As we move towards November and into December, people often start to think about their goals.

What are you wanting for next year?

Who do you want to be?

What do you want to create?

And you know the statistics.  Most of those goals never get met.

Why is that?

I can tell you exactly why.  It’s because resistance, in whatever form it takes, gets in the way.

Resistance can be the “not good enough” talk, it can be the list of excuses (too tired, too busy, too skinny, too fat, too weird, too awesome…), it can be blame and finger pointing…there really are so many manifestations.

And whichever happens for you, it’s going to do everything it can to keep you back in old patterns habits so you never leave your comfort zone and move into the beautiful extraordinary life you know you deserve.

Pretty awful, huh?

Want some Resistance Repellant?

Here you go: Identify your “WHY.”

For instance, as I did what I needed to do this past year to hit all my goals, the one “why” that really drove me was to move to San Diego.  Moving to San Diego was the reason I created the specific business strategy I did, accompanied with specific life strategy.

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These strategies drove every single one of my choices and my decisions, and helped me be much more assertive in any given situation.  If the behavior or choice didn’t align with my “why,” I knew what the answer was.  And if it did…I knew what the answer was.

The difference between someone who has a goal in their mind and then never follows through with it and me–and ANYONE that is successful– is that I/we know exactly WHY that goal is important to me/us.  And we’ll do WHATEVER it takes, even getting comfortable with getting uncomfortable, to accomplish it.

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So that begs the question…what is YOUR big why?

I’m eager to know.  Comment below with whatever comes to your mind first.  Then write it up in big letters on a poster board on your wall.  Let it lead the way.

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,
Julie

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The Creative Life.

It’s full of color.  Beautiful self-expression.  Ideas are birthed multiple times a day.  And they’re all so exciting!

And they all get seen to the end!

Right?

…Not so much, for most of us.

For most of us creative individuals, it’s the FOLLOW THROUGH that we are lacking.

How many paintings have you started and not finished?  How many online programs have you purchased and not listened to all the way?  How many times have you said, “One day I’m going to write a book…”

Why does this happen?

As someone who suffered through this pattern and has come out the other side, I can tell you exactly why.

It’s fear.

The painting is NEVER done.  If I finish the online program, that means I will have to–GASP!–start implementing!  The timing is never right to sit down and work on the book…there is a lack of inspiration in the moment.

Mark Twain was once asked if he had to wait for inspiration to come before writing. “Yes, I do,” he replied, “but inspiration always comes at 9am sharp, every weekday!”

The thing is, whether you’re a creative, or in corporate, or in athletics, or academics, you cannot escape human nature.

And humans thrive on routine and consistency.

It’s through establishing a consistent practice for yourself–a breath practice, a journalling practice, a yoga practice, a physical exercise practice…etc–that you do every day, that you will begin to develop the SKILL of follow through.  It takes PRACTICE to move through fear, as opposed to letting it stop you and continue to hold you back from finishing that which you start.

It will not just arrive magically on its own.

You need to COMMIT to your practice.

And when you decide that you love yourself more than the excuses that you are buying into that are holding you back from showing up for a regular practice, you will begin to see the most extraordinary results.

THAT I can promise!

Just put one foot in front of the other…one day at a time.

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To hold yourself accountable to a deeper level, let us know what project you plan on focusing on and committing to!  I cannot wait to learn what YOU are working on!

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,
Julie

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Since moving to San Diego, lots of new experiences are coming into my life.  New people, new places, new practices.

I went to a new studio last week to attend a class I’ve never been to before with a good friend of mine who swears by this one teacher in particular, Tabu.

It’s interesting how you get to a certain level, you feel comfortable, you feel on top of things, and you develop a level of consistency and confidence around your abilities…

…and then become humbled by crashing onto your face!

After a super intense opening sequence, we were instructed to move into Eka Pada Galavasana, or flying crow.  This is a pose I can normally reliably move into and hold…

…but not, apparently, after burning my muscles out first and becoming drenched in slippery sweat!

I slipped, and literally fell on my face, landing on my right cheekbone right below my eye.

I was shocked.

I had NEVER fallen like this before!

And it was so much less bad than I ever expected.  I was totally fine.

How many times do we not take the chance, or take the leap, or say yes to something, because we are afraid of falling?

But, really, what is the worst that could happen?  Falling is actually not as bad as we think.  In fact, I had a teacher back in Hong Kong who would have us fall intentionally just to GET OVER that fear and out of our own way so we could move on to bigger achievements and greater self-confidence.

