This is the most HONEST blog I’ve written to date. I’m putting my truth out on the table in an act of radical self love. Here you go...
Happy Valentines Day! To all of you who are in love and those of you who crave love, I wish you a happy day of honoring how love can show up even more in your life. In recent years I’ve begun to consider Valentine’s Day the day of practicing more Self Love. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be having a special evening with my honey tonight and I’m very grateful for that. But I’m also clear that I wouldn’t have gotten to this point of dinner and music with my husband if it wasn’t for self love.
As the Universe would have it, I'm being given yet another opportunity to practice profound self love these days. After getting married and going through what felt like a major spiritual portal of self growth and evolution a few months ago, I became ready to birth my life’s work. Truly. I’ve had a few ideas and dreams brewing in me for close to a decade now and I am finally ready to share them with the world. (Ironically, I needed to go through some major dark times and undergo a process of intense physical healing
and restructuring of my life to become ready). The birthing of my dream is coming in the form of ALIGNED
, a revolutionary 7-week transformational program that begins on April 3rd. You’ll be hearing all about it in the coming weeks :-). This is the culmination of everything I’ve been through, all that I’ve learned and integrated, as well as how I coach my clients towards living their ultimate lives. I really believe in this work and stand fully behind this process. It's how I live.WHAT'S SELF LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
I became ready to offer these teachings because I love myself enough to commit to being the person I wanted to become. That person is living the dream that has been brewing in my belly. That person is humbly and courageously offering her own teachings based on her experience of walking the path of truth and reaping it's rewards. That person knows that all she can really do is walk her own path fully and by doing so can model the option to others of doing the same for themselves. I OWE it to myself to birth this dream of ALIGNED and the other offerings I'll be sharing this year. I can’t not do it anymore and in doing so I have to practice Self Love more radically than I ever have before. The old me who used to cut corners and step over her intuition and body occasionally is not the woman leading these courses. The old me who was an amazing film and photo producer because she handled every detail, burned the midnight oil and put others first is not the woman who models embodied truth by honoring the pace of her spirit and surrendering to what she cannot control. The old me who over scheduled herself and remained in her head instead of living and loving from her body is not the woman who will balance career, partnership and family rooted in simple pleasures and generous love. The continued fruition of my dream depends on me loving myself enough to gently put down another layer of my old skin yet again and become again and again who I'm meant to be. WHO IS THE NEW YOU THAT YOU'RE BECOMING?
When I work with my clients on who they are becoming, we often give a name to the new them. This allows them to really identify and personify the charicteristics of their future self. Luckily for me, I’ll naturally be changing my name this year since I recently became married. My new name is Rony Reingold, which so wonderfully means “Pure Gold”. I’ve seized this as my opportunity to really slide into the skin of the me I am becoming. I am Rony Reingold and it's been very fun to define exactly what that means for me. It creates a new land to live in and an opportunity to step fully into my highest self.
So who are you
becoming? And if you’re not sure of that yet, who do want to be? Who is that person within you that you owe it to yourself to become? How do they live their life? How do they dress? What car do they drive? What music do they listen to or do they choose instead to sit in silence? What is their body like when they sit at the computer? What is their relationship with food like? What is their relationship with themselves , their children and their soul mate like? How do they respond to situations that trigger them or situations that fulfill them? What brings them ALIVE?THE RAW TRUTH: A DANCE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW
When my husband catches me in my old mode of being driven and over-extended, he calls me "The Producer". It's kind of a joke, but more of a gentle reminder to check myself and remember my new definition of what it means to produce and create from within. There’s no room for my old ways if I’m going to truly fulfill this dream and embody Rony Reingold and all she means to me. The new me produces and creates, in fact it brings me alive, but I do so from the center of the goddess within me; of the humble teacher and the person who fully and joyously dances down my own path of empowered self actualization for the sake of personal evolution and inspiring others.
