1 comment on “Stop Settling: Uplevel Your Intentions”

Stop Settling: Uplevel Your Intentions

Guest post by Silvia Mordini

The quality of our intentions influences the quality of our lives. Successful business people, athletes and artists all sing a similar song when it comes to setting your intentions high. Yoga helps in this way by teaching us to make precise, high quality efforts. This practice inspires you to expand beyond the ordinary, living up to your greatest potential.

Having an unusually large goal is an adrenaline infusion that provides the endurance to overcome the inevitable trials and tribulations. Goals restricted to the average ambition level, are uninspiring and will only fuel you through the 1st or 2nd problem at which point you throw in the towel. If the potential payoff is mediocre or average, so is your effort.”  – Timothy Ferriss, The Four Hour Workweek.

I know this to be true in my life. I lose the ability to stick with something if my ambitions are just average. When my goals are set higher, something within me charges up! If I’m not creating or helping someone develop a new business, plan a bucket list vacation, design an early retirement, or realign themselves with their true dharma, then I feel like I am slacking. Our dharmic responsibility is to maximize our possibilities and inspire others to do the same. This activated energy is contagious.

When leading yoga retreats, trainings and workshops, I often ask students to pick an aspirational pose: something they’ve always wanted to do, but maybe hadn’t tried or didn’t think they could. I tell them to stop at levitation, but anything else goes! I have found that if you set your sights too low, then you likely won’t stay with your yoga practice. You’ll get bored and want to give up. And boredom is the enemy of happiness.  

But as big as your primary intention is, keep it simple. That way, you can actually start on the path and keep momentum going, step by step. Just as in yoga where you grow by millimeters, baby steps towards your goal will eventually get you there.

Today, honestly ask yourself, instead of getting up to go to work tomorrow, what do you really want to do?

Is there something audacious that you want to manifest? Do your biggest dreams scare you? Good. It is time you stop living in self-delusional comfort, and focus your energy on the tasks that will help you achieve something bigger. Stop settling for less than your best.

“The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurities of the world make it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits.” This week, focus on the home runs set your intentions high. Don’t hold yourself back.  Remember as Wayne Dyer puts it, “You are not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else.” Your life is not a rehearsal. This is it. Stretch all the way into excellence. Go for it!

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!  Silvia

Continue reading for more high intention quotes.

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7 comments on “3 Ways to Be Happy Now”

3 Ways to Be Happy Now

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Happiness is a continuous state of quiet joy that exists in the moment from the inside out. Happiness is what love looks like. It is the manifestation of what it means to love ourselves, love our day, love our lives. The timing of happiness is right now.

As seekers of happiness it is important to understand how much of it depends on internal versus external factors. Based on her research, in her 2007 book The How of Happiness, positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky concluded that roughly 50 percent of happiness is determined by our genes and 10 percent by our life circumstance, but 40 percent depends on our daily activities.

This 50% is what is commonly known as our Happiness Set Point. The great news is that we have the power to influence 40% of our happiness. The yogic philosophy of Santosha, often translated to mean contentment, is about living into your choices and  loving what life is offering us moment to moment.

Happiness depends on ourselves.”  – Aristotle.

Here are 3 Ways to Be Happy Now

  1. Take Responsibility

Happiness Now starts with taking immediate responsibility for the quality of your life.When we are willing to accept accountability, it gets easier to authentically describe what we want our happiest life to feel like. From there, the experience of the now expands the joy that was waiting for us to realize is already happening.

Happy people avoid blame in all its incarnations. They don’t blame other people, they don’t blame circumstances, and they don’t blame themselves. To happy people, blame serves no purpose. It doesn’t ever get us what we truly desire. In fact happy people not only avoid blame but they also avoid its family members envy, greed and jealousy – which are among the key indicators of unhappiness.” -The Choices Happy People Make

  1. Choose Now

The act of waiting for happiness to be happy, or “happiness procrastination” as I refer to it, can be paralyzing. If we have a prerequisite of a certain condition taking place to facilitate happiness then we’ll always be waiting as opposed to being happy in the moment. If we fool ourselves into believing that we have to understand the reasons why we’re unhappy, the result will be getting stuck in that state of unhappiness. Instead choose those activities that spark joy, stop over intellectualizing your choices, and live in the present.

