2019, the year to integrate all that we are. The year where we have tried and tested so many ways of eating, living, thinking and being that we now can decide what we want to keep in our lives. It’s really that simple.

All the things that work, we do more of. What doesn’t work, we are going to get rid of as soon as possible or find a way to to do so. The year where we don’t half-ass anything. We are all in. Wholeheartedly, full bodied, all in. No more “wishy washy,” dabbling in things — just plain, clear, focused intention, gratitude and especially the full commitment to love. This is the year of completion. The year of the “Lifestyle.”

As a yoga teacher, health and life coach, I have done detoxes and cleanses. I have read so many self-help books I have lost count and have gone to numerous “better your life workshops” that I started teaching my own three years ago. I juice every single day at least once, and sometimes more depending on how I am feeling.

What I’ve learned is, the short three-day juicing detoxes and the step-by-step cleanses are great in the sense that they take you out of your norm, to add something that is more nutritious and feels good and can be a great way to transition to a new way of living, but they aren’t the most optimal way to live. They feel good at the time and then we end up going back to exactly what we were doing, eating, being and living before.

A lifestyle is your life and the way you choose to live it every day! This is commitment, but also finally a moment when you are one with yourself, your body, your health and all that surrounds you. I picture it as a contract you are signing with the Universe saying, “I’m ready now to be my full potential and live in love and be awesome now! Here I am! Look I’m doing it!”

In return, we receive love in all areas beyond our wildest dreams. This is why commitment, in this way, isn’t limiting and scary, it’s actually freeing and gives you your power back to make your decisions from a place of love instead of handing your power and making a decision out of fear or lack . I used to dabble in being vegetarian, vegan, sugar free, some caffeine, some junk, then no junk food at all, etc. It used to make me feel so powerless and ultimately, frustrated. I would get so angry at the world and myself, but mainly at everything else, because it feels better to blame everything else around you, right?! This is so wrong! Hence, why this is the year we act in and with love. This is the year of the lifestyle. This year we take ownership of our lives and begin making choices that feel incredible!

I choose to be vegan, love without asking “what can this person or this situation do for me?” and align my business and family decisions with my heart’s desires and spread the truth about love and the illusions of fears. I am so grateful to have a partner who has committed to being vegan with me and chooses to live a life from our hearts!

That makes this part of our lifestyle so much more fun, getting to try new foods and varieties together, being able to have conversations in which we are discussing, learning and observing instead of defending and fighting and truly knowing what a work-and-life balance is.

One of our favorite things is being in the kitchen together. We love to travel. Our work allows us to help so many people and work together a lot of the time. Holding space for others fills us up energetically, rather than draining us like our old jobs used to (he was in the army and I was working three jobs). I do drink caffeine every now and then. I still read books, but now all the books are focused on the intentions I have to share with others and the way I want to live — not books that I think are the “answer” and then I don’t finish them because they didn’t fix what I was hoping they would.

For Valentine’s Day my partner and I got each other coconut bowls and the Vegan Bowls cookbook. We have been making so many new recipes! We love hot peppers and hot sauces, so we’ve been adding that to a ton of the recipes — and the bowls feel so good to hold and use, knowing they match our lifestyle and the way we love the planet.

Our commitment to changing our lifestyle in this way has been fun and has added so much joy and love to our lives.

Another part of my lifestyle is living a yoga lifestyle. That includes being aware of my food choices, how much rest I am getting and how much I need, where I spend my time and with whom, what fills my heart and what doesn’t, and giving gratitude daily to the Universe and those I love so much.

Living a yoga lifestyle, to me, means letting your heart lead the way. That can be extremely scary because of the uncertainties. The key is living from the deepest depths of your soul and heart’s knowing to the point that you couldn’t possibly imagine living any other way.

The following are ten ways to add more yoga into your lifesyle:

• Say no to the things that don’t feel right in your heart and your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right. No questions, no convincing, just no.

• Instead of making “goals” or resolutions, do more of what feels good and keep doing that. The other things that are “unloving” will no longer exist in this new loving space you are providing.

• When you feel like judging someone else or yourself, take a moment to recognize the feeling and instead find something you are grateful for towards yourself or the other person.

• If you have any energy in your body that needs to be released, then release it. This may be through a meditation where you go in and talk to the energy or feeling, or you may need something more intensive like a Reiki treatment, therapeutic massage or acupuncture. Set the intention for your commitment to release it and the ways to do so will present themselves.

• Use your breath first, then decide. If I’m feeling sluggish, I want to eat sugar, but if I breathe first and use my breath for energy, then I don’t need sugar (try alternative nostril breathing). This also helps you choose your words when responding instead of reacting.

• If you feel like attacking someone negatively, meditate on it, sleep on it, do whatever you need to do to get back into a loving vibration so you can then address it from a different space. It’s never our words that hurt — it’s the energy behind the words. The words carry the hurt.

• Instead of complaining, change it or find a way to look at it differently. For example, there was no yoga in schools so I started YogaNowe in schools. I was unhappy with a position in a previous job, so I asked for more responsibility

• How can you be more loving? We spend so much time blaming other people and things. What can we do to be more loving towards them and ourselves?

• There are so many different kinds of yoga. Find the one that fits you best.

• Be aware of the materials you use and, especially, the people you surround yourself with and the environments you put yourself in. I love the coconut bowls instead of plastic. I choose high vibing, aligned-with-love people and environments to be in. These are non-negotiable.

Last, but not least: Gratitude. A Course in Miracles teaches that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists. It sounds so simple that it makes me laugh inside every time I read or think about this. If we can remember this simple sentence, it will change our days and ultimately our way of living. If nothing real can be threatened, then we do not have to live in fear. If nothing unreal exists, again it’s an illusion and we don’t have to live in fear. No fear, just love.

Herein lies the gratitude. We simply forget and then we remember. I take time during the day, even if it’s just a few seconds, and look at my partner and think a sentence or more of gratitude towards him from my soul and from my whole heart space. Sometimes I say it out loud and other times just silently to myself. I do this with money, the Universe, plants, food, my step-kids, everything. It changes the energy between you and the other person and connects you with love and the place where real things exist.

More gratitude from the vibration of love only brings in more love and abundance of the things that match this vibration.

This year, find your lifestyle and live it. Find what feels good and keep doing that every day. This. Is. Your. Life. Some people like the gym and not yoga, some like walking and not running, some want to travel to work and others want to work from home every day. There is no right or wrong here. It’s all about finding what feels good and then commingling to that with no wavering because you feel threatened or judged to do so.

I wish you all the best on your journey to finding your lifestyle and living it in the natural glow that you are. Embrace others’ lives and naturally light up something in them. In doing so, you are helping them remember, allowing them to live their lifestyle and their best life.

Rise up 2019.

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