I’ll be honest with you, there are days when I get consumed by the old anxious and controlling producer in me – she lures me into working late, getting disconnected from my body and stretching myself thin. This is my deepest self sabotaging pattern and at times it feels that the new me and the old me are engaged in quite an arm wrestle, each trying to prevail! However as I’ve experienced through evolving beyond other patterns in my transformational journey, when we practice radical Self Love, slowly but surely the new way prevails – in a peaceful and effortless, simple kind of a way. It’s beautiful. And I know that I’m already here. The new me embodies such a deep love of self that when I catch myself in an old way I simply stop and take a breath. I put my hand on my heart, I go for a walk outside, I sing or do a yoga posture to get back into my body. I ask for a hug. Within minutes or sometimes hours, I’m back to embodying Rony Reingold. It feels incredible. This is the path. This is the work. This is what it means to Embody our Truth. ARE YOU IN?
When we have a dream on the line, we can’t afford not to step up and love ourselves radically. We just can’t. So... what do you OWE to yourself? What is the dream that it’s time to get back in touch with and who do you need to be to make that dream a reality?
Ultimately, the question I'm asking you is: Are You IN? Are you willing to jump into the land of BEING the You You Are Becoming right now? Are you willing to check yourself and bring awareness to yourself when you get stuck in your old ways? Are you willing to take responsibility for those moments when you take things personally and act like a victim, when you react instead of respond, when you feel defeated but know you must continue? Are you willing to gently and simply catch it and choose the new way instead? What will open up for you if you begin to retrain yourself in this way?
I can tell you from my own experience and from the growth I see in my clients that a whole new world of peace, empowerment, connection, freedom, joy and purpose is available to you if you’re willing to start truly LOVING yourself. When you put yourself first and fuel your tanks, speak honestly, take risks in honor of being fulfilled and allow yourself to be seen I guarantee you SO much will open up for you.
You may be afraid to love yourself this radically out of fear that you’ll be deemed selfish, you’ll have to leave your job or you’ll end up alone. If this is how you feel than I invite you to check the story you are telling yourself in your head – most likely there’s a nice, sneaky Saboteur here for you. It’s natural for our saboteurs to show up when we start practicing self love because it threatens their way of being. It threatens the life of the small, shrunken, fearful, accommodating, burnt-out old way. Of course your saboteurs will put up a fit to get your attention when you're about to grow and love yourself majorly. But you’re at choice. You can get sucked into that propoganda in your head or you can simply practice having awareness in the moment and choosing yet again your new way. You can be the you you are becoming.GO FOR IT!
I cannot wait for April 3rd to come around! It will be the deepest and most profound expression of my truth thus far and I am giddy with excitement to share it all with you. I’ll be teaching you the exact step by step process that I put myself through to walk through the portal of physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. I’ll be sharing with you how I found my truth and what I had to do to reorganize my life to align with it, leading me to my soul mate, my dream career, a healing body and lovely home. It’s the same process I take my clients through and I’m blown away by the inner peace, clarity, deepening of heart, power and spirit that they are experiencing.
As you go about this Valentine’s Day, I invite you to practice more Self LOVE today than you’ve ever practiced before. Become the witness of your own experience and practice catching yourself in the old pattern and shifting into the You You Are Becoming instead. Start to notice the difference in behavior, habits, patterns and response to life in general between the old or current you and the you you are becoming. How does your future self show up in conversation? Is he/she generative and constructive or reactive and small? How would the new you handle this situation? What does the new you want for lunch?
I’m here with you, standing for you, stretching myself as you stretch yourself beyond what you’ve known thus far and into unknown lands of gloriously rich and fulfilling new territory! Your pool of Self Love awaits you. Ready to jump IN?
SEEING LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF 'THANKS'
And so again, Thanksgiving is upon us. The holiday in which we are reminded to give thanks as we celebrate time with family and the abundance of the fall harvest. Honestly though, gratitude becomes so cliche around Thanksgiving that it is almost easy to breeze right over it. We focus on having a big meal, on travel and on holiday shopping. Or, we are grateful for a day or two and then go back to normal. What would it be like to always see life through the lens of 'thanks'?
