The Boho Blog: Bohodaily.com is your daily dose of inspiration and everything bohemian. We talk Mala beads, dreamcatchers, paisley, yoga, fashion, food and travel. "Peace, Love and Fashion"

The Boho Blog: Bohodaily.com is your daily dose of inspiration and everything bohemian. We talk Mala beads, dreamcatchers, paisley, yoga, fashion, food and travel. "Peace, Love and Fashion"

The Sacred Ritual of Self-Care

I will be the first person to admit that I don’t take enough time for me, however, it’s something that I am working on. I often go through my days, sometimes skipping lunch and almost always not drinking enough water. By the end of the day I often feel exhausted. When the weekend hits, I hardly have enough energy to plan anything. If you are like most people I know then this might sound vaguely familiar.

As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, I wonder where time has gone and often realize how out of touch I am with myself and that the practice of self-care seems like a chore, not something that should be part of my everyday routine like brushing my teeth.

10954278_1545651742385857_948393785_nIf you feel guilty about taking time for yourself I would like invite you to relax into that guilt and be gentle with yourself –taking my own advice and I speak! A lot of people think that taking time for themselves is selfish and I admit that I sometimes feel this way especially when there’s a laundry list of things that need to get done. Self-care is one of the most important ways to re-ground yourself and taking time for ‘you’ should be a top priority.

So with that, here is my top 5 ways to integrate a little self-love into your everyday!

1). If you have a morning and evening commute like I do, tune out and tune in. Pop in your earbuds and listen to some soul filling music. Listen to something that pumps you up or calms you down. It could be fun and inspirational music, or it could even be a podcast and an inspirational audio book. Whatever you love to listen to that fuels you up or fills your heart, listen to that.

2). Morning commute suggestion #2: Read a great book! If background noise is distracting, pop in your earbuds –again! You don’t even have to listen to anything! I often do this while on the noisy subway and although I can still hear people talking, the voices are muffled enough that I can concentrate on what I’m reading. Grab a book that inspires you or takes you to a foreign land. Something that feeds your desires.

3). Take a bath! One of the BEST ways to relax, unwind and re-connect. Draw a nice warm bath, light a few candles and maybe burn a little incense. Heck, a glass of wine wouldn’t hurt either! Listen to some soft music and close your eyes, or grab that book you were reading on the subway and read a few chapters.

4). Physical reminders! One of my favorite stones is Rose Quartz. I will often place a piece of Rose Quartz in my pocket and throughout the day when I put my hand in my pocket, it gently reminds me to give myself a little lovin’. It reminds me to take a moment, take a deep breath and re-connect. Whether in your pocket or sitting on top of your desk at work, every time you see or touch your reminder take a moment and re-ground myself.

10948642_1574845899394398_1317637346_n5). Mala beads! I have several sets of mala beads, including a set of wrist malas that I love, and each have different stones that are used for different purposes/intentions. Depending on the mood I’m in or the mood I ‘want’ to be in –heck, I admit to waking up on the wrong side of the bed some days, who doesn’t?! I will wear my mala and throughout the day, the weight of it around my neck or around my wrist reminds me to be gentle with myself, to love myself and to be patient and compassionate with myself.

So there you have it! I hope these ideas inspire you to take a little time out of your day for self-love and care and to remind you that YOU are the priority. Sometimes that’s hard to believe that especially when there are work, or partners and children are involved (I have all three!). I have been learning over the years though, that if I cannot be fully present and loving for my-self than how can I be completely present and loving for someone else? Our partners feel it and our children feel it but most of all WE feel it.

Open your heart and welcome in a lil’ more love today!

Megan-Casten-1735Megan Casten is a lover of life and adventure. Creator of www.megancasten.com, she gains strength and confidence in sharing her own life experiences with others in hopes that she might touch someone’s heart who may need it. Megan’s passion is to inspire and motivate others and being able to do this full-time is, well, a dream job come true! Her adventures are far from being over and she embraces each day with arms wide open, all while doing so with compassion, love and grace. 