What’s so important about being in the moment? Spiritual practice teaches us that the present moment is the source of healing, love, inspiration, and happiness. In fact, the purest form of happiness is found in the present moment. The yogis call this power of presence shaktiBut to reap these benefits, we can’t just have fleeting moments of presence. We have to stay long enough in the present moment to really soak in the happiness.

Apply this Happiness Prescription:

  • Each week take a day off of social media for a digital detox. Instead of being caught up in looking at what other people have done in the past, focus your attention on your present moment.
  • Each month plan a nature trip, whether it’s hiking in the mountains or walking the beach or enjoying the local forest preserve. Notice how nature only knows how to be in the now.
  • Take a long weekend each year to attend a personal development workshop for a happiness reset. Get back in touch with the Now of your happiness.
  • Each year go on retreat where you can unplug from your business life for a week.
  • At the end of the year, take a business “savasana” where you celebrate all that you attempted and accomplished and find pleasure in resting in that knowledge. Be present in the Now instead of trying to achieve more.
  1. Stoke Your Passion!

Happiness is a direct experience of enthusiasm. Remember, it is not how or when we accomplish something that matters most, it is the sense of enthusiasm during the process that demonstrates our quality of life. Enthusiasm gives us the chance to go beyond our happiness set point. The foundational teachings of yoga tell us that joy is our birthright. That doesn’t mean it comes easy: It takes real effort. However, this exertion is well worth it and we should never let a day go by without putting forth our best effort to live with passion.

Seek daily activities that inspire enthusiasm. Do something that keeps you engaged in the joy of the present moment.

Apply these three ways to be happy now and watch your happiness set point rise up. Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia

happiness quote

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_LAB9523Editor’s note:  This is a guest post by Silvia Mordini, CEO, Transformation Leader, and Author. With contagious enthusiasm Silvia encourages everyone she meets to love their life! Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. She has been teaching happiness, global awareness, & mindfulness for 20 years. Silvia, born in Ecuador, proud of her Italian heritage and raised as a world traveler, is a well-loved internationally recognized Motivational Speaker, Love Alchemist, and Mindfulness Teacher at conferences worldwide. Her classes holistically integrate various styles of yoga, primarily Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Anusara. You can’t help but leave her workshops, RYT200 Alchemy of Yoga teacher trainings & Alchemy Tours retreats spiritually uplifted!

Before becoming a serial Entrepreneur, Silvia had a thirteen-year Human Resource career including as Director for an international Fortune 100 professional services company. She founded and owned Total Body Yoga Studio with over 9,000 clients for ten years. In young adulthood she was run over by a car—a life changing accident that led her to discover the “Alchemy” of Yoga and Meditation to heal and transcend. She is the Founder of the fifteen year old world renowned Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training School with over 29 graduating classes of Alchemist Alumni. In 2009 she founded Alchemy Tours, an International Retreat company specializing in Personal Development. With over 12,000 hours of yoga teaching experience she makes yoga approachable, fun, and inspiring for everyone. She has been inspiring happiness, global awareness, and joyful living in students for more than fifteen years.

Tune into her motivational “Loving Your Day” Podcast. Read her popular blog “Happiness Prescriptions”, and learn to love yourself, love your day, love your life along with enjoying her “Loving Your Day” YouTube channel.

She has written hundreds of lifestyle, travel & wellness articles for publications such as MindBodyGreen (USA), Elephant Journal, DOYOU (Hong Kong), Wanderlust (USA), Mantra Wellness Magazine, Gaia, Yogi Times, Daily Cup of Yoga (USA), and is a wellness expert as seen in HuffPost and Medium.

Most importantly through personal experience she knows it’s possible to transform your trauma to dharma and transmute your drama to dreams.