Imagine what life could look and feel like if every morning, you took a leap, made a choice, or created a space so big you could fall?  If you got comfortable with getting uncomfortable?  Every single day?

You would be able to do more, expand more, and hold more.

That’s FREEDOM.

Give it a go.  Try it on.   Lay out a plan for a week.  Comment below with how YOU plan to take some big leaps every morning for this upcoming week.  Yes you might fall, and if you do, it probably won’t be as bad as you think.  But what if you don’t fall?  What if you fly?

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,
Julie

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As we discovered in my last post, “Create…by listening,” I found that I could manifest just as powerfully by resting as much as, if not more than, manifesting by doing.

I want to clarify this point based on some personal lessons I learned this week.

This question of when to rest and when to PUSH has been one that I’ve toiled with for a long time!  I think I finally have my answer…

I spoke with a woman yesterday who, despite all her best efforts at the gym and in her diet, is still not seeing the weight loss and health results she’s hoping for.  She’s beating herself up.

…Sort of like how I wasn’t seeing healing in my knee joint EVEN THOUGH I was resting, and getting so frustrated.

In both cases, the energetics did not line up with the intention.  In both cases, there was an energy of resentment, frustration, and depletion.  Self-doubt.  Self-loathing.

This woman was saying things to me like, “Sometimes it feels like I should just give up.  What’s the point.  I’ve always been this way.  I’ll never change.”

It was heartbreaking.

Just like how I learned I needed to be more loving towards my knee, and my body in general, this woman needed to send her body reinforcement and love!  Not self-deprecation and defeat.

I, for example, found that, yes, I needed to rest, but I ALSO needed to be foam rolling regularly, doing my PT exercises daily, and icing every day after my runs.  And since starting this practice, for the first time in decades, not only is my knee happier and healthier than ever, but I’m also getting coached to run the longest distances I’ve ever done at a pace that is beyond my scope of comprehension.  I’ve cultivated the love and belief in myself that health is possible, AND followed it up with healthy, CONSISTENT actions.

Since the above woman’s block was not consistency or diet or exercise programming, it came down to energetics and self-love practices.  The stress and anxiety from self-loathing has built up so much that the stress hormones in her body that are meant to protect her were working overdrive, and the fat was just not burning away.  Reduce the stress, amp up the love, and the results will appear.

Before I had coaching, I was out of shape and in pain.  I, like the woman I just mentioned, was completely defeated and frustrated.

And yet, I’m now living proof that with a combination of good coaching, a loving inner belief system, and consistent practice in training, PT, and joint care, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, and I feel completely amazing.

What would this feel like for you?  Take a deep breath in, and imagine your body in a pool of healing water, a loving energy of God lapping up against your skin and washing away any negative self-talk or energetic toxins.

How does that feel?

Let me know how this post helped you; what are you going to start implementing in your day to embrace more consistency, self-love, and positive choices!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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How many times have you thought of a project, gotten SO inspired with creativity, and then halfway through (or–let’s be real–before you even BEGAN) you found reasons why you couldn’t finish (or start) it?

You have to clean the house.

Exercise is more important and thus precludes working on newfound project.

Gotta nourish your relationships with your friends/family/partner instead.

Sleep takes priority.

RESISTANCE.

I’m not saying these aren’t all legitimate things that need to be prioritized.  But sometimes we find that these things come up RIGHT at the time when the project (which–let’s be real–is totally revolutionary) is about to get good.

You know what happens!  Right when you get to the edge of your comfort zone–right when you’re about to expand–you come up with ALL SORTS of reasons why you cannot go there.

And then we get down on ourselves for not finishing/following through/completing what we started.

I have a really important epiphany for you…

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!

This is actually just a natural part of the process.

This epiphany came to me in a conversation with my photographer and good friend Nikki Incandela, as well as in conversations with my mini-mastermind group where I found myself saying THE SAME THING in both conversations!  I decided to offer YOU this insight in a video I was inspired to cut for you!  In this video, I dig deeper into this epiphany as well as different approaches to get yourself “unstuck” and back to being excited about why you started the project or endeavor in the first place.

 

 

You’ll notice that there are some interesting cuts and strange noises.  Indeed–as I was starting to shoot, I was approached by a hunched old man holding a cage, which he felt compelled to deliver directly to me AS I WAS SHOOTING to show me that inside the cage was a chipmunk.  What I really said was, “Oh my gosh.  Please take that away.”  What I should have said was, “Can I get a picture of this because my tribe will not BELIEVE THIS!”