Website: www.megancasten.com

Twitter: @megancasten 

Facebook: M Inspired

Feathery Fun! Using Feathers to Teach Children Yoga

There are so many fun props that you can use in your child’s yoga class. We often use stickers, buttons, pom poms, puppets, stuffed animals, sticks, balloons and so many more. Today I want to share with you one of my favourite props: FEATHERS! Who doesn’t love a tickly colourful feather?!

Here are some ways that you can incorporate feathers into your child’s yoga practice and how to have some fun with them at home:

  • tiny-devotions-mala-beadsBody Wake Up: Take your feather and start to tickle your cheeks, your head, your ears, your shoulders and make your way down your body towards your feet! Start off your yoga practice by waking up all parts of your body with your feather.
  • Blowing: Place your feather in front of your mouth and gently blow on your feather. Now place one hand on your belly and see if you can feel your belly moving as you blow on to your feather. Next close your mouth and blow through your nose to see if you can make your feather move and dance.
  • Downward Dog Feather Fun!: In downward dog place your feather under your doggie nose and see if you can blow your feather really far. Chase your feather around the room as you wag your tail in down dog and practice blowing your feather.
  • Counting Toes: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out. Melt your belly towards your legs and reach your feather to your toes. See if you can count your toes with your feather.

Amanda DeGrace is the Founder & Creator of Little Lotus Yoga. LLY specializes in Pre/Postnatal and Childrens Yoga classes as well as Teacher Training programs. You can find them online and on Facebook at. When Amanda isn’t getting her OM on with her amazing clients she is at home with her two young children and brand new baby girl!

Live Well Dress Well

Live well, dress well: The Motto. Well, definitely one of my mottos.

When you live well, you feel good, and when you dress well, you look great. Life really is sometimes that simple.

Life can also get hectic. Here are a few things I am always sure to incorporate into my days to lighten them up a little.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads1. Morning Yoga
Most people know breakfast is the most important meal of the day but what people might look past is a morning exercise routine. Nothing starts your day off better than a relaxing morning yoga sesh (after a good night’s sleep of course). Even a quick 10 minute sequence can ensure your day begins with ease and positive vibes. Some of my favorite poses are Childs Pose, Downward Dog Pose, and King Pigeon Pose. A good stretch wakes my body up and keeps me feeling good all day. Breathe full, deep breaths and enjoy some peaceful time before the day begins!

2. Healthy Breakfast
Skipping breakfast can set you up for overeating later in the day, not to mention an irritable, sluggish mood because your appetite hasn’t been satisfied. Set the stage for good decisions all day by indulging in something healthy and delicious. There are much better options than sugary cereals that will shortly wear off. Oatmeal is always a good choice. If you enjoy something sweet like me, try sweetening it up with some milk and a touch of honey. I always like topping it off with some banana or fresh berries too!

tiny-devotions-mala-beads3. Natural Products
Eliminate harmful parabens from your daily life, I’m sure your body will thank you later. You’ll just feel all around fresher and cleaner too from the natural ingredients. One that I’m especially fond of is coconut oil. Use it as a moisturizer, chap stick, makeup remover, in cooking; it pretty much has an endless amount of uses. The organic materials used in these natural products are made up of the same minerals, vitamins, and hormones as the human body. This allows our bodies to readily accept them. I feel a whole lot better knowing I’m avoiding using those odd chemicals I can’t pronounce on my body!

4. A Good Outfit
It’s undeniable that looking your best makes you your most confident.  Why would you not feel good in your best fitting jeans or new dress? I know, I know, sometimes all you want to do is throw on a baggy sweatshirt, and call it a day. Strive to always wear something that makes you feel your best. I am always so much more inclined to put myself out there when I know I’m looking good. It’s fine to show off every once and a while, you know? And of course, don’t forget to finish off your look with your favorite mala beads for a reminder to get inspired and live your dreams.

Make your wellness a priority!