You can reach her by email at silvia@silviamordini.com

Inspired Yoga, Love, and Travel for a LIFE Inspired
Personal: https://www.silviamordini.com/  Twitter/Instagram @inspiredyogagal

Yoga: https://alchemyofyoga.com              Twitter/Instagram @alchemyofyoga
Travel  https://alchemytours.com               Twitter/Instagram @alchemytours
Love: http://lovingyourday.com              Twitter/Instagram  @lovingyourday

7 comments on “How to Make the Most Out of That Magic Hour”

How to Make the Most Out of That Magic Hour

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The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. -Rumi

By Noelle Rodriguez

Magic Hour

There is that magic hour right before dawn breaks and the sky turns a beautiful orange hue. The stillness is palpable as the sky turns one shade lighter after another. As if the darkness that enveloped the night sky was but a fading dream.

If you pay attention, you can feel the energy in the air. It is rich and buzzing with the potential of the coming day. It’s the magic hour as vibrations are high. The birth of a new day.

There are many benefits to being awake at this hour.

I find mornings to be the best time for self-care. In the silent hour before the world wakes up, it is just you and your thoughts.

There are many things you can do to make the most out of this magic hour.

5 Things You Can Do

1. Journal. There’s no better time to be reflective. Write down your stream of consciousness in longhand. Don’t edit and don’t filter. In doing this, you get your subconscious thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Don’t be surprised if a sudden burst of creativity pops up this way. Creativity often lies buried under a muck of tiresome thoughts that can make up your day-to-day.

2. Be still. When water is calm, then you see your reflection. Taking time out to clear your mind of all those mundane thoughts allows you to access a deeper level of yourself. This is your inner being, your true self. The same self that pervades all things. Watch how you feel when you let your body be. If you feel emotion, then it’s a sign that your body is in need of healing. Your body is in its natural state when you feel a bubble of joy, a giggle and happiness, however faint.

3. Move your body (in a way that pleases you). Start with gentle movements, inviting the earth’s morning energy into your system. Simple stretches get the chi (life force) flowing more freely throughout your body. I like to do some yoga in the morning. I find that it wakes me up and leaves me feeling revitalized, ready to take on the day.

4. Set your intentions for the day. What better time to set your goals for the day than when the world is just waking up. There’s something about the stillness that brings calm to the mind and also powerfully backs up your intentions with the force of the universe. Let your wishes and dreams go in detachment and know that the universe is always on your side.

5. Begin your work. I think this is the secret to many a man’s success. Starting early before their comrades are even awake. This gives you a head start to your projects, and a very resolute one at that. The peace in the morning provides the space for additional insight that may be lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s too early! I thought the same way. I was a night owl for many years. I didn’t do anything drastic. I just let myself wake up 15 minutes earlier every day. Since I enjoyed my time alone, it started becoming easier for me to do.

Pretty soon, I was waking up a whole hour earlier, and then even earlier than that. I didn’t concern myself with what time I went to bed.  My body just naturally wanted to rest earlier as well.

Nature’s Way

Getting up at dawn puts you back into the natural cycle of the world. Before lights and electronic devices were invented, people would rise with the sun and sleep when it got dark. Doing so is a huge factor in feeling strong and empowered. There is nothing that compares with the natural energy being one with the universe brings.

Try waking up earlier. Be gentle with yourself. Know that everything is a process of growth. Every day serves you in many ways. It’s up to you to see the magic in every hour of the day.

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noelle4-bioEditor’s note: This is a guest post by Noelle Rodriguez, founder of LiFE, a yoga, music and art studio in the Philippines. There, she spends her days meeting creative people and devising ways to further innovate in the health and wellness industry. She also teaches yoga and coaches people to be their greatest selves. You can learn more about her at www.noellerodriguez.com. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo credit: @MandukaYoga on Instagram

12 comments on “How one NFL Star Quieted the Voice in His Head and Found the Present Moment”

How one NFL Star Quieted the Voice in His Head and Found the Present Moment

A photo posted by Amazing Yoga (@amazingyoga) on

 

I grew up with a childhood dream of one day playing in the NFL. The dream became an obsession. I ate, drank, and slept football. In pursuit of my ambitions, I beat the crap out of my body with relentless overtraining and tortured my mind and spirit, believing that the only way I could be happy was a long, successful career in the NFL.

