2014 – I’m ready for you!

I can’t believe it’s been 365 days since I set the intention to make 2013 my best year yet. Although 2013 has had its ups and downs, I’d say overall it was pretty awesome because I learned a lot and tried my best to enjoy the ride. I do feel like I set out to accomplish a lot this past year and ended up getting majorly derailed by forces beyond my control which sent me into one of the most difficult periods of my adult life. Because of that I didn’t do all the things on my list. I’ve been having a hard time feeling like I accomplished anything this year as I complete the “Closing 2013” section of my Amazing Life Workbook because I didn’t complete all the tangible goals I had set out for myself. The good news is, that when I look back on my Dec 31, 2012 blog about my intentions, I actually really did well at integrating them into my life. They weren’t just things I could do once and cross them off, they were about making long term changes in my life. I think that this means I’ve become more of the person I want to be and that is an accomplishment. A few accomplishments do stick out for me in 2013; a friend told me I inspired him to start playing the harmonica, I taught an 86 year old lady how to hoop and I feel like I created stronger relationships with friends and family. Way to go, me!

In 2013, I have actively practiced loving more and judging less as I realize what I judge in others, I’m judging in myself, what I accept in others, I accept in myself. I continue to nourish myself with healthy food, yoga, meditation and hooping. All acts of self love that fill me up so I can be ready for the next intention I set for myself in 2013.

I have shared and given back in different ways but most significant to me was by teaching hooping to teens with addiction abuse issues. They are attending a program I completed when I was a teen. It was an emotional experience going back and revisiting my youth, but it felt so good knowing that I could have an influence on their lives like the people who worked there had on my life.

I have had periods of living in flow this past year, I experienced serendipity and have learned many lessons about surrendering and releasing control. I have learned over and over again that when you surrender and let go, life just works itself out. I spent a lot of time worrying about how things will play out and realized when I just stopped worrying, life is much more enjoyable. I blogged about one of these flow experiences recently because it was such an incredible learning experience for me.

This year I gained a much deeper understanding of human being vs. human doing. I thought I just did too much and didn’t allow myself to chill. At the Sacred Circularities retreat I attended in Sedona, I discovered an imbalance of masculine and feminine within me and I think me doing all the time is the physical manifestation of that imbalance. I have gained much deeper awareness of what this means to me, but am still struggling with it. I’m still learning to be and to accept what has unfolded, knowing that I’m not going to get everything done and that is OK. I’m realizing that this life is not a race to the finish line and my success wont be measured by how many things I cross off my list. I think the lessons I learn are more important that the things I do and I intend to integrate this lesson more in 2014.

For 2014 I set the intention to come into balance. I see duality or polarity in my life, with my go-go-go attitude and then burn out as the opposite. I’d like to have balance so I can focus on my dreams but also want to be able to give myself space to just be. When I think of this I see a pendulum swinging really wide. In 2014, I envision it slowing down and coming closer to stillness. I feel that focusing on this intention will bring everything into my life that is supposed to be there. It will lead me to where I’m supposed to go and give me the lessons that I most need to learn to continue growing. I believe this intention will help me to know myself even more and to love myself even more which I see as the key to creating the best experience I possibly can for myself.

Oh, one more thing. In 2013 I didn’t end up doing a cartwheel. Not for lack of trying, I had numerous people trying to show me how to do it but for some reason I won’t just let myself go through with it. I get all caught up in the mechanics of what my body should be doing, the fear of falling and hurting myself and I just freeze. Kind of like a metaphor for my life I guess. I’m OK that I’m not quite ready for it yet and will lovingly keep working on it in 2014.

Much love and best wishes for the new year,
Nicole

Good Intentions

It’s the first day of spring, so I thought I should check in on how I’m doing with the intentions I made in December for making 2013 my best year yet. I’ve lost sight of a few things already but I’m not worried. I’ve still got 9 months to go in 2013 and with today marking the beginning of the astrological new year, it’s a perfect time to start fresh. My seeds of intention are planted and with this new spring energy I know my deepest desires will bloom and flourish.