Written by Valerie Sanders. Valerie is a blogger and an apparel merchandising student. She is passionate about fashion, poetry, and her dog. Check out her blog here, and her Instagram here.

Goddess 365

In this crazy fast paced life we’re continuously glued to our mobile phones and tablets, where checking our social media is the first thing we do when we wake up, and conversations with our nearest and dearest are conducted via email. We’re a long way away from the times when women used to gather together as a normal way of life within their local community.

We no longer follow the seasons or live in accordance with the cycles of the moon, let alone our feminine cycles. Instead we allow the routine of daily life to dictate our rhythms whilst ignoring our body’s cries to be re-set and restored.

So how do we fix this?

We tune in. Meditation, contemplation, and simply taking the time to listen to that small voice within will help us to reconnect with our innate divine feminine wisdom. Go for walks and spend time in nature. Kick off your shoes and feel the Earth underneath your feet. She is a vibrant, benevolent planet – see if you can ground your energy and tune in to her healing vibrations. Spend time with other women who empower and help you explore your potential but, most importantly, spend time getting to know and understand yourself.

I invite you to give yourself 7 days to reconnect with your inner Goddess using the following ideas as a guideline. Add or adapt this list to your needs.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsDay 1 The Moon Goddess
The Moon is a female archetype that has always traditionally been associated with regulating the menstrual cycle, affecting our emotions, and controlling fertility. At the present moment we’re in the waning moon phase which is a time of transition, change and letting go. Contemplate what you need to release from your life. What no longer serves you? What holds you back and stops you from moving forward? Write these down on a piece of paper in preparation for the next new moon (a time for new beginnings), when you can give them over to the fire, clearing energy and making space for the new.

Day 2 The Wild Goddess
I always associate the Wild Goddess with the title of Clarissa Pinkola Estés book ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ because it conjures up an image in my mind of a tousle haired woman running barefoot amongst the grass, totally free spirited and carefree being led by her animal instinct! Today I invite you to do something that ignites the wild spark within you; something that makes your heart race and your whole BE-ing pulsate with energy. Never mind what other people think of you, do what makes you feel good! Remember what it feels like to feel that wind in your face, your spirit soar, and your heart as if it’s going to burst! Maybe its something you haven’t done for a long time and you really miss it, or maybe its something you’ve always wanted to try but never had the courage to. Whatever it is, just go and do it!

Day 3 The Nurturing Goddess
As women we are natural caregivers, nourishing and nurturing those we love. From the babies we breastfeed to the family, friends and animals that we care for. Today you must do something that connects you to others through the simple act of giving. It could be doing a kind or anonymous deed for someone you know, or even a total stranger. Find a unique way of expressing your love for someone you care about. The crucial part of this is to give with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Give simply because it feels good to be a blessing in someone else’s life.

Day 4 The Creative Goddess
It is an essential part of our Goddess nature to be creative. After all, Adi Shakti, also known as the Great Divine Mother, is the primordial cosmic energy and personification of the divine feminine who created our Universe. How does this archetype manifest itself within your personality? In what way do you allow your creativity to express itself? Or do you hold yourself back because you fear you’re not good enough? If that is the case then go to the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself ‘I AM a creation of the Divine Mother and as I have been made in Her image and likeness. I hold within me the power to create anything I choose!’ Then, pick up that paintbrush, sing that song, write that book – whatever it takes to gift your soul with the freedom of self-expression.

Day 5 The Love Goddesstiny-devotions-mala-beads
Today you will embrace your inner Aphrodite in the form of self-love and self-nurture. If we cannot learn to truly love ourselves then how can we possibly ever love anyone else? If you and I are a reflection of that divine light that shines within us all and we believe that others are worthy of our love and affection, well then that must mean that we are too. Do something for yourself that honours your femininity and sexuality. Relax in a warm salt bath in the light of your favourite scented candles. Treat yourself to a beautiful piece of lingerie, or boy shorts if that’s your thing! Go for a massage or try on that red lipstick you’ve been longing for. Whatever it is, feel worthy and accepting of the gift you give to yourself. You deserve it.

