Monday, December 30, 2013


As we close out 2013 reviewing the events, what was learned and what is still left undone, let me salute you: Happy 2014! Once again we begin anew. Starting fresh is a moment by moment practice. Not only can we begin fresh each day, but we can do so in each moment. The most important thing to remember is that no matter what mistakes you make or where you may miss the mark, you always get another chance. We can press the restart button and refresh ourselves daily. In fact, in any given moment you can begin again. This is particularly important for me to remind myself. In the past, my all-or-nothing mentality had me throwing up my hands and being so critical. I remember getting into a terrible argument with my dad and feeling I had blown it, or gaining 20 pounds and thinking I had completely messed up. When I throw up my hands and stop trying, I lose self-esteem and feel badly, but what helps me today is knowing that no matter what mistakes I make, I get another chance. My intention is to have a loving attitude towards myself and live a hopeful life. One thing that I can count on is that wherever I put my mindset, that is the direction I will go. 

This year, make your intention to have intention. Be mindful of the way you set yourself up in each moment. Ask for guidance and for wisdom as you begin each action. Even the smallest action can be fueled by the source energy of creation. When you awaken in the morning, ask to be guided. When you choose your breakfast, before seeing a dear friend, or prior to scheduling a meeting, ask to be lead. Give each exchange the respect that it deserves. Each moment a treasure. Each step with intention.

Ease into this New Year softly and be the eternal beginner. A fresh starter. A "yes" person. I want to thank you all for following me, for listening to me and joining me on my journey as I witness you sharing yours. You all helped me to be a New York Times best-selling author, you made my sold-out tour a success. I loved meeting you and sharing intention cards with you, working out beside you, and hearing your struggles and joys. May you have what you desire and more of what you truly need in 2014. I look forward to sharing many moments with you as I embark on the known and the unknown. The visible and the invisible. Watch out for my new video series on Net-A-Porter: The Yoga Studio with Mandy Ingber. My new blog on The Daily Love and my new Yogalosophy App to accompany the 28-Day Mind Body Makeover book will both be coming in 2014. Join me in person this Summer at the Omega Institute for a Loving Your Body Intentionally weekend in upstate New York. There will be more, and we will find these hidden treasures day by day.

Let's start fresh! 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

We have reached that point in the year where we live in the most darkness. Many of us have been trained to see the dark as bad. The good guys wear white and the bad guys wear black. We actually need both the darkness and the light to be in balance. I am currently directing my love internally. My heart has been feeling an absence of love, and I am being called to turn love towards myself, as well as to take a look at my old beliefs and conditioning related to love and loving.

It has come to my attention that my truest desire is to feel a sense of belonging. I am reminded that the moments I have sensed my belonging the most have been when I am giving to a classroom of people. I used to say that teaching has taught me everything I know about loving, for I feel love because of what I am able to give. This is an indicator to me that I want to find places where my giving is received. Where I am able to give and appreciate.

There is a phrase: "let it begin with me", which reminds me that if I am wanting to feel loved, not only must I supply myself with the love that I am longing for, but that I can be the source of love. I have a feeling that this very act, becoming the source of love, could quite possibly deliver me the sense of belonging that I so deeply crave.

Meanwhile, the only place that I can turn is inward, toward the dark, and sit in the uncertainty. This is where I am able to sit with the softer and more deeply vulnerable aspects of my nature, and learn how to give myself that gentle attention. That constant and nurturing acceptance. And so I say to you, don't be afraid of the dark, for it is there where all the mystery, magic, and faith lie. Dormant and waiting. For you.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Think Positively

My personal default state is concerned and worried. Perhaps it's genetics, history, or experience, but I am the half-empty type by nature. It takes extreme faith and contrary action to look at my life in the positive. I have experimented with this for over three decades, toying with changing the lens of perspective that I gaze through.

"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words, your words become your behavior, your behavior becomes your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny."
~ Gandhi

What I think and say have a direct effect upon what I do. Once established, it can be challenging to be mindful enough to break these habits. We may take the above quote in reverse. In consideration of your destiny, and I am assuming that mine is to be happy, loved, and loving, what would you have to put first in order to have this? What might you have to set aside?

For me, I must assume the best of people. Assume that I am loved and that others are doing the best they can; in fact for me. They are helping me, as I am committed to helping them. I must reinforce this on a daily basis in my actions. If I can say correct things, reminding myself and you, and those with whom I come in contact with that these are my true values, then my mind will clear and the negativity will be lifted. I will see with new eyes, and indeed, my world will have changed.