In my personal world, I have an enormous amount to be grateful for at this time. I just got married 10 days ago! Woo hoo!! It was the most thrilling, authentic and celebratory experience I've ever had and I can honestly say that I am over the moon happy. It's easy for me to look at life with grateful eyes right now. But what about those times when it's not easy? What about when life gives us lemons? What does it mean to possess an "Attitude of Gratitude" and how do we cultivate that?
THE HOBBLING BRIDE
Two weeks before my wedding I sprained my ankle. In a clumsy, frenetic moment in which I was running around scattered, I tripped and injured myself. I couldn't believe it. A sprained ankle before the wedding?! How was I going to dance or to walk down the aisle? What about the fabulous heels that I bought for the occasion? After a short lived solitary pity party in which I came to terms with the disappointment of adjusting to unexpected circumstances, I realized that a gift had been placed in my lap. Ironically, the thing I wanted most was to be well rested and grounded before my wedding weekend. The Universe delivered. Despite the pain and the frustration of hobbling around during one of the most important weeks of my life, I was given the chance to slow down. I slept a ton, caught up on my emails and actually enjoyed reading a book before my wedding. And thanks to my sprained ankle, I ended up wearing cowboy boots under my wedding dress, which is the most fun thing I've done in a while! It put me in the most festive mood! Most importantly, I truly began to see everything through a lens of gratitude. I leaned on gratitude and it came through for me, shifting my focus to the truly important things, showing me how much love exists around me whether I'm in heels or in my pajamas. I became grateful for my body that has the power to heal itself. I became grateful for my legs, my arms, my breath, my toes and for the strength and generosity of the people around me. It connected me to grace and spirit during a very special time in my life. That is the power of gratitude.
Possessing an Attitude of Gratitude means looking at the glass half full and focusing on all that is going well for you regardless of the current circumstances. It means seeing the gift in everything. During the week of my honeymoon, my extended family members in Israel experienced the frightening reality of being surrounded by political unrest - literally running into bomb shelters to protect themselves and their children. Who am I to complain? There is way too much to be grateful for. We take the basics for granted.
FOUR EASY TIPS
Cultivating gratitude is actually quite easy. It can be done within a matter of seconds, any time, any place. All it requires is having your focus on it. Like with anything in life, what we focus on becomes our reality. Here are a few of my favorite ways to open to gratitude and look at life through the eyes of 'thanks':
1. Wake Up Grateful. Before getting out of bed, mentally list 5-10 things you are grateful for. I recommend starting small and taking nothing for granted - be grateful that you have a bed, be grateful for your cozy comforter, be grateful to your body that breaths on it's own while you sleep, be grateful for the morning sun, etc.
2. Start A Gratitude Journal. At the end of each day list 10 things that you are grateful for in your life. Simply by taking note of this, actually writing it down every day, your whole life can change. Be grateful for the person who held the door open for you, be grateful for the smile from the stranger, be grateful that your pen still has ink in it, be grateful for your children's curiosity.
3. Be Grateful For What Is To Come. It is incredibly rewarding and uplifting to be grateful for all that is coming our way. Yes, having gratitude for those things that haven't happened yet! This is especially powerful when we are feeling down or sorry for ourselves with regard to a certain situation. For example, being grateful for your soul mate who is making their way towards you at this very moment can turn loneliness into excited anticipation and hope. Being grateful for the unknown possibilities and surprises of the coming year can turn year-end gloom into wonderment, spontaneity and possibility. All that is coming our way is a gift. It's easy to forget this. Think of how grateful you are for the friends you have in your life now whom you didn't yet know ten years ago. Imagine all of the wonderful people you will know and love in a few years from now!
4. See The Gift In Everything. Yes, everything. See the gift in your health crisis. See the gift in your relationship crisis. What are these things awakening you to? What blessings and opportunities are being divinely handed to you? Sometimes it is our most challenging interpersonal relationships that establish the playing field for personal growth by teaching us surrender, forgiveness, authenticity, compassion and empowerment. Aren't you a better, more grounded and loving person because of this? Haven't these dynamics helped you in other areas of your life? See the gift in your loss. Even grief can present the opportunity to relish in the precious moments that were had with another. There is always opportunity to see the blessing and to be grateful for what you've had and currently have. Magic is all around.