Day 6 The Empowerment Goddess
Consider this: What would you do if you absolutely knew that you couldn’t fail? Then ask yourself why you haven’t done it yet. There is no reason for us not to achieve what we set our minds to. Procrastination and excuses are nothing but fear in disguise, or if it’s lack of resources that hold you back then become the Goddess of Resourcefulness! Information is available to us at the touch of a button and, as we are reportedly only ever 6 people away from each other, we live in a really small world so make the most of it! Write out that goal then break it down into bite size realistic chunks. Before you move on and do something else take one small step towards making that goal a reality. Believe that its possible and it becomes just that – possible! Immeasurable opportunities await you on the other side of fear.

Day 7 The Sacred Goddess
Take some time today to immerse yourself in nature with Gaia, our Mother Earth. Walk by the ocean. Allow your face to be whipped by the wind devas. Feel the spring of the grass underneath your feet, or bury your toes in the sand. Sit with your back to your favourite tree or, if it’s too cold where you live, hug the tree instead. Breathe in the air. Notice the sensations as it comes in through your nostrils. Connect to the pulsating energy of the Earth underneath you, noticing how Her heart beats in tandem with yours. Become aware of all that is around you and how it sustains life. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the sacredness of life, and our beloved planet. Listen to the wisdom that is carried in the song of the birds and the gentle rustle of the leaves on the trees. Release every idea, every thought, every notion and every bit of tension in your body. Just simply BE.

At the end of your 7-day journey spend some time contemplating what you have discovered about yourself and write your thoughts in a journal or notebook. Congratulate yourself on rekindling your relationship with your divine feminine nature. However, don’t stop here. Let this be but the first step in your journey to awakening the Goddess within.

Written by Haley Blackman. Haley is a yoga teacher and workshop facilitator with a special interest in the divine feminine. You can visit her here or follow her on Instagram. For those wishing to learn more about connecting with the Goddess within you can join the #Goddess365 journey on Instagram that Haley is currently co-hosting.

Tiny Devotions Mala Beads For Purchase

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsThey’re here… !!!

Like a kid on Christmas morning I was ecstatic to walk into my studio this morning to see the beautifully wrapped package from Tiny Devotions had been delivered! This precious cargo contained the gorgeous mala beads I had ordered just last week for Sacred Space. Oh what a treat it is to have these beauties here!

Having followed Tiny Devotions for quite some time, I was thrilled to be able to carry them in my studio. These treasured gems are handmade with love in Canada by their team of inspired mala makers using precious crystals and rudraksha seeds.

What are mala beads?

Also known as prayer beads, Hindu beads, or japu beads, mala beads are pieces that have been worn by individuals for thousands of years in traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Yoga, for their spiritual and healing qualities. They are worn around the neck or wrists, and often hung as ornaments on wall hangings or statues of buddhas and other deities.

While simply being in the presence of these malas is powerful, the beads are also often used for mantra meditation, counting through each one as you repeat your mantra, much like a rosary. This practice helps to train the mind and develop one-pointed concentration. They are also deeply devotional and can be used in the repetition of sacred names or words, like Rama, Krishna, Ganesha, Brahma, Om, and so on.

Mala Bead Creation

The team at Tiny Devotions crafts their malas using rudraksha seeds are grown on the Rudraksha Berry Tree. They grow in Indonesia, India, Hawaii, and a few other remote locations around the world, and Tiny Devotions gets theirs from Bali.

They have selected to use the traditional number of 108 beads plus 1 guru bead, around which the 108 turn like planets around the sun. There are many explanations for the number 108, such as it comes from the auspicious number 9, there are 108 sacred sites throughout India, 108 Upanishads, 108 gopis of Krishna, and so on. In the end, it is simply understood that there is power, perhaps beyond our knowledge, in this number. The tradition carries with it the sacredness of silent truth.

om-buddha-tiny-devotions-mala

Mala Bead Intention

Much as you set an intention in your yoga practice, by putting on your mala beads you are setting an intention for your life. Each mala represents a particular energetic quality through the gemstones it is made of, as well as how it resonates with you.

