Tag Archives: Sasha Stone

Allow your Intentions to Manifest By Letting Go

fall-wallpaper-20This may sound counter-intuitive, but in order for your intentions to manifest, you must be willing to let go of form. By form I mean any physical restrictions or parameters in which you are encasing your visions and your dreams. Chances are, you don’t even realize you’re doing it, though often it’s radical letting go that kicks the flow of manifestation into high gear.

At the beginning of the year I set an intent to build a thriving online business to allow for maximum mobility in my life. However, I live in Los Angeles in a beautiful bungalow apartment that I also use for my work. I see clients here for private yoga and Thai yoga massage. I love this space as do my clients, but it’s expensive, and all of my resources go into maintaining my existence here.

Last week I had to face the harsh reality that due to circumstances beyond my control, it is no longer feasible to remain in this apartment. The moment of awareness hit me suddenly, and I knew in my heart that the answer was to let it go and begin working on my mobile life sooner than I anticipated. I could see that my attachment to my apartment was restricting me from taking risks and plowing forward, and the only thing that made sense was to release it, rather than racking my brain and going further into debt to keep it.

This was not an easy decision as the impact is great on me and on many of the people I serve. However, it opens up the opportunity to work with my clients in their homes, meet new clients that would prefer in-home services, and branch out to teach more classes and workshops throughout the city, thus spreading the wealth of what I offer.

As soon as I gave my notice, I felt a flood of relief and a surge of creative inspiration. Though it’s scary, I know it’s the right thing to do. Only a few days later, I was able to confirm an amazing offer from one of my clients to go to Hong Kong for a week and assist him with yoga therapy while he travels. Hello mobile life!

Here are some suggestions for allowing intuitive realizations to speak more loudly in your life:

  • Open yourself to guidance through daily prayer and meditation.
  • Practice surrendering your questions, fears, goals, and visions every day to the Universe through journal writing.
  • For women, make time each week to do things that please you and activities that move your body, such as yoga and dance. Your feminine energy is awakened through pleasure and movement, keeping you connected to grace and inspiration.
  • When answers come, don’t second-guess yourself. If it’s a big decision, talk it out with a trusted friend, someone that really understands you and can listen. Pray about it, surrender it, sleep on it, and do what you feel guided to do the next morning.
  • Know that whatever form it is you’re attached to might be keeping you from something better that is just around the corner. Be willing to release your current reality in order to allow the Universe to fulfill your desires.

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If you need guidance on meditation, connecting with your intuition, or any of the practices I outlined above, please consider joining me for Soul-Care Sessions. I’m here to listen and help you live a more authentic life.

 

photo by: Hamed Saber

From the Year of Intent: Affirm Your Intent by Saying No

yoga-1_300Do you ever notice when you make a decision to do something, suddenly a million opportunities present themselves to throw you off your game or steer you in a different direction? The first thing that has to happen after you are clear on an intention is to practice saying no to anything that does not serve it. This can come in the form of relationships, business opportunities, how you spend your free time, and more. And it can be extremely difficult!

When you’re making a shift in your life toward a new vision, one of the hardest things to do is discern which opportunities to accept, and which ones to decline. However, if you are clear on your intention and know what you are moving toward, saying “no” is a powerful way to affirm what it is you want and are creating. I see it as a way of sending a clear message to the Universe, propelling you forward in the best direction 

For the past five years I have worked to build a thriving private yoga and Thai yoga massage practice. In the process of building that business I worked part-time in an unrelated field, plus taught many group classes to hone my yoga teaching skills and build my client base. Now, I’m happy to say, I have a full time private practice and can say no to opportunities that get in the way of my time with my clients.

This year though, my intent is to build a thriving online business to allow for maximum mobility in my life. Basically, I’m shifting gears so that in addition to my private clientele, I can reach people throughout the world with a variety of online offerings, including essential oils, meditation, and Soul-Care Sessions (my newest program). I am doing this to allow more opportunity for writing, travel, and spending time with my family who are scattered all over the globe.