ONE MORE TIME
I was recently exposed to a very simple gospel song titled "One More Time". The lyrics are "One more time. One more time. He's allowed us to come together one more time". Regardless of whether you believe in God or if God is male, female, etc., the message within these lyrics is clear: be grateful that we've been given yet another opportunity to come together again at this time. It's miraculous and special and beautiful that life has worked out such that we can share in this experience together right now. Be grateful.
So I invite you to be grateful this holiday season. Be grateful for the people around you at the table. Be grateful for the food that nourishes your body and brings you together. Be grateful that you have a home and a table to sit at. Be grateful that you have money to spend while you are amongst the overwhelming holiday crowds. Be grateful that you have legs to carry you through the stores. Be grateful that you have people to give gifts to and people to receive love from. Be grateful that you can breath in the fresh holiday air one more time. Practice looking at life through the lens of "Thanks". I'll bet you'll be thankful you did.
I'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to my amazing coaching clients, group and workshop participants, my readers and Facebook followers. I am in awe of your willingness to show up and evolve yourselves daily. It is a true honor and joy to be on the path with you. Thank you to my phenomenal community of friends and colleagues who provide connection, inspiration, laughs, support and truth as I express myself and my purpose fully in this life. Thank you to my beautifully loving family and to my newly extended family who cheer me on and provide a sense of home, foundation and love. And most of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to my most special husband, who is the rest bed to my heart, the perfect companion to my soul and the most illuminated mirror of love in my life. It is a blessing to walk the path in partnership with you.
Wishing all of you and your loved ones a most joyous, illuminated and nourishing holiday season!
Happy, happy Thanksgiving!
AWAKEN TO YOUR TRUTH
On August 13th, I was interviewed by spiritual friend and radio host Jeff Daugherty of NC Kaballah radio. Hundreds of people tuned in to join the conversation and learn how simply BEING YOURSELF is one of the most potent doorways to accessing the divine.
In this juicy hour long show I share the following:
* How to identify what has meaning to you
* How to get in touch with and realize your dreams.
* Tips and small steps to easily bring spirituality into your daily life.
* How the right brain can be used to bring your dreams alive.
* The critical connection between nutrition and spirituality.
Here's what people have said about the show:"Folks, this is one lady that GETS IT. She is the one you have been looking for to help you get to the next level." - Jeff Daughterty"Amazing talk last night. It's insane how many of your messages have been completely in line with has been going on in my life. Thank you for the reminders. Look forward to reading/listening to more." - N.M.
"That was great! I listened to the whole thing and it really touched me because I have been feeling out of alignment lately. Thanks so much!" - M.P.To listen to the FREE Replay, visit here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nckabbalah/2012/08/14/nckfriends
I'd love to hear your comments and questions after you've heard the show! Feel free to share below. For more information on Jeff Daughterty visit his website HERE
. To read my personal story of awakening and how the Embodied Truth Coaching Program can change your life click HERE
Thanks for tuning in!
Although dreaming big, leaping and risking big are all required to seize your dreams and make them real, the choices we make throughout the day-to-day are the ones that keep us on track, intentional and ultimately allow us to integrate transformation over time. Watch my latest YouTube video to learn how you can shift your day and ultimately your life in just two minutes! I welcome your comments below!
LEARNING TO LET GO OF HOW WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
Oh expectation. Like our favorite item on the highest shelf of the cupboard that we simply cannot reach, you tease us and beckon us to loose ourselves before you.
We have all had the experience of being disappointed because of not having our expectations met. It can show up simply or it can consume us. Attachment to expectation is a powerful force that can potentially pull us completely out of center, out of being grateful and present in the moment. It has the power to put our Saboteurs in the drivers seat, to create strife and adversely affect our relationships and opportunities for growth.