Choosing Your Mala, or rather, Allowing Your Mala To Choose You

Stones carry a large array of qualities and are not limited to just the few that may be listed with each piece, so it is most important that you choose the mala you feel most called to, trusting that it carries what you need, and allowing yourself to be open to the gifts that it will bring. Each of us experiences the sense of knowing differently, so as you see and feel each piece, be mindful of the sensations or thoughts you receive, and go with what feels the most right.

For myself, I did not even think I would be buying one at first, but in the moment I touched the mala I knew. I even put it back at first, I hung it to be sold, but the little beauty kept calling. I picked her up one more time just to see, and the moment I touched her gem I felt a surge of energy up my hand and over my being and I knew. I put her on and I was in heaven. She is the mala for me.

My Mala, The Goddess

The mala beads that chose me are the Goddess Mala. She represents earth, love, light, and healing (of course!!), and she supports the soul during emotional processes and assists with goals (oh my god!!). She is the connection to the heart (love!).

I just read that for the first time as I typed it. Perfection. Of course.

mala-beads-sacred-space-studio-vancouver

Thank You, Tiny Devotions

I am so grateful to be carrying these magical pieces!

Thank you, Tiny Devotions, for putting such care and love into these pieces. It is truly felt in every aspect and they are absolutely singing with joy from their place on the shelf.

I so look forward to sharing them with you all when you are next here!

If you wish to book an appointment to view, please give me a call at 604-889-3342 or email me anytime.

The one for you is waiting.

Love,

Kim

Kim Gillett is a yoga teacher and the owner of Grace Yoga + Meditation

Oh Hey There Aquarius!

Celebrate your birthday with a little Amethyst, your lucky gemstone.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads

4 Yoga Experiences to Try This Year

A new year means new experiences. Mixing a bit of travel, a dash of adventure, a little anti-gravity and a lot of flowing, I’ve narrowed down my top picks for yoga experiences you should try over the next 12 months.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads1. A Wanderlust Festival
Held in some of the most beautiful oases across Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and the US, Wanderlust festivals are multi-day wellness events. Featuring world-renowned yoga instructors, live music, outdoor adventures, motivational lectures, organic foods and inspiring art, these festivals are colorful, creative, energizing and blissful. Not to mention, an incredible opportunity to connect with fellow yogis from all corners of the world.

A micro version of its festivals, Wanderlust 108 is a mindful triathlon, combining a 5k run, calming meditation, and a giant outdoor yoga class, hosted in cities across the US. Learn more by checking out my personal experience at Wanderlust 108 in Brooklyn, New York last year.

Helpful Tip:
The multi-day event can get a bit pricey (upwards of $500). To experience the festival but not break the bank, opt for

To Get Started:
Click here to check out upcoming 2015 Wanderlust Festivals and register at your location of choice.

2. An Intimate Yoga Retreat
Whether you spend one day om-ing at a safe haven in your home city or three weeks flowing along the beaches of Thailand, a yoga retreat allows you to take time away from your busy life to reconnect with yourself. I recently attended my first one-day yoga retreat in New York City with Exhale Spa. The 8-hour experience, filled with meditation, yoga, incredible teachers, healthy foods and relaxation, left me feeling entirely rejuvenated.

Click here to learn more about my experience at Exhale’s urban yoga retreat.

Helpful Tip:
Consider getting your feet wet with yoga retreats by first trying a one-day retreat close to home. If you love your experience, consider spending more on a longer, destination retreat.

To Get Started:
Visit Retreat Network to search for retreats across the world filtered by retreat type, location and timing.

