in the New Year, are designed to fail. “Lose Weight!” “Get Healthy!” “New Job!” These are missives and there is nothing wrong with a declaration. Resolutions fail when they are not rooted in intention, and not follow-up with a plan. When it is just a declaration without the why or thought of how, well, that’s when, in March, for forget what your resolutions even are.
So, this year, try something new.
What is your intention for the New Year?
You can see that I have a free transformation workbook available to you to help you find your intention, and then to power it with some mantra and affirmations. This is the type of work that can be fun and helpful in support real change. Give it a download.
In the coming year I plan to continue to cover the connections between nutritional science, spirit, and wisdom, and to grow our community with online opportunities (personal & professional!) to learn together.
Hopefully, as the year unfolds, I will see many of you in person at some of our favorite gathering spots. Much of my year, however, will center on online offerings.
Thank you for those of you who have commented, dugg, stumbled, twittered and otherwise reached out.
My wish for you is that you enjoy health, happiness, and the light of your truest self.
Please please share your intentions for the New Year in the comments!
I’ve always be a goal-oriented gal. Every year-end I love to reflect on the year that was, integrate the lessons and vision what may be.
I’ve noticed, however, when working with people who are trying to change, that setting goals can trigger anxiety. Goals don’t always seem to support happy change, and we can get a little reductive and crazy around them – push push push. Goals also suggest an endpoint.
When it comes to lifestyle change, there isn’t an endpoint – there are ongoing choices and adjustments. There is practice. Rather than goals, how about milestones – points along the way that can let you know you are on the road you intend. Rather than push, how about flow.
Words are important – they do nothing less than create our world. So, let’s re-think the language surrounding goals – particularly if goals make you anxious.
Rather than goals, think about shift (I call them milestones). Rather than relapse, it’s life (I bow down to my teacher-friend Aruni for that one!). This language feels more real and relevant. When I use allowing and flow language in a workshop, I can see people relax and focus on what really matters – bringing their lives a bit more in alignment with who they are.
The yogis say that change is a dance of being and becoming. Of embodiment and right action. Here in the West, we focus so much on the action phase, but really not at all on the quieter embodiment side of practice. Of walking your talk, and acting as if you understood how sacred the process can be.
Today, life is moving so fast, and is so open to limitless possibilities and is so unpredictable that setting goals seems…not so relevant. I like the idea of getting clear what you are interested in bringing into your life, and the practice doing that – experimenting with the many ways you can walk your talk, and take the right next step.
Did you make goals for 2018? Have they made you a little anxious? How about giving yourself a break, and softening your goal language into shifts, milestones, and practice?
Here are a some other articles on supporting shift and intentions for this new year.
Intention in Action – New Year’s Intentions
Intentions Can Last – Here’s How
Gather Ye Guides
We are in the era of the nutritionist. There is so much confusion around food and nutrition, and so much wacky advice flying around. This while Americans are just not able to make it to the basics of healthful eating. Nutrition-related chronic diseases continue to be the primary health issues, and each of us has our own variation of health and disease.
Because we are in a time when so much that sounds like nutrition is actually marketing and bluster, and so many who call themselves experts are so far from it, confusion reigns. Enter RDNs (Registered Dietitian Nutritionists) and MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy). If you know me, you know that I am a mind-body therapist – I use things like meditation and gentle yoga practice as tools to help us cultivate the best of ourselves, and soothe us as we gather our courage and strength to sing our song, to sing our note.
What is MNT?
There is a large body of evidence that tells us how to manage a range of health and medical conditions with food and nutrition. MNT, or medical nutrition therapy, uses that evidence and through a qualified therapist, translates that evidence into healing. While there is a range of nutritionists operating today, with various levels of education and experience, and I honestly believe there is room for everyone, I am partial to those who have a 4-year science degree and access to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Knowledge Center for working with people with a medical condition. I am biased for sure, being one who sweated through all that nutritional biochemistry and worked in an ICU (intensive care unit of a hospital) writing TPN (total parenteral nutrition) orders to keep people alive until they could eat. Then I taught at Kripalu for nearly a decade, watching how mind-body used skillfully helped people with the will and knowledge transform. The combination of clinical skills and experiential practice are, in my opinion, the sweet spot when it comes to healing nutrition-related issues.
What conditions are we talking about?