Think of a time when you went to see a movie that everyone raved about. Because you expected to be thoroughly entertained, you ended up being let down. As compared to other times when you didn't even know what the movie was about and you ended up loving it. While being let down by a movie is a simple example, it demonstrates how casually we get sucked into the pattern of expecting things to be a certain way. The disappointment from unmet expectations around larger experiences in life can feel devastating and be potentially destructive. This tends to be particularly relevant for most people when they develop expectations regarding major life events such as birthdays, marriage, having children, a new job or relationship, etc. Sometimes it's just not what we thought it would be.
A PERSONAL CONFESSION & LEARNING
Recently, as some of you may know, I got engaged. There was some build up to the anticipated event in the months leading up to the proposal and I admit that I began to develop oddly specific expectations of how I thought the big question would get asked. In fact, as I reflect back on the occasion, I unknowingly came into it with a life time of expectation - years of societally influenced dreams and hopes of how my Beloved would one day propose to me in the most overly romantic and perfect way. I also came into it with a pesky, unfamiliar pressure to have a sensational engagement story to share with friends and really society at large. You can hear the Saboteur in this already, the drama and illusion of perfection and the pressure to be over the top. Of course nothing in life is exactly how we expect it to be and most things are not "perfect". Indeed, as the Universe would have it, my phenomenal fiance proposed in a most beautiful way that truly represented who we both are.... And, it was quite different than the elaborate and inauthentic vision of perfection that I envisioned of how I thought it would go. Admittedly, I had to practice self management during the event so that I could appreciate all of his efforts and see the gifts in front of me instead of attaching to an idea that I had conjured up in my head. In being honest with my phenomenal fiance about it later, we both had great learning around letting go of expectations and releasing parts of ourselves that no longer serve us. We also were able to name what is truly important to us and therefore able to appreciate that in one another even more.
Thank goodness that he proposed the way that he did! He captured the true essence and spirit of our relationship wonderfully and in a way that was beautifully authentic. Had my detailed fantasy expectation been played out, we would have missed out on the authentic little moments that represent our relationship. My expectation was unrealistic and not truly aligned with who I am becoming or who I want to be in my relationship.
Key Learning: More often than not, our expectations are unrealistic and while they point to our hopes and dreams, when we attach to them or require them to become reality, then they will turn on us and keep us contracted and small. How then do we balance dreams and fears? How do we decipher that which is really important and that which we should insist on, from those things we can let go of for the sake of our learning?
LOOK FOR UNDERLYING CORE VALUES
The answer lies in identifying our core values. Ultimately, high expectations are a sign that we long for something; that we have vision, hopes and dreams or that something is very important to us. If we are really contracted around our expectations, then they are a signal that something important to us is being overlooked or stepped over. Attachment to expectation can inform us of our core values if we allow ourselves to look beneath the surface. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you catch yourself in the grips of high expectations:
1. What is truly important about this to me?
2. What am I looking for the final outcome to provide me with?
3. What value(s) of mine if any are being stepped on here?
4. What values or parts of myself do I need to honor?
By getting clear on what you're actually after at the end of the day, it will help you open up to accept it in various forms. You can then begin to see it everywhere - beyond just in the way or place that you thought it would be. This is the Universe's magic. When we let go of what we want the most, then the Universe showers us with the very thing we wanted in the first place.
WHAT WE RESIST PERSISTS: HOLD ONTO ESSENCE, LET GO OF FORM
It is our great lesson as a people to remember our true nature and to evolve based on what is in front of us at this present moment. On the path of personal development and spiritual awakening, we are being called to dance in THIS very moment and to see everything as an opportunity for transcendence and evolution. When we hang on tight to our expectations then we miss the opportunity for dynamic change and growth. Resisting this change creates frustration, anger, resentment, self pity, stress and illness as what we resist only persists. There is a difference between envisioning our dreams and clinging to what we think it is supposed to look like. One is open, free, full of possibility and the other is closed, particular and insistent.
Therefore, we must learn to let go of WHAT we think it should look and instead, remain connected to how we intend the experience to FEEL. This is about letting go of the form something takes and choosing instead to connect to the essence of it; the underlying intention. In the example of my engagement, after fumbling around in the land of expectation for a short while, I was able to let go of the physical details I expected and instead appreciate the underlying effort, love and joy being expressed to me. That allowed me to relish in the entire experience and recognize the enormity of blessings in my life that I was being invited to receive. It didn't matter anymore what form it took, where we went, what we did, etc. because everything was a reflection of effort, love and joy. Feel the difference?