Yogaworks: retreats offered in Mexico, India, Bali, Costa Rica, Arizona and more

Yoga for Bad People: retreats offered NYC (this January!), Nicaragua, Mexico and Brazil

3. An Aerial Yoga Classtiny-devotions-mala-beads
If you like swinging in hammocks or feeling like you’re flying, an aerial yoga class will be your cup of tea. Using stretchy, fabric hammocks attached to the ceiling, aerial yoga is a unique airborne yoga experience that every yogi should try at least once. In aerial class, you will explore yoga postures with your weight partially or fully support by the hammock. You’ll be suspended in the air, but never more than a few feet off the ground. Safe, relaxing and fun.

Helpful Tip:
If it’s your first time, be sure to sign up for a class using aerial yoga hammocks, rather than aerial silks. Also, drink plenty of water before class as you’ll be off the ground more often than the body is typically accustomed to.

To Get Started:
Visit aerialyoga.com to search for classes near you

tiny-devotions-mala-beads4. An Acro Yoga Workshop
I discovered Acro Yoga a few months ago and it has quickly become one of my favorite pastimes. Over time, I’ve learned I prefer flying to basing given my body type and skill set. However, trying both roles makes you better at whichever one you decide to pursue more regularly. I’ve found the best way to approach an Intro to Acro class is simply by being prepared to have fun and to trust your instructors. You don’t need an advanced practice to give it a try! Acro can seem scary at first, but with trained teachers and plenty of spotters, it’s an incredible experience.

Helpful Tip:
At an Intro to Acro class, you will try everything regardless of your size and gender: basing, flying and working with different people. You can bring a friend if you want, but don’t need to! You’ll have plenty there.

To Get Started:
Ask your local yoga studio if they offer Acro classes.

Visit Acroyoga.org to search for classes near you.

Sam Emrich is a corporate yogi, inversion junkie and zen-fueled creative. She is the Founder & Chief Content Creator of CatchingDragonfly.com, a NYC-based yoga & wellness blog; a creative strategist for a global communications firm; and a corporate yoga instructor. A proponent of the office yoga revolution, Sam believes in the power of living your yoga beyond the home and studio. Find Sam office om-ing and asana catching on Instagram.

Staying Present

Over the holidays, I worked on a campaign that reminded people to enjoy being in the moment with the people they love and to stay present. This campaign was a wake up call to me as to how much I really am attached to technology (phone, email, laptop) and how as a result, I am missing out on connecting with the people that matter to me the most. This lesson was hugely important to learn over the holiday season, but I am consciously working to carry this with me into 2015. Here are some tips to help you stay grounded and present in the moment for the rest of the year!

1. Give the phone a rest:

This is the most obvious one, but arguably the most important. It is sad to admit, but I know that when I am on my phone I am a terrible listener and miss out on beautiful moments I will never get back. While you may need to have your phone on you during work ours, think about setting it aside when you get home. For me, this literally means putting it on a shelf or somewhere I can’t see it. It is amazing how much more focused your mind can be without the constant distraction of texts, tweets, and Instagram.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads2. Rethink picture taking:

Another thing that keeps me tied to my phone is the constant urge to take photos and share them on social media. I love social media for so many reasons, but sometimes this pressure to share takes away from truly living in and enjoying the moment. Think about considering another option for picture taking. Polaroid cameras are fun and widely available now. My boyfriend also recently took up snapping photos on an old film camera. There is something so special about having to wait to see the results and the itch to post the picture immediately isn’t an issue.

3. Say no:

A new year is a perfect time to take control of your social calendar and workload. I find that I become the least present when I am committed to too many things. Five deadlines I imposed upon myself and a handful of coffee dates with people I only feel like I should see is a recipe for a scattered, distracted mind. In 2015, don’t be afraid to say no to plans or projects you don’t really want to dedicate your time to. Say yes to plans and tasks that light you up and make you forget to even bring your phone or think about your to do list.

4. Enjoy the process:

The pressure to nail down your resolutions has begun to set in. It may just be my personality, but declaring goals and resolutions for a new year starts a time clock in my head and I begin to feel that the race is on to achieve all I set out to do. Rushing from one goal to the next to tick off resolutions will not allow you to celebrate any success and ultimately leave you feeling anxious and unhappy. This is something I struggle with, but stay present in where you are at right now and enjoy every small win along the way to your ultimate goal.