Even though I am clear on what I am moving toward, it can still be amazingly difficult to turn down opportunities that show up. Since the start of the New Year, I have turned down 3 business opportunities that I determined would eat up time and attention from where I really want to direct it. Saying no was not easy though! I still have that fearful voice that thinks saying no means I’m ungrateful or entitled. Thankfully, largely through my meditation practice, I’ve learned how to turn the volume down on that voice, and turn the volume up on my intuition that gives me that gut reaction of what’s a good idea and what isn’t.

I don’t think there’s any real formula for this, but this is what I’ve observed about my own response.

Scenario 1: If someone makes an offer or proposal that right away feels good, exciting, and inspiring, I usually accept it. Sometimes fear will kick in after trying to discourage me, at which point I tell myself it’s worth a shot and if in the end I decide it’s not in my best interest, at least I tried.

Scenario 2: If someone proposes something that makes me hesitate, question, and feel uneasy, I usually say no thank you. But, if I don’t know right away it’s a no, I take time to think about it. Often then, that fearful voice will try to convince me that it’s a mistake to turn it down, but if I’m trying too hard to rationalize it into my life, I know it’s not right. Then I say no.

Like with anything worth developing, it’s a practice. Taking a moment to check in with how you feel, on a physical and spiritual plane, is always a good idea. There’s almost no decision that requires an immediate answer, so take the time to feel good about your response. Listen to your intuitive voice, and know that saying no doesn’t mean a stop to opportunities, but more likely an invitation for the right ones to appear.

I would love to have your support in my Year of Intent! You can follow me HERE.

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Sasha Stone is participating in our Year of Intent campaign. You can support, adopt or comment on her 2014 Intent and all of her updates here, or go to Intent.com to start your own! 

Thanksgiving Recipe: Curried Squash & Apple Soup

43 Final DishThis soup was inspired by a delicious dish my Aunt Joan made of roasted curried squash. I adored it, so recreated it, then decided to make it into a soup. It’s fabulous for chilly fall nights, when you’re looking for something to warm your belly and soul, and it’s super easy! It also makes a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner, especially for your vegan and gluten free guests.

I’m not one for precise measurements as one of my favorite aspects of cooking is experimentation, so I encourage you to play with the flavors and find what works best for you. Feel free to share any magical discoveries in the comments below!

Ingredients

– 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

– A couple green apples, peeled, cored, and quatered

– 1 small yellow onion and/or shallots

– carton of veggie broth (homemade is great too of course!)

– 2 tsp of Wakaya Perfection Ginger

– grapeseed oil or olive oil

– curry powder (the best kind you can find, which will probably be at an Indian or West Indian store)

– ground cumin or roasted geera

– salt and pepper to taste

These are my favorite brands of roasted geera and curry powder, both purchased from a West Indian store in Toronto. Having delicious and authentic curry powder can make all the difference!

43 Curry Powder

Instructions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the squash, apples, and onion/shallots, with oil (enough for a light coating) and a decent coating of curry powder (about 1 – 2 Tbsp) and about 1 tsp of the roasted geera/cumin. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

43 Bowl

Place ingredients in a baking dish, and roast in oven for about 40 minutes, removing half way to stir. Squash should be very soft when complete.

Add the roasted veggies to a good quality blender. Add the Wakaya Perfection ginger and about a cup of veggie broth to begin. Begin blending on a low setting and keep adding veggie broth until you reach your desired consistency (it will depend on your preference and how large of a squash you used). Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Have as a starter, or make it meal by serving with a scoop of brown rice and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!

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This article was originally posted on Sasha’s Empowering Wellness blog.

Are You Playing the Blame game?

Yosemite riverIf you’re listening to the news these days, you’re likely hearing a lot of jabbering on Capitol Hill about the dysfunction of healthcare.gov. Though not surprising, I still find it disheartening to hear grown adults, leaders in their field and leaders in government, pointing fingers and playing the blame game. In politics, whatever is wrong is almost always someone else’s fault, definitely the other party’s fault, and perhaps even another country’s fault.

