Life

Set Intentions. Be your best Self.

I was recently interviewed by Emilie Dingfeld, health editor of Fashion Magazine, about intention setting for the non-yogi. She wanted to propose to her readers to set intentions rather than new year's resolutions and asked for my input on what that process could look like.

Read Emilie's piece HERE.

Below is the full interview.


What does it mean to set an intention, for the non-yogi? What's an example of an intention?

An intention is like a seed of something you wish to create, grow, become or the first step towards where you want to go. Setting an intention helps give your actions direction, focus and meaning.

Ex.
Today, I will eat more mindfully.
This week, I will only spend money on what's necessary.
This month, I will commit to exercising at least once a week, writing once a week and reading once a week.


How can we use intentions to turn our lives around? For instance, how can we improve our fitness or health via intention setting?

We can use our intentions to turn our lives around by focusing our intentions on striving to continually move towards our better selves - which typically means being more mindful and being more honest with ourselves. Be more mindful about what we eat. Be mindful about how we relate to others. Be mindful about how the body feels and how we can move to make the body feel at its best. Be honest about what we need (do I really need another croissant today? Will this cigarette actually serve me in achieving my best self today?) Be honest about when we need help from others. Before acting, pause and ask yourself if your action will help achieve the intention you've set.

What does the process of intention setting look like? Should we make a list, or take a moment each morning to set our intention for the day? Should we have both long and short-term intentions?

Set daily intentions as well as long-term goals so that your present day actions set you up for future success. Set intentions that are attainable, specific and expandable. Set intentions that only use positive language.

Ex. If you're desire is to get fit and eat healthy, instead of saying that you're going to hit the gym everyday for at least an hour and that you're going to give up gluten, sugar, meat, dairy, everything that tastes delicious... start small.

"Today, I'm going to set aside 30min to move my body."

"Today, I'm going to look up easy and healthy recipes for packed lunches so that next week I can be more in control of what I'm putting in my body."

"This week I'm going to actually assess how my body feels after I eat so I can recognize which foods don't serve my health."

Once you've successfully attained your "smaller" goals, you can start expanding, but keep it specific: "This week I'm going to go to the gym for at least 30 min on Monday and Wednesday. Sunday, I'm taking a yoga class." 

"This month, Sundays are my meal plan and prep days. Mon, Wed, Fri are workout days. Tues and Thurs are read and write days. Saturday is my day of rest and small indulgence."


Do you have any other tips or ideas about intention setting?

I think starting your day by setting intentions and ending your day by reflecting on what you're grateful for is an amazing and powerful practice. It keeps one feeling positive and present. 

Let me touch you.

I'm offering 35 PWYC massages to finish off my Thai Massage certification from Still Light Centre. I've learned plenty and am inspired tonnes. I can't wait to share all I've learned and explore helping people feel damn good in their bodies.

My massage zone is all set up and waiting for you. 
Email me to book it in : royola@royola.ca

MONDAYS : 10am-12pm
TUESDAYS - FRIDAYS : 10am-12pm / 6-8pm
WEEKEND : 10am-12pm / 2-4pm

 

Love More : A big business marketing campaign I can get behind.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to love. Quick to fall in love. Quick to express my love. Ready to give love, always. Love is the cure-all.

Honeymaid released a campaign called #thisiswholesome, featuring families of all sorts: interracial (swirls!), homosexual, and other "alternative" varieties. The brand received lots of hate mail, and turned it into a message of love. Yay for clever and meaningful marketing campaigns!

See the videos below. Get as tingly about it as I did. And spread the love.

Go forth & be brave.

A friend recently told me, "Embrace fear & fill it with with love." It came well timed as I've been observing fear a lot lately while down here in Pavones.

First, in yoga. Observing that I held fear in my practice - of falling flat on my face when attempting certain arm balances, inversions or floating forward. Then recognizing that it's that same fear that will prevent me from progressing. Now part of my practice is to learn how to fall so that I can embrace that fear. 

Then, in my relationship. Fearing what may arise in a month together in such an isolated and slow-paced place. Quickly I realized it was a senseless fear, because there's no preventing what may come up, there's only managing how it's dealt with.

Lastly, in those around me. Fearing failure. Fearing to ask for what one wants or to stick up for oneself. Fearing to upset someone at the expense of their own happiness. Fearing to dig deep and come face-to-face with their shit.

Funnily enough - and as scatterbrained as this may seem - this whole post and meditation on fear came about because I took the above photos in a tank top made by my friends of The Brave and I wanted to plug them (haha).

Why plug them and why talk about fear?: 1. They're two amazing and dedicated individuals who make responsible and cool clothing. 2. Their tagline is "Go forth & be brave." which is what inspired this spiel.

Go forth & be brave. Embrace fear & fill it with love.

Meet your fears head on, deal with your shit and come out a better version of yourself - either while wearing clothes by The Brave or not. 

Forever Playmates

Because we should never stop being playful.
In our relationships. In our work. In our practice. In all that we do. Play more.

Go play.