5. Take a moment for you:tiny-devotions-mala-beads

Find an activity that helps you clear your mind and reset. Resolutions often center on getting active, so it could be something that leaves you feeling sweaty and focused. I am completely obsessed with spin right now (Ride Cycle Club). When I am in class I only think about the music (and how hard it is!), and I leave feeling clear and empowered. This time does not have to revolve around exercise. It could be reading, being outside, taking photos or meditating with a mala that remind you to be present. Cultivate peace, calm, and strength; anything to take you away from distractions and bring your mind back to the present moment.

I wish you a happy, healthy and present year!

Liz works in Digital at lululemon athletica. Books are her one true love, with Pinterest as a close second. Expressing her thoughts and wisdom through writing is what lights her up. Her goal is to oneday work as a freelance writer. See what she is up to on Instagram.

A Tiny Bit of Motivation

How to Keep Authentic and Heart-Centered New Year’s ReSOULutions

Be more patient. Have more fun. Find a new hobby. Learn a new language. Be kinder to myself. Achieve more. Work less. Do yoga. Get fit. Eat healthy. More time with friends. Less time in the office. Travel. Save more money. Make more money…

This is just a sampling of the slew of new years resolutions I’ve heard floating around over the past week or two. I love that this time of year elicits that go-getter, fresh-start, anything-is-possible mentality. It’s exciting and inspiring. But, all too often, it’s fleeting.

I was never very good at making resolutions, but whenever I did, they always felt a little superficial, a little empty and, to be honest, a little lame. As a result, by mid-January I had either forgotten about them completely or had already fallen off whatever bandwagon I had pledged to jump on.

Last year I picked up Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map, and this fundamentally changed the way that I thought about and set resolutions, goals and intentions. I started thinking about this as a creative process, and I shifted my approach so that setting intentions became about what I want to be and how I want to feel rather than what I wanted to do and what I wanted to achieve. This year, I dedicated a whole day to 2015 dreaming and intention setting. I put it in my calendar weeks in advance. I didn’t plan any meetings, any lunches, any classes, or anything else that day. Because I like lists and organized chaos, my process this year (inspired by the Desire Map) involved dividing my world into various categories (body and wellness, lifestyle, work, spirituality, relationships, etc), jotting down notes under each one and then turning this into a mind map of full of colourful words, ideas, dreams and doodles that reflect how I envision my 2015 to taking shape. It felt good, it felt fun, it felt authentic and it felt soulful. I’ve thought a lot about what made it so, and the below is a reflection of my humble experience. I hope you find some helpful guidance so that this year, your resolutions are also full of heart and soul.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsMake the time

This first step is a crucial one. In order to make this a truly authentic and heart-centered practice, you must give it the uninterrupted time that it deserves. If you can’t afford an entire day, block out an afternoon. Or even an hour. The length of time isn’t actually that important, but it’s the act of clearing space and making this a priority that sends a powerful message to you and to the Universe that this is serious business. Because this isn’t about making flippant, sweeping resolutions. It’s about digging deeper, quieting the noise, and listening to yourself. So, make the time. Uninterrupted. No phone, no email. Not while you’re eating lunch at your desk. Not while you’re doing laundry and cooking dinner and cleaning the bathroom, all at the same time. Not while you’re in savasana. Not even when you’re meditating. You may get sparks of inspiration during these moments—and certainly, use that inspiration—but make time in your calendar where you will ONLY do this. And then put everything else aside and get to work.

Create the Space

We’ve established that this is serious business. But it’s not business as usual. So make this time that you’ve now created feel special. Create a warm and soulful space to do this powerful work. Light some candles. Put on inspiring music. Get comfortable. Put on comfy clothes, or something you feel great in. Sprawl out. Make a cup of tea or something equally nourishing before you get started. Create a space that puts you at ease and that inspires you so that your reSOULutions have every chance to float to the surface. This is the container for your dreams, so make it dreamy.