Imagine, just for one moment, what it would be like to live in a world where, when things are amiss, leaders stood up and said, “I see what’s wrong with this picture, and here is where I am responsible for what’s happening. As a result, here’s what I can do to turn it around. Do you support me on this?” Can you imagine? I believe the support would be mind-boggling.

The chances of this happening any time soon appear dim (though with the announcement of Marianne Williamson running for congress in California, the prospects are looking up!). We can, however, focus on our own sphere of influence.

How often do you play the blame game? When something isn’t going well for you, do you point the finger elsewhere or do you examine where you can take responsibility and step up to the plate?

If something isn’t feeling right in a relationship, whether it’s with a friend, a family member, or a lover, do you look solely at the other person for what they can do to fix it, or do you look within at the part you play? It’s so easy to pick apart how other people are failing you, but perhaps not so enticing to examine how you are failing yourself.

For everything that’s going on in your life, you bear some responsibility, even if it’s only in your perspective and certainly in your response. That may sound harsh, but it’s actually exceptionally empowering as it gives you room to move, change, flow, and evolve.

When I was in my teens, my family went through a rough patch. Honestly, at times it was pretty hellish. Due to the circumstances, I realized I could pretty much do whatever I wanted and blame my behavior on family issues, as though it gave me permission to act crazy and throw my life away. Thankfully, at a young age I knew this was not the answer, and that goofing off would only mess with my own path, no one else’s. Ultimately, regardless of the situation at home, I still had jurisdiction over my actions and reactions. Though I had my ways of rebelling (sorry Mom!), I stayed on top of my academic game and ensured my pathway to University.

The same is true for romantic relationships that haven’t panned out. People always want to know, what happened? Well, I could give the easy answer and say he did this and that, but the truth runs so much deeper than that, and it’s one where we both hold responsibility. How could it be any other way? We were both in the relationship and both contributed to its dissolution. If I can’t look at my participation, how can I expect to grow from the experience and into the healthy relationship I desire?

Pointing fingers and placing blame only serves to disempower you. You’re basically saying it has nothing to do with you and therefore you can’t do anything about it. On the flip side, reflecting on where you can take responsibility creates an empowered stance. This leads to choice and action. This leads to forgiveness and gratitude. Isn’t that preferable to hopelessness, self-pity, and anger?

I’m not saying the answer is to let people off the hook. People do shady things, and sometimes that crosses a boundary that cannot be repaired in the context of the relationship. Yet even knowing when it’s time to walk away from an unhealthy situation is a form of personal empowerment. You are responsible for you, and if you find yourself in a situation where most of your energy is going toward what the other person or people are doing to wrong you, it’s time to focus your attention inward on where your power lies to make change for the better.

Yosemite View

Take action now:

1)    In the comments below, share an experience you are dealing with, or have dealt with, where you can take responsibility for your role.

2)    Share this article far and wide, with your friends, family, and social network. The ripple effect of people taking personal responsibility for themselves is profound!

Namaste,

Sasha

You can find Sasha over at her Empowering Wellness blog.

Two Essential Questions Before Saying “I do”

Wedding ringsBy: Sasha Stone

Recently I caused a minor Facebook frenzy with the following comment:

“It is my observation that marriage for my generation is irrelevant and represents the death of love. I have a few examples in my life that prove otherwise, which is beautiful and wonderful. What about you? What’s your experience?”

I will admit, I did this partially to provoke people. I knew it would strike a chord and married people would get defensive. I was curious to see what that defense would be, because honestly, I would rather my observation be inaccurate. No surprise, most responses had a lot to do with romantic notions of forever, family, and devotion. Those that said their marriage was thriving sited communication, honesty, and respect. This, though, was my favorite response of all:

“Marriage is not just a piece of paper. It is not a piece of paper to prove love. My husband proved that to me well before we got married — which is why we got married in the first place! However, it does open up a lot of options legally – think about health care decisions, financial combinations, term life decisions etc…”

Why my favorite? Because this is real. This has a purpose.