Two ongoing struggles seem to be loving more, judging less and learning to be. Loving more and judging less is a journey. I still find myself muttering under my breath at people doing stupid things in traffic, but I’m not actually angry most of the time. I’ve programmed myself to react this way, now I just need reprogram my brain to have a different reaction. I’ll get there. Loving myself has been an up and down thing, it’s hard to remember to do it when I’m feeling down. A couple of weeks ago when I was feeling the blah’s I noticed the thoughts “What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel like this again?” pop up in my head. I suffered from depression when I was a teenager and hadn’t felt that way in a very long time. I was frustrated that it was coming back because I thought I was done with it. When I became aware of those thoughts, I was reminded that I’m never going to feel OK if I believe there is something wrong with me or that I need to be fixed. I had to remember that what I was feeling in that moment was OK, that this was just an experience I was having and those feelings just needed to be expressed. I remembered my own advice and began to love and accept myself exactly where I was. Even though I was feeling sad and lonely, I was OK.

Hoop Crop

Feeling it all during the Hoop Path workshop

I gave myself the permission to feel this way and I was able to move through it easier than I expected. I started feeling down right before the annual Hoop Path weekend workshop. I was lucky enough to spend 9 or 10 hours in my hoop over the course of the weekend and was so fortunate to have that time to express what was going on inside of me. I went through a whole range of emotions – sadness, anger, loneliness but eventually I felt happy, joyful and radiant. By the end of the weekend I felt like the cloud I was living under had lifted. The combination of movement, expression and unconditional love were so powerful in helping me through the not so desirable emotions I was experiencing. I’m happy to report that these days I’m feeling, well, happy. Since winter weather is still dragging on,  I added vitamin D to my daily supplement routine and have been remembering as much as I can to love myself exactly where I am.

Human being? This has been another journey for me too. How can I allow myself to just be? Not do, be? We are human beings, not human doings but I struggle with this all the time. I have a lot of practices that nurture my mind, body and soul. Hoop dance, meditation and yoga are all great for bringing me more peace, mental clarity or for exercising my body, but sometimes I get overwhelmed because even though I enjoy those things, I end up busy and still lack down time. How do I even go about doing nothing though? I often feel guilty, like I should be doing something, doing nothing feels like an unproductive use of my time. The only memories I have where I’ve been truly at peace while doing nothing are while I’ve been laying in a hammock or floating on a lake.

Stop, Hammock Time

Absolute being. Suspended in the air, between two trees, basking in the sun on a trip to Quadra Island, BC in 2007.

Those activities in themselves are enough. I can just appreciate where I am and am completely content just being. When I was a college student, I once had a meltdown because I was completely burnt out from my workload and stressed to the max. I snapped under the stress and pretty much laid still and silent in bed for 3 or 4 hours because I physically and emotionally couldn’t do anything else. I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the stress gets so bad that you have no choice but to let yourself be, however it did help me feel a little more like a human and less like a machine. Things aren’t that bad these days but I do need to remind myself to bring some of that relaxed hammock attitude into my life more often.

I feel like I’m making some progress with my other intentions too. I’m learning more so that I can share. I’ve become a Reiki Master Practitioner and have been doing energy exchanges with other practitioners. The Hoop Path Weekend helped bring me back into the hooping community as it had been awhile since I had been to a hooping event and it was great to hang out with so many amazing, inspiring and talented people all weekend. I’ve been trying to say yes more often or at least give a little extra consideration to something before I say no. I’m open to possibilities and challenges this year, whether that means trying a difficult yoga pose out or doing bigger & scarier things. I’ve also been asking my gymnast friends for tips on how to do a cartwheel, it seems daunting still, but I’m certain I’ll figure out it.

Well there it is, I’m making some progress but still have a long way to go. I see today as a breath of fresh air that will bring my intentions to life. How exciting! I invite you to take some time today to think about what you want to bring into your life in the coming months. Remember, energy flows where attention goes, so allow yourself time to tap into what you want to focus your attention on.

❤ Nicole

2013 – Intentions for my best year yet!

2013!

It’s just about time to ring in 2013, we’ve made it through 2012 and survived. Hurray! As December comes to a close, I often find myself reflecting on the past year so I can celebrate the wins and vision where I’d like to grow, expand and deepen my knowledge. I’m not so big on making resolutions to lose weight or outright quit things, I prefer to focus on what I’d like to bring more of into my life and allow the details be worked out along the way, more on that process later.