Make it fun

Now that we’re in a dreamy space, let’s make it fun, too. Get creative! This process of making new years reSOULutions should be a reflection of you, so there are many ways to go about this. You could create a beautiful vision board by cutting or printing out photos and phrases from the Internet or magazines and pasting them to a sheet of cork or bristol board. You could make affirmation cards based on phrases, quotes and ideas that inspire you. You could draw or paint. You could journal. You could Desire Map. Or all/any combination of the above. I encourage you to keep this old school (remember arts and crafts?!) with as many props as possible like scissors, markers, coloured pencils, paper, bristol board, etc, but if things like pinterest, collage apps or even spreadsheets float your boat and feel fun, inspiring and authentic, then by all means, do your thing.

Let it flow

Here’s where we go deep. Give yourself permission to think outside the box. Whatever words, phrases, quotes, images, dreams—however big, small or crazy—come to the surface, let them. This process isn’t about being cautious or careful, or even realistic. It’s about being free. Free to explore, free to entertain, free to be silly, without judgment or expectation. So, whatever your chosen method, whether vision boarding, desire mapping, journaling, etc, this is the part where you just let it flow. Out of you, onto the page, or the canvas, or whatever, and into the universe.

Make your reSOULutions

This is what you’ve probably been waiting for. Here’stiny-devotions-mala-beads where you get to make some practical and concrete goals and intentions. Importantly, these goals and intentions must be a reflection of, and inline with, what you’ve just created. They should be small steppingstones that support this beautiful vision that you now have for yourself. They may very well end up sounding like your typical resolutions: Drink herbal tea instead of coffee, cook at home more, work less hours, read more. The difference is that now these resolutions are rooted in something deeper. And they are part of something much bigger, small pieces of a big and beautiful puzzle.

Let it marinate & take inspired action

Once you’ve made your reSOULutions, wrap up your session but keep your creative product, in whatever form it exists, close by, top of mind and close to heart. Let all that goodness you’ve cooked up marinate; let it stew, both inside of you and out there, now that you’ve put it into the Universe. The point here is not to have a finished product, but to have started a process that will continue to evolve. Talk about it, dream about it, meditate on it or silently reflect on it. In whatever way feels right for you, let it brew, for about a week. And in the meantime, start taking inspired action towards your reSOULutions. Drink your tea. Start a new book. Try a new recipe. Be motivated and inspired by these things because they are in alignment with who you want to be and how you want to feel.

Let it go

Here’s the hardest part. Now, let it go. This is a lesson from my meditation teacher, Emily Fletcher, and I have to say, I don’t like it either. After all that work and play, there’s nothing I want more than to proudly display my mind map on the inside of my bathroom vanity and look at it every day to remind myself of all the amazing dreams I’ve dreamed for 2015.

But I totally get it. If we hold on to this vision, these resolutions, these dreams too tightly, we get attached. And then we start looking for happiness and security and approval and confidence and everything else, from things, people, and ideas outside of ourselves. And the truth is, it’s not there. We won’t find it. Everything you need to be happy, to be secure, to be accepted, to be confident, to be the very best version of yourself is already INSIDE of you.

So, take your creation—your vision board, your desire map, your list, your spreadsheet, whatever— and tuck it away somewhere safe. Pull it out every once in a while when you need a little inspiration, when you want a reminder of the vision that you’re holding for yourself in 2015, but don’t use it as a measure of success or failure.

It’s a powerful process to do what you’ve just done; to reflect, to ponder, to make goals and resolutions and plans. But the real magic happens when we let go. When we trust and surrender that we have everything that we need, and that we are exactly where we are meant to be.

Julie Mae Weber is a NYC-based yoga instructor and co-founder of Samana Health Retreats. Join her in Costa Rica this March 21-28th for a week-long luxury health and yoga retreat. Find out more about the retreat here and follow her on Instagram here.