Guess what.  The creative process isn’t perfect.  There are going to be bumps in the road.

AND THAT’S OKAY!!

And sometimes we need little reminders that that’s okay to get us out of being stuck.  Those reminders can come in the form of friends, a yoga class, or a conversation with a coach like me.

In what way can YOU get creative as you navigate resistance?  Comment below with your ideas and plans!!

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,

Julie

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So there I was, on stage, right next to Cole, along with about a dozen other people, as we fought to be the last one standing in this endurance challenge in order to win a $10,000 VIP day with Shanda Sumpter, the leader of the event and one of my coaches.

Throughout the challenge, which up until this point had lasted 45 minutes (yes, 45 minutes with our arms up.  Try it.), Shanda was making up new rules that added difficulty.  For example, “if you move your arm, sit down,” “if you talk, sit down.” (It’s really hard not to verbally express the discomfort you feel in a moment such as the one we were in.)  Once the dozen who were left got on stage as per her request, the next rule was “Pick up one foot, if it touches the ground, sit down,” which caused a domino effect of many participants losing their shot to win the VIP day.

At this point, Cole and I were on stage together, right next to each other, her on the left with her right arm up and me on the right with my left arm up, synchronizing our breath (prana) and our focus (drishti).  As I mentioned in the last post, I know that having her there is what got me to this point.

 

“Lift your leg out straight in front of you.”

 

And then Cole lost her balance.

And then it was just me.

 

On stage at this point were 5 of us.  My “community” wasn’t there anymore, so it was back to me and my thoughts.

I wanted the VIP day.  I wanted to learn and grow for myself and for my clients.  I was fully committed.

 

But then my left calf (of the standing leg) REALLY started to hurt.  Like burn.  Like it was on fire.  My mind was telling my leg that it was on fire and needed to rest.  My mind told me to stop being crazy and go sit down.  My mind–

And then I lost my balance.

And I was out.

 

My mental drama took me out.

 

I was literally just a few people away (and ultimately minutes away) from winning…but I didn’t.

 

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever been so close to winning, but then your mental drama took you out of the game?

Despite not winning, as I mentioned in the first article on this, I was still SO excited to prove to myself how strong I really am.  I truly had no idea, and it was a total surprise to me.  That being said, it definitely would have been great to win.  To not let my mental drama be the reason that I didn’t get something that I wanted.  I know that next time I am going to show up fully, push through all of the noise, and see myself as the winner on the other side.

It reminded me of something my colleague, Nicole Moore (love coach extraordinaire) said about staying committed:

“There is so much more drama in NOT committing to and sticking with a plan. It feels scary at first, but intimacy, honesty and vulnerability is actually a lot easier than all the games we play and mental drama we put ourselves through.”

Elegantly put, and so brilliant.

So now I want to turn it back to you…

Where are you allowing your mental drama to take you out?  What would it look and feel like for you to recommit to your VISION and actually get to the other side?

I would LOVE to hear your vision and plan to recommit–getting past the mental drama– in the comment area below!  Get serious with yourself.  Get honest with yourself.  And hold yourself accountable in this forum!

 

Til next time… Namasté!

Julie

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At this point, my arm had been up for 40 minutes, I was balancing on one foot, and I was on stage with four other people.  Out of the 300 that started.

The ache in my arm was numb….but my calf felt like it was going to break in two as my fine motor muscles worked so hard to try and keep me balanced so that I could obtain my vision of winning the Grand Prize, a $10,000 VIP day that would help me completely transform as a person, coach, and teacher.

Right there amidst it all, literally right next to me on stage, was my dear friend, Cole Bombino, certified health coach and yoga teacher.

She and I practice together almost every day–if not in a physical yoga practice then in an intention-setting exercise that we implement early every morning to spiritually and energetically align with our vision and our day’s intentions.

Even at the beginning of this challenging physical exercise in stamina, she and I actually started breathing in unison.

Her breath, her energy, and her presence helped me feel safe and it helped me feel strong.  I mentioned in Part 1 of this story that my vision was so strong and kept me so focused that I was even able to withstand nearly unbearable physical pain in order to achieve what was an important goal to me.

When we were called on stage, with our arms out and shoulders aching, Cole and I stood together in solidarity, breathing as one strong whole–a whole that was much, much stronger than the sum of its component parts.

And my singular connection to my vision only got me so far.

Surprise #2:

Without Cole there, I know for a fact that I would have given up much, much sooner.

