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Blog

10 weekly opportunities for change

Magdalena Weinstein

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I’ve been thinking about the phrase “new year resolutions”. I have heard this phrase so many times and it continues to make me cringe. Yes, I don’t believe in new year resolutions. I never did. I never will.

New year resolutions suck because they only happen once a year. That is a terrible goal. Behavior change requires daily reminders, daily restrains, daily intentions and resolves and daily actions.

I say let’s move away from new year resolutions and towards incremental moment to moment changes instead. Why wait a whole year to make a shift in negative behavior, habits, addictions, etc? Why wait a whole year on assessing where we wanna be instead of starting to work now on doing the shift? If we are going to live 80 years, then it means we get 65 opportunities for change (if we started when we were 15). That is a very low number. Instead, give yourself 10 opportunities weekly for new resolutions. Test them, try them, add momentum daily.

Here are some suggestions for the 10 weekly opportunities:

10 weekly opportunities for change:

  1. Morning assessment and intention setting. this is the cornerstone, but it doesn’t have to be huge. It can be a 5 minute ritual. It could be done while showering, while driving, while having the morning drink. Be consistent, which means avoid skipping it at all cost. Assesment means noticing how you feel and how you are starting today, perhaps there is anxious energy, some unprocessed grief or anger, perhaps you have pain or tightness, or pehaps you could start noticing some shadow aspects that are starting to come up to surface, like racial, cultural and sexual biases. You got the picture, now what? This is the point where intention setting comes in. During your assessment you discovered something you perhaps would not be aware of, unless you paid enough attention. Now, create an intention that can support your work towards integrating this shadow piece, bias, unattended feelings, etc, into your whole attention, in order to create change from this precise place, rather than trying to avoid it.

  2. Be honest: this is a two arrow work. Be honest with yourself first. Then do it with others. Practice this skill as often as daily. But, make sure your honesty is not translated into blaming others. Be honest with rapport, which means, taking in consideration the other person’s feelings and the effect your words or acts will or have caused. Remember to take time first with yourself, accept your feelings until you don’t feel like blaming others. This skill is extremely important but not considerated often enough. With blame, others don’t listen, they just react. We want the other person to listen to us, we want change, that’s the whole point of being honest. But really, we want change in ourselves first.

  3. Posititve food: make a daily choice of food-life choice that is beneficial for your body. Just one a day if it’s a hard one, but make it daily and consistently.

  4. Negative food: avoid daily a food-life choice that negatively impacts your body. Just one a day, but make it consistently. Negative food could mean avoiding that interaction that could impact you negatively today, but tomorrow that might become positive food, it depends.

  5. Learn something new: pick a daily or weekly challenge. Learn anything new you didn’t know before, about yourself first, about the world around you next. Take your whole life as a learning opportunity, which means, gazillions of moments to fall and mess it up and as many to get up, and learn what you are supposed to learn. How else will you evolve?

  6. Find something to be grateful for: at least do this weekly but I really preffer a daily practice. it could be the weather, your garden, a friend, a part of your body, a meal, clean water, etc. Be consistent. the more your practice gratefulness the better.

  7. Offer your service for free to those in need: yes, you heard me, free service is necessary in this world. Give some of your time to a non profit or minority group, help the elder, the disabled, help at a school, a church, a homeless shelter, etc. Be consistent, do it weekly if possible.

  8. Walk your talk: So simple but hardly exercised, we have a political landscape full of promises that never come to fruition. Don’t go around lecturing others about subjects you haven’t owned. If racial issues are a thing for you, then act accordingly. If you feel there is unjustice speak with your acts.

  9. Practice critical thinking: one way of doing this is exposing your thoughts in public. You can do this via a #randomtalkingvideo or by writing often your opinion. See what happens next, learn from the feedback, learn to love feedback, but never take it so personal that it prevents you from doing it again. The whole point of this exercise on critical thinking is understanding that your stance, your opinions and your interests will evolve. Be a lover of feedback. You will learn so much faster this way.

  10. Love yourself first: I know, this is the corny stuff, but without this piece nothing else will matter. We talk about love until our mouths are full of foam, but it is not the conditional mediocre-smell-like-a-trick kind of love. It is the inner super hero, the one part of yourself that has the cape and is able to love all your other parts

Let me know what you think about this subject or these 10 weekly opportunities!

Also I offer zoom and skype consultations. let me know if you are interested in exploring change from the inside-out.

Supporting the Body

Magdalena Weinstein

Using props is something quite relevant and primordial for humans in my experience. I can imagine the evolution and spread of Yoga having quite the momentum and acceleration by the use of props. Some say their relevance is in making poses comfortable, easy and accessible, and yes, that is very important and a good point, specially for older population and those tight, injured and anxious or depressed.

I am also interested in the relation of props with the body, as much as I am interested in the relation of the body with gravity, with the Earth and with others. Our first relation with space and the "other" comes when in the utero, when we develop the spine, and extremities. We first have a lot of space, and gravity is not an issue at all, since we are floating in the sac, but then we grow larger, our limbs, skin, organs and bones develop in great detail and size and we start building a relation with our mothers womb, being slowly touched, moved and snuggled by it, and gradually squished and expelled from it.

We are relational, from our beginning, and our relation is what shape us. Our first and most primal relations are sensate, which means we feel them, and it is in the womb that we build this relations, with our own development from a cell to a human, and at the same time with the womb that supports and nurtures us, with the cavity and walls of it, with the placenta, the cord, and with the vaginal passage (if we experience a vaginal birth), or with the doctor's hands and tools (if we experience a C-section) what fist and foremost shapes our body relation with the outside.

It makes so much sense that we later on develop unique relations with the Earth, gravity, people and objects that support us. We humans have spent a lot of our evolution creating places and objects that support our body, to the point that now our bodies spend the majority of time being held by chairs, beds, sofas, benches, etc. This is not to criticize those supportive objects which are wonderful to make our life easier and comfortable. My interest is in the relation we have with them, which emulates our sensate relation with others. When this primal relation is left unattended and unexplored, patterns of behavior are what run us, unconsciously. We might be unaware of our tightness, our clenches, our defensiveness, our rigidity, our incapacity to bond or our lack of boundaries and our ungroundedness.

If we are aware of (and remember) our unique relation with the outside, be a human, and animal, a plant, the ground, a chair, a bed, a blanket, anything or anyone that gives us pressure, or extends us, that wraps or contains us, that supports parts of our body, etc, we build sensitivity, awareness and a sense of welcoming and safety in those parts of our body and of our being that not only loss sensitivity, but also because of that, got fragmented from the totality of our body structure, and at the same time fragmented from our wholeness.

Fortunately we can slowly start paying attention to our body patterns, the unconscious holding, tightening, clenching, our weak places, the pull and the attraction, the habits that have governed our life, our fragmented state. The Body is amazing at remembering whatever has been disembodied or excluded. I assume that one of our main journeys in life is to bring all the pieces back together into wholeness, into relation, and into harmony. An easy and great place to start this journey is our body and its relation with the outside world, as much as its inner relating with all it's parts: with skin, fascia, muscles, organs and bones. However we have been relating as a whole body (or not) has a lot to say about our relation with others. Yoga means Yug, connection, to join. To connect, to relate is to live.