Begin practicing finding the underlying essence in your daily life. Let go of what you think it should look like (the form) and instead choose to recognize the essence of what is before you. Is the person in front of you expressing love even if they say it differently than you would? Are you experiencing fulfillment in your work even though this job is different than what you thought would make you happy? Does your body feel relaxed and peaceful despite the situation being different than what you thought would bring you peace? Start to tune in.
BECOMING OPEN & ACCEPTING THE FED-EX PACKAGE
By letting go of expectation we become OPEN. The funny thing is that we flatter ourselves thinking that our imagination is going to yield the best possible dream. How foolish! The Universe gives us blessings that are WAY more amazing than what we could ever imagine. This doesn't mean to stop dreaming or to not live intentionally. The opposite. This means live on purpose. Get super clear on what is most important to you, stick to that and let go of the rest. Let go of what it is supposed to look like.
I joke with my girlfriends that my Beloved showed up in a package that I didn't expect. His age, features, job, etc. were different than the image of my life parter that I always expected in my mind. For a long time, I innocently overlooked that fact that he was the one for me. It was like the Universe was handing me a golden Fed-Ex package and I kept insisting that they delivered to the wrong address. The more time we spent together during our courtship however, the more I could FEEL in my body and soul that I was at home with him. When I let go of how I thought it should be and instead allowed the joy of what was actually happening in the present moment, then it was like a light bulb went off and we recognized each other as soul mates.
The truth is that we cannot control what anything will be like. All we can do is set intention and do the important inner work to become very clear on our values and priorities. We can choose to act in alignment with our values and express our authentic truth. The rest is for us to release into the wind. The rest is for us to co-create with the Universe, like two teammates who create life together. We do our part and then we hand the rest over to a force larger than ourselves to provide the greatest lessons, blessings and opportunities for self actualization, connection and awakening.
I invite you to identify and release one expectation that you're currently attaching to that you know is holding you back. Get clear on the values and priorities that lie underneath it and then set it and yourself free. By doing so you'll be proving to yourself just how much you trust yourself and life in general; and you'll be opening to receive life's true gifts.
Happy releasing! Please share your comments below - I'd love to hear what opens up for you around this!
AN INVITATION TO MARVEL AT YOUR LIFE
And so the end of 2011 is upon us. What a powerful year! Did you feel it? I find the end of the year to be one of the most meaningful times, moreso than the beginning of the year. As these last days of December present themselves, many of us finally have a little downtime to take care of things around the house, relax and enjoy friends and family. It is a poignant time of year to marvel at your life and an important time to assess where you are at and where you are going.
YEAR END REFLECTION: MAKING TIME TO LOOK BACK
Reflection is a powerful tool towards achieving inner peace and clarity of vision. It can create a sense of closure as we shut the door to 2011 and strengthen our sense of possibility as we open the gates to 2012. I dedicate time before December 31st each year to honor my journey over the last 365 days and to marvel at my life. When we really take time to look back over the year, we often realize just how many mini miracles occurred and how much we've grown. Even if we have had an immensely difficult year, reflection at year's end allows us to close one chapter of life and welcome in an easier ride in the coming year. Often times it is getting clear about what didn't work that ignites the passion in us to shift our experience moving forward.
I invite you to take some quiet time to yourself to reflect. My favorite place to do this is at the beach or in my bedroom early in the morning with my journal. Here are some questions to inspire your process:
* What would you like to acknowledge yourself for?
* How did you grow this year?
* What was your most brave moment in 2011?
* Where did you practice expressing yourself authentically?
* What was the highlight of your year?
* Who/what are you most grateful for in 2011?
* What do you need to forgive yourself for?
* What is the greatest lesson you learned this year?
* What word embodies the overall theme of your year?
* What parts of your life from 2011 are you going to continue to cultivate in 2012?
