New Castle News

Healthy Living: Lori Brothers

December 28, 2011

Lori Brothers: Plant some seeds with that resolution

NEW CASTLE — Ever since I was a girl, I considered the end of August, into September, the time to reflect.

I’d look back on what had happened over the year, and plan to start anew.

 It still tends to be my time of reflection and review. If you have school-age children, you know what I mean. You begin to gear up toward the end of summer for a new year. You know there will be a lot of growth and annual events.

Autumn is still reflective for me that way. It is a time of endings. Summer is over. The beauty of the leaves changing makes me appreciative to live in this part of the country. I feel very grounded, knowing the winter is coming.

For many, now is the time of reflection and review. So what about the proverbial New Year’s resolutions?  I really don’t believe in them.

I have been teaching yoga classes for almost 20 years. Throughout the years I have led guided meditations for my yoga students to “plant seeds of intention.”  I suggest you do this any time of the year.

This “planting seeds” ritual is much more powerful because it requires vision. It goes deeper than the wanting of something, or goal setting. Planting seeds of intention goes beyond a specific goal, such as the popular, “I want to lose weight.” Even the truly admirable goal of wanting to stop smoking or any other addictive behavior will be met with more success with planting seeds of intention.

Planting seeds reaches beyond “wanting,” which is usually generated in a judging mind. When we motivate ourselves from the judging mind, we have viewed our life and our goal from the negative perspective. What we don’t have. What we haven’t accomplished.

This action is based much more on a desire to create something new. Planting seeds of intention takes a careful journey from the head to the heart and invites our feeling world to become a part of the action and the new outcome. We decide what we would like to develop.

Intention merges heart and head so that our thoughts and feelings can begin to influence our choices in each moment. It deepens the understanding of why we want to meet the goal. We see the goodness in the new actions as we move forward. It enhances our sense of becoming. This is our empowerment to stick with it, until it become the new way of being.

That vision of the goodness behind the choice is the fuel to take a new path. In this deeper dynamic, you actually are becoming a different person from intentions that live closer to the core. Resolutions tend to be surface. That’s why they last a few days, a few weeks, or if you are diligent a few months.

Some people do accomplish what they set out to do by setting a New Year’s resolution. I bet they were planting seeds of intention without realizing it. I guarantee you, they consulted their heart and understood their feelings to create and achieve their vision for their new life. That is the key to making positive changes.

You can include a ritual this year to create the action of planting. Fill a small paper cup with some raw rice. On small strips of paper write what you would like to create for yourself this year. Sit with each intention, holding it in your hand and consulting your heart, until you know the “deeper why.”

Just like in prayer, sit quietly while holding each written intention one at a time. Name for yourself the goodness behind meeting the goal. What will it feel like when you are living it? What will it look like in relation to yourself and life circumstances? See how you are most powerful when you are living with this change after it has occurred. Then, roll it up and plant it into the rice cup.

When you are complete, put the garden of your intentions where you can see it. Allow your garden to inspire you to grow your heart’s desire and live your vision through positive action.

If you are looking for an addition to your New Year’s celebration, this homemade Jalapeno Popper recipe makes a fun snack to share.

I wish you all a blesséd and happy New Year.

(Lori Brothers is the director of The Dean Ornish Program For Reversing Heart Disease at Jameson Hospital.)

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