The highlights of 2012 for me were completing Reiki Level I and II and being able to share healing treatments with many friends and family, becoming an AFCLA Certified Fitness Leader in the spring and still remembering the names of muscles and joint actions (!), developing and teaching chakra hooping workshops and spending a lot of time teaching kids to hoop during day camps in the summer and sometimes I even got to spread the message of loving and accepting yourself to teens during the workshops. All that was the result of my vision for 2012 –  to live authentically, to embody my truth and to practice and share what I love with others. It’s still amazing to me what I can do when I put my mind to it! This year I also started an almost daily meditation practice, rekindled my love with yoga and restarted my yoga practice which was non-existent for a few years and took control of my physical health by drastically changing my diet. All these changes led to a more balanced, happier me and I feel a lot better mentally, emotionally and physically compared to how I felt a year ago, that is definitely a win!

Unfortunately this year, growth also came as a result of dealing with the sudden death of my sister-in-law and two friends. Each one of those people were taken far before their time and it’s still hard to believe they’re gone. I have worked through the grief by using their deaths as a reminder of just how precious life is and how important it is to take care your health, how important it is to take opportunities to see family and friends whenever you get them and to try and squeeze as much enjoyment out of life as possible because you never know if today will be your last. At 29, mortality isn’t something that often crosses your mind, but this year it has been an ongoing theme and has reminded me that each day is a gift and to appreciate it fully. With all that in mind, I take this time to set my intentions for 2013, I intend this to be my best year yet!

  • I intend to love more and judge less. I intend to love myself more, to judge myself less. I will choose to love every part of me as it shows up and if there is something I don’t feel love for, I will choose to forgive myself for not being perfect and love it anyways. I will choose to live by the mantra “Love yourself for who you are, forgive yourself for who you aren’t”. I intend to love others more and judge less. I will choose to practice compassion for others, even if they’ve cut me off in traffic! I choose to show love to my body by feeding it with nourishing foods and will forgive myself if, from time to time, I overindulge in a not so nourishing glass of wine.
  • I intend to share and give back. I intend to continue expanding my knowledge of healing modalities and nutrition to help myself become healthier and to share my knowledge with others. I intend to create new hooping workshops that bring more play and flow into people’s lives. I intend to become more involved in the communities that are important to me so I can co-create something I want to be a part of. I choose to create the world I want to live in.
  • I intend to live in flow and say YES more often. I intend to invite more of what I want into my life; more adventure, more play, more pushing beyond my boundaries. I intend to say YES to opportunities that come my way, to allow opportunities to snowball and to allow serendipity to do its thing. I intend to spend more time doing things that are meaningful and that add value to my life and less time doing things that don’t. This means you will see less of me on Facebook and more of me in person.
  • I intend to be a human BEING rather than a human DOING. I intend to be conscious and present and in the moment more often. I intend to be engaged in the activity I am participating in, rather than reliving the past or dreaming/worrying about the future. I choose to take control of my time and set boundaries so I can find the balance between work, play and rest.
  • I intend to do a cartwheel. This is something I’ve never been able to do and I will choose to say that “I haven’t figured out how to do it yet” instead of “I can’t” because if I believe I can’t, I wont. I will choose to trust that my body will support me and is capable of this task and recognize that the only thing holding me back is my mind. I will choose to let go of fear of falling on my face and of losing control and allow my oh-so-intelligent body to complete this feat.  Not only do I see myself doing a cartwheel, I see myself tossing a hoop 30 feet in the air, executing a cartwheel, landing flat on my feet and catching the hoop as it falls back to the earth. I intend to post a video when I figure it all out!

So there you have it, that is my highest vision for myself in 2013. By setting intentions and choosing to make a shift in the way I think, the possibilities of what can unfold are limitless. If I only set a goal to lose weight or eat better or quit a bad habit,  I’d either achieve the goal or I wouldn’t. That would be OK but it would limit what I’m truly capable of. For instance, this year I set an intention to be healthier so I could get my digestive issues under control and have more energy. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I made a lot of changes to my diet that resulted in me losing about 15 – 20 pounds, my energy did increase, my digestive issues are under control, I can think more clearly and haven’t gotten sick like I normally do. By stating a broad intention without attachment to one specific result, I created a reality that I couldn’t have imagined a year ago and now as I look ahead to 2013, I’m so excited to allow the endless possibilities of awesomeness to unfold!

I invite you to share your visions and intentions to create the best 2013 you can by posting your intentions in a comment below. I would love to hold space to help you evolve to your highest potential. May 2013 be your best year yet!

❤ Nicole