MAKING ROOM FOR 2012: CLEARING PHYSICAL & MENTAL/EMOTIONAL CLUTTER
During the process of reflection it is common to gain some clarity on next steps. As we prepare to set intention and clarify our New Year's resolutions, it is important to make room for all of the good things we would like to invite in. Clearing clutter and "Releasing Rituals" are powerful, simple ways to create room for abundance, love, health and manifestation in the new year. I just finished going through my closets, desk and computer to get rid of everything that is no longer relevant to my life now. It feels fantastic! I feel lighter, more aligned and excited to really set intention and start manifesting my dreams come January.
In terms of physical clutter clearing, I recommend doing a quick "once over" on your closets, kitchen cupboards, bathroom drawers, desk, file cabinets, garage, etc. As you do this, ask yourself:
* What am I ready to let go of?
* What represents an old version of me that I do not want to embody moving forward?
* Would the future version of myself that I want to become utilize this item?
* Do I use/wear this item more than once every 6 months?
* Do I really need this?
In addition to physical clutter, releasing mental/emotional clutter can really free us up and make us ready for the new year. I recommend conducting a simple ritual to release what you no longer need. You can write the answers to the questions below on a piece of paper and safely burn it or throw it away. Or you can vocalize your feelings/answers to the ocean, a tree, an expansive valley or vista point. Nature has the strength to hold it all for you so you can let it go. Some questions to ask:
* What belief systems or "stories" about myself/my life no longer serve me that I can release?
* What spoken or unspoken "agreements" have I made with myself or others that are holding me back?
* What anger am I holding onto?
* What do I need to express?
* Who do I need to forgive?
NEW YEARS BLESSINGS
2012 is becoming more widely regarded as the year we will collectively shift the consciousness of our planet and evolve the world. Many of us feel that we are being called to step fully into our most actualized selves. As we stand at the doorway of this powerful time in history, I invite you to reflect on where you've been so that you may identify where you need to go from an empowered, celebratory place.
Wishing you and your loved ones a most incredible 2012! May the coming year be filled with abundant health, activities and people that bring you joy, empowerment, success, clarity, creativity, inner peace, balance, laughter, ease and love. May you be fully expressed, feel alive in your body and feel that your life is on course with your purpose and dreams!
As I close out 2011, I am extremely grateful. Thank You to all of you who read and forward my newsletters and blogs. THANK YOU to my amazing clients and workshop participants. I am blown away by your willingness to show up, risk, learn and remain committed to your process of evolution. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey. New Years blessings to you! Thank you also to my unbelievable family, friends, teachers and partner. You inspire me daily and remind me what living an authentic, healthy life is truly about.
See you on the other side!
BALANCING HOLIDAY CHEER & PERSONAL YEAR-END RESTORATION.
This is an especially interesting time of year. On the one hand, the holiday season is incredibly festive and illuminated. Everywhere we turn we see the bright, joyous lights of the holidays marking this special time. We gather, attending and hosting numerous holiday parties, engage the extroverted parts of ourselves and raise a glass to life.
On the other hand however, these are the shortest days of the winter season. The winter solstice falls on December 21st, reminding us that the darkness of winter is here for a reason. As night falls early, nature's cycles beckon us to slow down, to rest, reflect and hibernate during this time of year. Many of us regard January as our time to re-engage our ambitious, get-up-and-go approach to life, naturally making the end of December our time to go inward and recoup before we pick up the pace again.
Earlier this week in my monthly women's group, we discussed this paradox of being pulled towards external exuberance and internal restoration simultaneously. Many of us expressed feeling overwhelmed by holiday party obligations, shopping, hosting duties and year-end deadlines. While we love to see our friends, families and co-workers, we were quick to admit that we were craving a few quiet nights at home before 2012.
Our conversation gave me pause and had me realize just how overwhelming this time of year can be for many. How do we get the full festive holiday experience while honoring our physical, emotional need to slow down?