There are guidelines for a range of medical conditions. Those I am well-versed in include:
- Weight gain – from adolescents to adults, and family-based, for any reason
- Eating Disorders, emotional eating and disordered eating
- Unexpected weight loss due to cancer, HIV/AIDS or other chronic condition
- Pre-diabetes and diabetes
- Cancer – prevention, management and prevention of recurrence
- Heart Disease – prevention, management
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Digestive approaches to auto-immune conditions (Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and others)
- Digestive distress due to:
- Irritable Bowel
- Crohn’s Disease
- Food Intolerance (lactose-intolerance, gluten, and others), and Allergies
I use an individualized approach. That includes an initial assessment of nutrition-related symptoms and medical history, review of nutrition-related labs and reports, and development of a custom way of eating that you enjoy and that adheres to evidence-based practice.
We then co-create a plan to get there – your way. There is no such thing as failure, no such thing as relapse in this world – but there is learning, through loving self-compassion, how to navigate your life in its fullness. It’s a dance of mindful skillful effort, and surrender (that’s yoga!).
Within that list, do you specialize?
While I can help address any of these conditions, and they all have relating threads, I particularly like to work with weight, women in midlife, and digestive issues. I have also had a personal experience with cancer, so helping people with that interests me.
How much does it cost?
Depends. I am a licensed nutritionist in the state of Massachusetts. If you have a medical condition and live in the great state of Massachusetts, or another state that does not have state licensure, it is worth it to give your insurance company a call to see if our work together can be reimbursed. For this, you will likely need a referral from your primary care doctor.
If you are not insured, in another state with licensure or your insurance doesn’t cover, then you are what clinicians call private pay. It’s likely that our work together could be included in your health spending account if you have one.
Bottom line, if you value your energy level and lifestyle, it’s worth it to have a skilled coach to help you move forward.
My rates are $150/hr, and most people I work with do an initial assessment, then a half-hour twice monthly for 2 months, then monthly for 4 months.
Tell me about telehealth
I’ve partnered with a practice-management group called Healthie. They provide an interface for us to work through, including journaling, billing and video conferencing. So, we can meet face to face in the comfort of your own home! I think telehealth is part of the future of medicine, and I am excited to be part of it.Pinterest
Ready to make the change? Let’s do it – Make an appointment now .
Questions? I’m all ears.
Welcome to 2016! May yours be the best one yet.
I admit to loving New Year’s resolutions. I just adore the divine consciousness within each and every one of us that is aspirational. We so want to get it right – do it better, move in the right direction, make a difference, life a healthy meaningful life. I say yes to that.
But as the wheel of the year turns, it’s easy to get sidetracked. Some of you have already broken those vows you made just a few short days ago. No worries! Positive change usually involves missing the mark – and in fact, close but no cigar is a really good sign – a sign that you are heading in the right direction.
The way to begin to keep the aspiration rolling is to think more in terms of intention than resolution – if you did make a promise, let’s take a deeper look at it – what were you looking to cultivate through that resolution – what is it you are heading for? For example, as you might imagine I am awash in resolutions to lose weight – it’s my job, after all. Here. In sugaropolis.
What is it you are cultivating through your resolution to lose weight – do you want to be healthier? Feel better about yourself? Often the things we are really looking for can be cultivated regardless of, in this case, the number on the scale. If you want to, for example, feel better about yourself, there are things you can do right now to do that. Aiming at what you really want is actually a wonderful strategy to make the number of the scale get in line too – more easily and happily. By getting clear on just what we really want is the first step.
Here are a couple previous posts that can help you think about setting intention.
Before you set intention, practice letting go.
Intention in action.
It’s not too late, by the way, to set intention for the year to come. May your intentions take root deep in your heart and blossom beyond your wildest dreams.
For me and many of those I serve, weight management is nothing less than a spiritual path to wholeness. Do I get sick of having to manage my weight? Absolutely. Do I wish that there would be a time when I didn’t have to think about it? Are there days when it’s the last thing I want to think (or write or teach!) about? Yep.
That’s the thing about spiritual paths. It’s not fun and games all (or even most) of the time. The ecstasy is fun and with practice comes more easily, and I know that my weight fatigue is a necessary part of the ecstasy I’ll be feeling tomorrow.
Feeling really sick of my spiritual path is an indicator. It usually means that I need to look at my path in a new light or from a different angle. It’s tempting to give up, backslide, binge and give up. But no, this is my path, and feeling sick of it is on the path.
I also start to look around for ways to be fantastic to myself while staying on (or near) my path. This is how I was taught. To be compassionate to myself, stay, and to get curious about the experience of what I am feeling. Hmmm…I wonder what that being sick of it is about – really? To stay with it and watch it rather than react.