5 Intention-setting Ideas to Manifest Radical Self Acceptance as Your New Year Intention

Perhaps, with the advent of the pandemic, this is THE year that we stop setting New Year resolutions that set us up for failure and challenge our mental health and, instead, consider the only intention that will support lasting health, mind, body and spirit – self-acceptance.

When we can truly accept ourselves, both our light and our shadow as a human being, we are in a balanced space to fertilize the soil for continued growth.  Self-acceptance will not bring on a superiority complex or make us vain, as those spaces are ones of imbalance, leaning into only our gifts and ignoring or defending our imperfections or limitations.  Self-acceptance will lead us away from self-doubt, low self-esteem, low self-worth, and any other spaces that suggest we are less than other.  Learning self-acceptance will land you in a place of humility, where you are able to recognize yourself as perfectly imperfect, allowing you to move into spaces of vulnerability to deeply connect with yourself and others.  It is in this fertile soil where we can identify parts of ourselves that currently live in the shadows and invite them to sit with us in the light, creating opportunities for growth.

Below I offer ideas you might want to try to support your new year intention of radically accepting yourself exactly as you are now:

  1. Let Go of Goals.  I know, I know, your thinking but how will I know if I am being productive?  Setting goals and failing to attain them messes with our mental health.  And, even when we meet them, we believe we have to set an even higher goal to achieve, inviting our perfectionist to step forward and carry the load.  We have been taught that without goals, we are aimless.  That is a myth.  Every day we accomplish a lot, like getting out of bed, bathing and feeding ourselves, taking care of our loved ones, laundry, chores, errands, connecting with friends, to name a few.  Perhaps consider redefining what we might consider productive.  Instead of it meaning completing tasks at work and/or learning a new skill, maybe productive can mean improving relationships by being kind to yourself and others, listening deeply to someone who is struggling, keeping an open mind when someone’s opinion is different than yours or setting a healthy boundary, where you say no, so others can grow.  Can you imagine what the world might look like if productive meant this?
  2. Practice Self-compassion. Self-compassion has been shown to reduce the challenging uncomfortable feelings that we experience when we make a mistake or stumble on our journeys.  It is offering ourselves kindness and forgiveness, as we would offer a friend that tells you about a mistake they just made.  Unfortunately, we are not taught or shown how to offer ourselves such compassion.  The good news is that it can be learned, if we practice.  Consider trying some of the free meditations and exercises that can be found at the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website.
  3. Lose Control.  We spend so much energy trying to control ourselves and everything around us.  When we begin to realize there is really not that much we can actually control, life begins to offer us the space to flow with it, instead of against it.  One thing I learned that I can control is my breath.  Our bodies breathe themselves without much awareness from our minds, leading to a deeper mind-body disconnection.   But the diaphragm is actually a skeletal muscle, which means we have control over it.  Consider bringing your awareness to your breath the next time you find yourself trying to control a situation, where the mind and body are tight, and allow your mind to lengthen your inhale (through the nose) and lengthen your exhale (through the nose) for the next several breaths.  Take notice if the control of your breath (internal experience) satisfies the in-the-moment need to control the external situation.  This practice will support a shift away from the need to control so much and ease you into the space of ‘going with the flow’ more.
  4. Write It Out.  Journaling has been shown to assist us in getting clearer about who we really are, by allowing us the space to feel our feelings, and then describing or labeling the emotions and why we might be experiencing them.  When we can feel our feelings and label our emotions, we learn that the uplifting ones reflect our needs being satisfied and the heavy ones reflect our needs not being satisfied.  Identifying our needs supports the process of getting to know ourselves better.  If this effort sounds a bit challenging for you, consider reviewing Marshall Rosenberg’s Feelings Inventory to jump start the process.  Then perhaps take a moment to reflect on the last time you might have been experiencing one of the feelings listed under your needs not being met and explore what need was being dismissed or ignored.  Again, Marshall Rosenberg provides a Needs Inventory to support this part of the journey.  When we can identify our needs (and we all have them!), we are then able to begin the process of radically accepting them for the data they provide about what makes tick.
  5. Develop Supportive Mantras.  Another layer of writing it out includes listing supportive mantras to challenge the critical voice in our minds that believes it is what motivates us to do or be better.  Supportive mantras, such as “My needs matter”, “I’m good enough” and “I don’t have to prove my worth to anyone” can stop the critical voice in its tracks.  Consider developing a list of such mantras in your journal that challenge your critical voice and keeping it accessible so you can turn to it when the powerful emotions arise and the critical voice gets loud.  Powerful emotions are part of being human, yet the critical voice is a different story.  When we can befriend our emotions and tune out the critical voice, the road to self-acceptance becomes smoother.

As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you.  Please send me an email at to share!

Vision Board Playshop to Support Your New Year Intentions!

Registration for this event is required as space is limited.  If interested, Please make sure to reserve your spot by either calling (657) 204-6262 or emailing me at soon!

5 Intention-setting Ideas for Allergy Season

As we move into Spring, the air begins to warm and Mother Nature begins to blossom once again.  And here in southern California, after our deliciously wet winter, the flowers are already in full bloom!  For many, this season can bring tears to their eyes just thinking about the flowers, not from their simple beauty but because of the misery they bring to the body due to seasonal allergies.