In sitting with this inquiry, I feel we have the opportunity to celebrate the light while cherishing the hidden gifts of darkness. If we choose to be mindful about it, we can create balance this holiday season.CELEBRATING THE LIGHT
Christmas and Hanukkah fall at the same time this year. Each of these holidays is marked by lights. As Christmas nears, we are surrounded by the quintessential holiday lights that remind us that something special is going on. It is a time for celebration, faith and cheer. As a child I remember walking down "Christmas Tree Lane" in my neighborhood and counting all the houses that were covered
in lights. Although I am Jewish and do not celebrate Christmas, I remember feeling a sense of excitement and wonderment as we passed others who were sharing the delight of the lights and holiday season. It is a deeply joyous, spiritual time for many.
Hanukkah is a holiday that celebrates the miracle of light. Pause for a moment and take in this obvious blessing that we sometimes take for granted: the miracle of light. It is my favorite Jewish holiday of the year. In addition to the festive, social aspect of this holiday, this holiday is my favorite because for 8 nights we take time out to light candles and celebrate light. Lighting candles is ceremonial, sacred, meaningful. We do it during rituals, when we meditate and in honor of our birthdays. It is an opportunity to pause, become grateful and remember to be in awe of life. I also see it as a chance to celebrate how illuminated my life is and how brightly the inner light of my friends and family shine.
Here are some questions to stimulate your appreciation of the light all around you at this time:
* How can you truly celebrate the light of life this holiday season?
* What are you grateful for?
* Who and what are you in awe of?
* Before going to a holiday party, pause and ask yourself: What am I REALLY celebrating tonight?
* What miracles exist in your life? How are you blessed?
* How can you spread the holiday light to someone in need?
* In what ways do you have faith? What restores your faith?
* What are you praying for?CHERISHING THE DARKNESS
Darkness is something we often want to run away from. To many it represents fear, hardship and confusion. I invite you to consider a different perspective: the beauty and blessing of darkness. Darkness can also represent stillness, rest and peace. It is by contrast to the dark that we actually can see the light. Imagine the beauty and stillness of a starry night out in nature, away from the city lights. It is stunning how many stars are actually visible across the backdrop of the dark night sky!
Darkness also represents going inward. While this is scary for some, in truth, it is one of the most beautiful, powerful practices we can engage in. It is through going inward that we get clarity, return to a place of trust vs. fear and restore our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical tanks. It is by going inward, reflecting and resting that our creative ideas suddenly re-emerge and our capacity for others multiplies ten fold. Ironically, it is through the inner peace and stillness of darkness that we access and strengthen our inner light.
On a physical level, darkness makes us sleepy. Melatonin, a hormone that makes us tired, is secreted upon exposure to darkness. As night falls, this hormone is released, allowing us to easily fall asleep. As the days shorten, we are called to go inward. Nature demands it of us. It is our time to rest, replenish, reflect and restore. To learn more about melatonin and other variables that impact your sleep/wake cycles, download my free article on The Six Secrets To Splendid Sleep
I invite you to turn your phone off and schedule time on your calendar for napping, meditation, alone time, baths, massages and personal pampering amidst the holiday buzz! Here are some questions to get you started:
* How can you create in-between moments of stillness amidst the holiday rush?
* Will you commit to sitting in silence for 5-10 minutes first thing every morning until 2012?
* Before entering a holiday party, sit in your car for 3 minutes and practice deep breathing. Go inward and ask yourself: What am I really feeling? How can I experience this party in the most balanced way?
* What can you say NO to? I give you permission to set boundaries!
* What does your ideal quiet night at home entail? Promise yourself one night like this before 2012.
* When you take a few moments and quiet yourself, what do you hear?
* What does your intuition tell you that you need?
May your light shine bright and your tanks be full.
Wishing you balance, joy, celebration and personal time for rest and restoration this holiday season!
I welcome your comments!
Listen to Rony as she talks with WholeBody Talk's
Polina Smith and gives easy tips for having a healthy, conscious holiday season filled with gratitude. To download the Podcast for free via iTunes, click Here
Wishing you a joyous, nourishing and relaxing holiday season. There is lots to be grateful for when you shift your focus to seeing it!