They say there is power in numbers, power in community.  Cole, in that moment, and so much in my life, is my community.  Because of her support and constant energy, I succeed every day, and because of her support and energy at that challenging moment in time, I was one of the last contestants standing for this enormous prize.

In my next post, I will reveal Surprise #3…. and THE OUTCOME!!!!

In the meantime, how could you start to cultivate a stronger community?  Do you find it difficult to constantly stay connected to your vision, your ultimate reason for why you do what you do?  In what ways do you “give up” or “drop the ball” where you may not have if you had someone who bolstered you in moments of weakness? 

Let me know in the comments below, along with the action step you will take to create a partnership, a mentorship, or a peer community in your life that will support you right at those moments when, as one of my amazingly brilliant coaches says, you feel like you’re going to “give up five minutes before the miracle happens.”

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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It was burning.  It was shaking.  The ache penetrated all the way down to my bones.

My arm had been up for 20 minutes at this point and there was no telling how much longer I would have to hold it there.  15 more minutes?  30 more minutes?  Another hour?

The rule was to keep our arm up straight in front of us (zombie-style), until we were the last person in the room (of 300 people) to be able to keep it up.  The goal?  To win a prize valued at $10,000 (a private VIP day with one of my coaches).

My vision was clear.  I wanted private time with this genius of a woman because I knew I would learn skills and content that would grow me into a better coach, better person, and better teacher.

20 minutes in.  Half the room had sat down.

30 minutes in.  I was one of 10 people left.

My yoga practice always has a way of showing itself at the most unexpected of times.  Here I was, in a large conference event, dressed to the T with my coaching colleagues, and the only thing in my field of perspective was my third eye, and my breathe.

I’ll be honest with you.  I had NO idea I could hold my arm up indefinitely.  But truly, with my eyes closed, my vision clear, and my breath settled into a powerful ujayi rhythm, I could have absolutely held my arm up…for forever.

The pain actually subsided.  25 minutes in or so…I completely stopped noticing it.  All I had was my vision and my breath.  I even had a smile on my face.  At that point, it didn’t actually matter if I won or if I lost.  It was a complete surprise, but I actually learned a lesson in that moment that may have even been more powerful than a $10,000 VIP day, and here it is:

I am so much stronger than I realize.

And you, reader, are so much stronger than you realize.  How would you live your day differently, and make decisions differently, if you had an opportunity to prove to yourself that your mind could tolerate the discomfort and resistance necessary sometimes in growing into your more authentic, vibrant, and thriving self?  How would you push yourself in your physical practice (yoga, running, dancing, etc) if you could realize that your edge may be just a few breaths later than you initially think?  Could you allow yourself to be so connected to your vision that you could give yourself the time and the space to prove to yourself your absolute inner strength???

In next week’s post, I will let you in on Surprise #2, and what ended up happening!

For the meantime, what is something you can do RIGHT NOW that you never thought you could do or do at the level that you would like to?  Allow yourself the time and the space to consider it–and then go do it.  Hold yourself accountable here in the below comment section.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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If there is one thing that is true about me, it’s that I’m a life-time learner.  I love learning more than almost anything else, and I get really excited about opportunities to be a student.  While I’m learning, I feel like everything else in the world is okay and, for me, it’s like there is never any sense of being lonely or disconnected. 

Indeed, I was a double major in college (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Anthropology…that could almost be 4 majors lol), a double minor (French and Finearts) and later went on to receive my master’s in Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology.  One of the things I loved most about my majors, and even minors, is that there were so many surprising connections I would learn between different topics and areas that were so seemingly unrelated.  It was like finding treasure when I heard a professor lecturing about a concept in my Cultural Anthropology class that was also just previously discussed during my Cognitive Neuroscience class — Every time it ASTOUNDED me that these extraordinary connections existed.

So when I graduated with my my collection of degrees, while it was certainly a happy accomplishment, I was also devastated at the same time.  At the time, I thought it meant that the treasure trove of connections were forever behind me.  No more learning.  No more interesting and novel philosophies and concepts to be absorbed.   And worst of all–I felt alone.

It wasn’t long before I realized that there would–and could– be more learning.  Of course I would continue to find ways to make interesting and novel connections across seemingly unrelated areas.  First, because it’s simply my nature.  Second, because we attract that which we manifest.

So, into my life came podcasts.  Those of you who also enjoy learning, or crave a bit of mental stimulation, I HIGHLY recommend downloading the “podcast” app to your phone RIGHT NOW.  And then do a search on topics and people.  When my friends come to me needing advice and support, do you know where I tell them to go first?  Yes.  Podcasts.