If you experience an increase in nose and ear congestion, sneezing, and/or itchy eyes and/or throat during this season, I offer 5 intention-setting ideas below for a more natural approach to reducing the suffering that accompanies such allergies:

  1. Honey.  Consider adding honey to your daily food intake.  And not just any honey – it must be LOCAL honey.  Bees create honey from their immediate environment and it contains trace amounts of the environmental allergens that your body may be trying to flush out through your allergic symptoms.  So, by adding honey either to your tea, smoothie, or oatmeal in the morning, over time you will build up your immunity to such substances and with a whole lot less pain than allergy shots!
  2. Bee Pollen.  Bee pollen is similar to honey and offers an alternative to how you ingest these substances.  You might consider adding bee pollen to your salads or other fresh fruit or vegetables.
  3. Nasal Cleansing.  Using a neti pot to rinse your nasal passages with a saline solution has been shown to not only relieve sinus symptoms due to allergies, but research has also shown using a neti pot can prevent several upper respiratory conditions, such as the common cold and seasonal allergies.  Not sure how to start such a practice, I recommend purchasing the Health And Yoga stainless steel pot that comes with a DVD for guidance.  If you still don’t think this is a practice you would want to try, consider using a saline nasal spray on a daily basis to wash away the irritants.  Personally, I got over my fear of pouring water up my nose and I no longer experience allergy symptoms and I believe I have successfully warded off a couple of head colds after traveling on airplanes!
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar.  Amongst many other uses, Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to support your immune system, facilitate lymphatic system drainage, and reduce mucous production.  If the taste is too hard to take, try diluting one tablespoon in a glass of water with lemon juice and drink this concoction several times a day to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.
  5. Nettle Leaf.  Adding nettle leaf to a tea has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory and naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine, which are the chemicals the immune system produces to get rid of something in the body it does not like and cause the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

5 Reasons to Set Intentions Instead of New Year’s Resolutions

“Live less out of habit and more out of intent.” ― Author Unknown

Happy Winter Solstice!  Yes, it is the official start of winter, the shortest day of light, and a turning point with each day bringing more light as we move through the season.  It is a good reminder that this is the darkest point of the year, where seeds of intention lay dormant, until we bring light to the ones we want to manifest in the New Year.  So why set intentions instead of resolutions as we ring in 2017?

Research out of the University of Scranton suggests that just 8% of the people who set New Year’s resolutions actually succeed in achieving those goals, thus leaving the majority of us feeling like failures.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling like a failure!

Some of the top resolutions people make include starting a new diet, losing weight, and saving money.  All of these goals imply a need for more self-discipline, which brings with it an implication that we are currently not doing good enough.  Coming from a place where we focus on giving up something to achieve an end result has the goal founded in avoidance, even in the name of self-improvement.  These behavior changes are rooted in fear, whether from our conditioned pasts or the unknown future.  Not fertile ground for real and lasting growth to occur!

Setting intentions, Sankalpa in Sanskrit, are made from the heart, not the mind, and focus on the growth of our souls. So, if the reason we set resolutions at this time of year is to improve our lives in the new year, I offer you the following ideas on why setting an intention might serve you, and the world, better:

  1. To Bring More Meaning.  I’d be willing to wager a bet that most of us would feel better if we knew what we did impacted someone in a positive way.  Our human existence depends on our deepening understanding of our interconnectedness, which is why we feel good when we are able to help others.  Therefore, setting an intention is more of a call out to the universe for assistance in manifesting something you desire or dream that will bring more purpose or meaning to our lives and the lives of others.
  2. To Change Attitudes.  My work helping others find more inner peace in their hearts and minds has reinforced a universal human need for acceptance, of self and others.  Yet, peace will be elusive if we don’t start with accepting ourselves first.  Just sit for a moment and imagine what you would feel like if you accepted yourself fully, without conditions such as “I’ll be happy if I just lose 10 lbs” or “I’ll be happy if I get that new job”.  Truly connecting to that place inside that KNOWS we are enough just as we are, a perfectly imperfect human wanting to be acknowledged for our intrinsic value simply by being present on this earth, brings a felt sense of inclusion, that we all are part of the larger human experience.
  3. To Broaden Instead of Limit.  I find resolutions to be restrictive, limiting the definition of, and thus the opportunity for success.  Maybe the need for S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based) goals has permeated our culture so much that our ability to trust that there might be an even better outcome, one that our minds are not even able to comprehend, is available and in ‘divine’ time, not in a forced, linear timeline. If you might need a little inspiration in this area, to spark your creativity and break loose from the grips of this culture, I highly recommend going to see the new movie Arrival, based on the 1998 short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted. Chiang.
  4. To Accept Change.  A common statement I hear is “I don’t like change” yet I think most of us would agree with the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus that “the only constant in life is change”, putting us in a bit of a dilemma. And when we set resolutions using the S.M.A.R.T. goal approach, it introduces the space for judgment around our success or failure of following through, forever attaching us to the outcome or result, and not creating room for change.  No wonder we hate change as it comes with judgment! Intention-setting instead recognizes that you are on a journey of practice, honoring that life is not a destination but an ever-renewing process.
  5. To Expand Opportunities for Change.  Yes, the new year coming does bring with it sense of starting fresh, thus supporting the tradition of setting New Year resolutions.  However, intentions don’t happen just once a year – they can be set monthly, weekly, and even daily! For some of my more lofty intentions like “Love myself unconditionally”, I like to plant the seeds of my intentions at the new moon and then check back in at the full moon for any growth, just like the Farmer’s Almanac suggests when gardening.  For a more daily Sankalpa, such as “Self-compassion flows through me now”, I like to check in at the end of the day when I might feel a bit overwhelmed by my growing “to do” list to remind me that there is always tomorrow.