The holiday season can be a challenge for me. I can look around to all of those with large lives, families, pets, and I can compare myself. Just today, I was feeling forgotten. My mind began to make up stories about being unloved, unwanted, and alone… So I must catch myself in these moments and replace my negative self-talk with positivity.

This is how I do it:
Thank you for this awesome day. For a beautiful morning and space to sleep in. This body that is aging well, and for love. I have a lot of love that surrounds me all the time. Help me to see the love that is surrounding me all the time.

Now you try it!

Merry Merry

Monday, December 9, 2013

Generous You!

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

The prayer of St. Francis is one of my favorites, for it is a reminder to take the focus off of everyone else and put it back on myself. When I feel grasping or at a loss, I tend to magnify what I don't have or what someone hasn't done for me. When I flip that around and come from a place of responsibility, I remember the saying "Let it begin with me." Instead of my being the reactor to what someone else is doing, I place myself in the driver's seat by setting the tone myself. Why don't I give that which I wish to receive, rather than wait for the handout or place the expectation on the other person.

Become the bigger person. Take the high road. There is so much joy in giving... Giving the benefit of the doubt, giving to the cause. When I become the giver, I receive great joy from another's joy. I remember an epiphany I once had while teaching: I love my students for what I am able to give them.

The opportunity to be the giver is a great honor. When I am reminded of this fact, I start to look for opportunities to bring to the table what I have been trying to get, and suddenly, my world gets bigger. When I stop focusing on what I'm going to "get" out of the situation, and reverse the flow, the universe begins to funnel that abundance through me, for the source is unlimited.

Make your job today an opening of the heart and aligning with the greatest source of abundance: the creator/trix itself. When you do this, you will find that you will have everything to give, for you will be the receiver of all abundance. All you have to do is give it away. 


Monday, December 2, 2013

Expansion: Your Mind, Not Your Waistline

This time of year calls for an expansion. Since the holiday season has begun, I have expanded my waistline a bit, for I have allowed my appetites to roam. This is a natural rhythm of the celebratory nature of the holidays, and so is the anxiety that it provokes. It got me thinking about how I can appease my mind and satisfy my cravings without the calorie intake.

I have always been a bit of the outsider during the holidays. Thanksgiving was not my family holiday due to the lifestyle change that my parents made when I was about eight years old. We became macrobiotic vegans, and there was no such thing as Tofurkey back then. I began to spend that holiday with other families, but did not consume with the largesse that I saw all around me.

My Jewish genetics put me on the sidelines at Christmas immediately. I remember being invited to my friend, Elizabeth Hanning's house, watching in awe at the explosion of tinsel, red and green wrapping, and the magic of the day of present opening. Since then I have explored midnight mass, and witnessed my fair share of nativity scenes. Still, no matter how included I am...I feel like an instant outsider at Christmas.

Hanukkah just didn't have that satisfying feeling. Stretched out over eight days and ensconced in meaning, my family celebrated, but my father was the rebel son of Orthodox Jews and somehow we were not a part of the festival of lights quite in the way that we could have been had my father adopted a more religious view. My mother was born in a displaced person's camp post-Holocost. She longed for the colorful array of gifts, not the limitation of blue and white, and there could never be a tree.

New Year's Eve became my solace. I decided that we could have our own day—a New Year's Day celebration! We would have the same opportunity. It would be non-denominational and practical. Since it was after Hanukkah and Christmas, we could hit the post-holiday sales, supplement the gifts we hadn't gotten, and have the holidays last longer. New Year's Eve became a staying-in holiday, and we would open new gifts for the New Year. Genius! My brother was not thrilled that he would have to wait an extra week or two for his gifts, but I thrived in the anticipation. This changed New Year's Eve for me. The last day of the year was a cozy night in, removing me from the late night partying that usually accompanies this night.

So, you see, for me the holidays have always been unique. Even my birthday, which comes on the heels of it all, gets overshadowed. People are done celebrating, slightly depressed that the holidays are over, and ready for football and awards season. I have learned to start my year slow. I ease into the New Year with that one extra holiday.

I know how it feels to be "special", "unique", "on the outside"...but I have learned to love that just as much. To remember that it's just another day, and to enjoy all of the different cultures and celebrations and rituals that surround me. I let myself be lifted and expanded by the differences. And satisfy my cravings for belonging by being true to me.