Since my divorce in 2009 I’ve kept a close eye on my views on marriage, observing any changes and fluctuations that might occur and why. In the midst of my divorce, I felt fairly certain I would never get married again. Not because I was bitter and jaded, and not because I didn’t want to have a family, but because marriage had lost its meaning to me.

I got married very young (age 25), and though in love, we hadn’t really spent any time discussing our motives for taking such a huge next step in our relationship. There was the practical consideration of me being able to stay in the U.S., and the idea of wanting to be together forever. Beyond that, we didn’t really look at the deeper currents of why, and consequently nor whether this move was truly in the greatest good for either of our lives.

Whether consciously or not, I think many people get married to hold on to that relationship and that person forever, no matter what, even if there are massive gaps in values, vision, and priorities. As though somehow, having that official certificate guarantees your idealized vision of love and that the person will be yours forever. Clearly, divorce rates indicate otherwise, but people still seem to think, for them it will be different.

What happens all too often though, for my generation at least, is the paper gets signed and the relationship takes a nosedive. I know that is not the case for everyone, but it is strikingly common. I could probably write a 1000 page essay on this topic, there’s so much to it. But I am going to stick my neck out and say the main reason this occurs is because despite our social evolution, we still cling and grasp onto the romance saturated view of marriage that is fed to us through fairytales, both classic and contemporary. Our starving mind (our hearts are usually wiser) latches on to that idea and laps it up voraciously. Then we get married, and our socially evolved self revolts, does not want to accept the illusion of this arrangement, and suddenly, desperately, wants out.

Last year, I had the honor of officiating a wedding for a beloved student and friend (yes, that’s right, minister Sash). I had to be very thoughtful about it because I didn’t want to be a fraud standing up there, guiding two people into an institution for which I hadn’t yet made peace. So I asked the couple tying the knot to answer two questions for me (an assignment they had to do separately, without consulting each other).

#1) Why are you getting married?

Seems straight forward enough, but many people answer this question with something basically along the lines of, “I love this person, I want to be with them forever, and I want to build a family and life with them.” That is awesome! I say go for it, but guess what, you don’t need to be married to do any of those things (at least not in the Western world). Love and commitment are beautiful and wonderful, but you can be married and completely not committed. You can also be fully devoted and not married.

Dig deeper. What are some REAL reasons for making this massive commitment? I find the answers that are deeply spiritual, deeply traditional, and/or deeply practical to be the most compelling. If you and your spouse-to-be have those reasons in common, then there is a much more substantial backing to walking down the aisle than simply the forever story. You have no idea what life is going to hurl your way, but if you have super strong convictions about why marriage is essential to the progress and evolution of your relationship and life together, then you have a firm foundation to stand on.

#2) Why are you marrying this person?

Ok, here is where you get to be romantic and gushy. Still though, I encourage you to dig deep. What makes this person so highly unique and dear to you that you are willing to make a lifelong commitment to them? Get it all down. Be extremely personal, reflective, and specific. Then, when you hit those rough spots in your relationship, come back to this document and remind yourself what a precious being you have the privilege of sharing your life with.

Of course, there are many more questions to ask oneself, but this is not intended to be a guide on finding the right partner (when I figure that out I’ll get back to you ;). My intention is simply to draw your attention to two basic questions whose answers are often taken for granted rather than sincerely discussed.

Yes, I do believe in Love. I believe in commitment, I believe in family, and I believe that humans are meant to live their lives in togetherness, not isolation. I want love, I want babies, and I want to experience the crazy journey of being with someone for a very long time. Would I get married again? Only if the reasons for it truly make sense, and that if I decide to take that step with someone, that we have been openly thoughtful about it and see eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart on the why.

Take action now:

  1. Share your reaction to this article in the comments below.
  2. Send this to someone preparing to embark on the marriage journey. It might offer them a little guidance before taking the plunge.

Originally published on Sasha’s blog 

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