So I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPR the other day and had another one of those golden moments of unexpected connection and knew I could not delay in sharing it with you all.  I know you will be just as excited as I was.  Especially since it really gets to the root of why so many of us love and stick with our yoga practice and meditation work.

In the deserts of Arizona lives a facility which simulates and tests a model of a habitat which is fully enclosed and fully self-sufficient.  A BiosphereFor two years, a group of scientists LIVED there; growing their own food, recycling their own waste, breathing only the air that was found in this fully enclosed space.  They had their own miniature rainforests and a private beach with a coral reef.  They had a savanna, a marsh, a desert.  They had their own half-acre farm upon which they had to grow everything.  I’ll let you check out the talk if you want to learn more about it on your own, but let me tell you now why I bring this up.

One of the things said in the talk struck a chord so deeply in that same familiar resonate way that I used to feel in college when I heard something in one unrelated class be said, perhaps in very different words but with the same meaning, in another class.   The scientist discussing the experience, Jane Poynter said this:

The most profound experience I had in the biosphere was the experience of not only being completely dependent on my biosphere, but being absolutely a part of my biosphere in a very literal way. I mean, as I walked through the biosphere, I was incredibly conscious of the fact that the plants surrounding me were providing me with the oxygen that I needed to breathe, and that I was providing them some of the CO2 they needed to grow.

When I breathed out, my CO2 fed the sweet potatoes that I was growing. And we ate an awful lot of sweet potatoes. And those sweet potatoes became part of me. In fact, we ate so many sweet potatoes I became orange with sweet potato. I literally was eating the same carbon over and over again. I was eating myself in some strange sort of bizarre way.

And then, a little later, in the context of broader learnings for all of us, she said:

And if you lose where you are in your biosphere or are perhaps having a difficulty connecting with where you are in the biosphere, I would say to you, take a deep breath. The yogis had it right – breath does, in fact, connect us all in a very literal way. Take a breath now and as you breathe, think about what is in your breath. There, perhaps, is the CO2 from the person sitting next door to you. Maybe there’s a little bit of oxygen from some algae on the beach not far from here. It also connects us in time. There may be some carbon in your breath from the dinosaurs. There could also be carbon that you are exhaling now that will be in the breath of your great-great-great-grandchildren.

CONNECTION.  If you ever feel alone (and I know some of you do because I hear this a lot), Take.  A.  Breath.  And reconnect with this perspective.  Remember your part, your role in the world.  Literally.  Ecologically.  Physiologically.  You are so important, your existence, everything about you.  Take a step back.  And remember that.

I hope this message gave you the “aha” moment that I experienced.  How cool is it that these scientists, interested primarily in the pragmatic applications of creating a biosphere to bring to Mars, ultimately had epiphanies shared by yogis worldwide?

I would love to know your feedback and find out what you think about this story.  What connections did you make?

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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I know the average person sees Valentine’s day as an opportunity to buy presents and eat yummy fancy foods and buy cards and things.  Those are pretty traditional Valentine’s Day activities.  However, I like to view Valentine’s day as more of a benchmark.  A time to sit and contemplate my thoughts and perceptions about the most important thing in the whole world:

Love.

Many gurus and teachers say that the best way to receive love is to first love yourself... embrace self-love.  I agree with that, and that all sounds great…but what does it really mean? 

The first step is figuring out what you need.  What you enjoy.  What brings you bliss.  …That is the easy part.

What comes next is the hard part.  …Actually doing it.

When you start to think about it, I know you will immediately encounter the big obstacle, the big question: “And where am I supposed to find the time for this bath/massage/chocolate eating/yoga session/date with myself?”

This is where you employ the secret technique.  And this requires some practice.

Learn how to say, “No.”

When you can say no, you can start to set expectations and boundaries with those around you.  Stop overcommitting.  Stop trying to be such a people-pleaser.  Stop putting YOU on the back-burner.

And this isn’t just about a one-time occurence of self-love and bliss.  This is about creating a sustainable pattern that you feel REALLY good about.  And modeling– being a good example– for your spouse, kids, family, and friends.

To help you with this process, which can at first feel selfish and guilt-inducing, I’ve included here a mantra to support you.

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves, contemplating:
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

After that, we can practice on others (he/she) contemplating:
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

After that we can practice including ourselves with others (we) contemplating:
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

-Inge Santoso

Do you find it difficult to say, “No”?  How will you practice this important skill?  Comment below with your thoughts!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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