Hustler Profile : 15-year-old Kelvin Doe

How about THIS KID for some inspiration to start your week? Kelvin Doe is a prime example of my hustling mantras: "Make sh*t & make sh*t happen" and "NO EXCUSES".


"I spent many frustrating nights trying and failing, but nevertheless I persevered until I completed the project."

"Creativity is universal and can be found in places where one does not expect to find it. Perseverance and passion are essential to nurturing that creative ability... I urge you to look for young people with talent, creative abilities and passion in all places. Not just in places you might expect to find it." 


The wisdom, love and drive this young man embodies is enough to patch the cracks in anyone's heart and light a fire under all of our bums. Never stop striving to be the best version of yourself, aspire to inspire and affect positive change around you.

Watch these vids and be reminded of the genius potential that resides in all of us. WARNING: you may end up in a puddle of tears.

#noexcuses

Siempre Domingo

We had the privilege to catch sunset at Siempre Domingo, a rental lodge on a mountain that overlooks Golfo Dulce. I met Rondalynn ( the property manager ) at the Downward Dog Teacher Training Retreat which she catered.  YUP - She also happens to be an amazing chef and all around awesome person with loads of interesting life stories. Naturally, we jumped on the occasion when she invited us up to show us her version of Pavones Paradise.

Her version of paradise is definitely my version as well. These pictures don't do the lodge or landscape justice. We have every intention of making another trip down here expressly to stay at this lodge. 4 bedrooms, state of the art kitchen, infinity pool, jungle surroundings and the best view of the sunset in Pavones. Who's coming with us next year?!

The River of Dreams

RIOCLARO2.jpg

We find ourselves pretty lucky to be steps away from Rio Claro, a river my friend Sonja aptly named "The River of Dreams". It's hard not to feel like you've been transported to another world when you're in Rio Claro.  The vegetation is jurassic-park-giant and so vibrantly green. The orchestra of cicadas is overwhelmingly loud yet at the same time soothing. The rushing water, oh the rushing water, washes by you and through you seemingly saying "Oh hey there, care for me to wash away all that doesn't serve you?". YES. PLEASE. Wash it all away.

Craig and I have been making daily treks up the river. Especially when the sun is high and only Rio Claro can offer you reprieve. As we trek in full concentration so as to not misstep and roll an ankle on a loose rock, I enter a meditative state and become completely present in the moment. Every now and then I look up to get the destination in sight, then immediately bring my focus back to where I currently am and where I should go to next.

It occurred to me that trekking up a river is analogous to navigating through life. ( Ready for the philosophy bomb about to drop?! )  It isn't about fully pre-planning the path to the destination. It's about committing to set out and letting the process of the journey determine each next step. The path may become more circuitous than intended. The destination may change. But the journey of getting there ( wherever "there" turns out to be ) is where all the learning and living happens.

Most of us already know this about life. But all of us need constant reminding. I so easily get wrapped up in all sorts of unnecessarily consuming things. Which is one of the reasons why I'm grateful for this trip, for the generosity of others that made this trip possible, and for the wisdom of the river.    

Forever grateful. Forever dreaming. Forever manifesting dreams. Go manifest yours.


Sugar Shack

Ok, so I'm not just addicted to chocolate. I'm addicted to sugar in general. To my luck, we became friends with farmer Jonnie Haas. Not only was this a winning new friendship because of his bounty of smiles, but also because he farms sugarcane that apparently is GOOD FOR YOU! Raw sugarcane juice seemingly has all the opposite health effects of processed sugar. It prevents against tooth decay, it's anti-cancer, alkaline forming, hydrating, good for colds and weightloss, etc etc etc.  But don't trust me - google it.

Jonnie took us up to his farm, aptly named Sweet Farms. He showed us around his jungle, the site of his soon-to-be-home, his chicks, his legume harvest, his rolling hills of farmed produce ranging from moringa, papaya to peanuts, and best of all his sugar shack where we made so much delicious juice!


"The key to good sugarcane juice is lime, ice and friends."

- Jonnie Haas


Be sweet. Smile more. Drink raw sugarcane juice.

Been Practicing

One of my favourite things about yoga is that you get such a clear and immediate picture of what focus and practice can bring. When I first arrived to Pavones for the advanced teacher training with Downward Dog, I could barely lift my "floating" leg in Eka Pada Galavasana. Every morning in mysore practice with Ron & Marla, I'd give it a go.  Some days I'd be "better". Some days I'd be "worse". All the same, everyday I gave it a try and everyday I congratulated myself on my efforts while taking in whatever lessons needed to make my next attempt that much more informed.

Well timed, this video clip of Ira Glass on Creative Process has been making its social media rounds again. Reminding us that if you want to excel in whatever it is you're trying to excel in, you need time, patience and practice.

Time. Patience. Practice.

I'd like to add : Guidance.  Set the ego aside, ask for and accept the wealth of knowledge that others can provide.

When you set out to do something, do it without fear, without ego - but with patience and love.

God, I love learning and all of whom I've been fortunate to learn from. Om Shanti Shanti, yo.