Rejection.

After finishing my college career at the University of Pittsburgh, I signed a contract with the Detroit Lions. Six months later I was released. The following year, I landed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts, and three months later I was released. Next was the New York Jets and again, a few months later? Cut. There seemed to be a pattern forming. The only team that would keep me was the NFL yo-yo squad, and I bounced from team to team, rejected again and again.

Beating myself up.

In the course of five years of rejection, I was very hard on myself. In most cases, I was “released” due to a hip injury that hindered my performance. Instead of giving myself compassion and rest, I cursed my body and hated it for letting me down. I felt like a failure. My self-esteem suffered. I was counting quarters, dimes, and nickels to pay for gas, struggling to support my wife and child. I felt I was letting my family down.

Enter Yoga.

All this time, as my NFL career (and I) floundered in uncertainty and frustration, my wife Karen was practicing yoga. While she raved about the benefits of the practice, this was the mid-90’s, and the yoga room was not the guy-friendly paradise it now is. After years of unsuccessfully urging me to try it, however, Karen finally won. I had hit rock bottom. My NFL career was over, I had no job, and I had no idea what to do with my life. So I gave in. I may as well try, I thought. What do I have to lose?

I was in for a surprise. I had no idea that yoga would not only heal my body, but it would also help me manage the gremlins in my head. You know the gremlins—those voices that say, “You’re a failure. You’re the worst. You suck, and you’ll never succeed.” Yeah, those guys.

When I first started going to Karen’s classes, I’d get frustrated because I thought my injuries kept me from doing many of the poses. I thought about ditching yoga all the time. I hated every second of it, and in my head I’d say, “F this,” and want to bail. Sometimes I did; I just walked out of class. I was stiff as a board. Everything hurt. I didn’t realize until yoga how injured I was or how limited my mobility had become. In my frustration, feeling limited and broken, I cursed my body. I was angry with it for failing for me, for not satisfying my dream of becoming a professional football player. It seemed like I’d destroyed my body by my late 20’s. If this is how I feel now, I thought. How will I feel when I’m 40 or 50?

Yoga every day leads to awareness and healing.

Practicing regularly started a cascade of self-discovery that led me to make yoga a permanent part of my life. The more I practiced, the more my awareness grew. Here’s what happened:

  • I became more aware of my thoughts.
  • I began to learn to manage my thoughts, rather than letting the voices of fear, self-pity, doubt, worry, and competition control me.
  • I discovered that I was very good at making myself miserable with my thoughts.
  • I looked back at my bouts of rejection-induced depression. Each time I was waived or turned down, I had gone through the same emotional rollercoaster. But I now recognized it as overreacting self-induced drama. Like so many things in life, I could now see my “failures” as a good thing. Each failure opened a door into a new path—like finding yoga. I saw how I’d wasted a lot of time, because in the grand scheme of life, those years were small and fast.
  • I learned, through yoga, not to be attached to a particular outcome. Life is happening so fast, so why waste time on things that don’t matter? If I could let go of things like rejection more quickly, I could move on. I could also reposition my so-called failures.
  • I discovered that I could be happy at any moment I chose. No more waiting became my new mantra. I didn’t have to wait to be happy. Instead of thinking, “I’ll be happy once we have our first house,” or, “I’ll feel good when I make an NFL roster,” I found I could be happy at any moment, with awareness of the present and gratitude for my life as it was.

Over time, as yoga yielded insight, discovery, and growth, I was able to let go of the self-punishing habits of mind that led me to quite literally kick myself into misery. Through the awareness I have discovered through yoga it’s given me a flexible mind that I plan to stay open, grateful and joyous no matter what happens to my body. Thanks, yoga.

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seanandkaren-photoEditor’s note: This is a guest post by ex-football star and now yoga teacher, Sean Conley. Sean and his wife Karen run one of the largest and most successful yoga teacher training certification schools – in Costa Rica, Mexico and Pittsburgh. They have over 25 years of combined experience teaching classes and training over 1,000 students to become teachers. Best-selling authors, they share their love of yoga with innovation, passion, creativity, joy, and spontaneity.