Living into the life you long for – one step at a time

Becoming more of you – one baby step at a time

An old proverb goes something like this:  Thoughts lead to actions.  Actions develop into habits.  Habits crystallize into character.  Character shapes destiny.

Kinda scary, eh?!

Are you living the life you want to live?  Most of my students and clients tell me they often feel stressed out, are sometimes short-tempered, they push and rush until they can take a break and relax, or even collapse.  Too often we fall into resignation (it’s just how life is) or we push harder to “fix it” which leads to even more exhaustion.  I’ve been there!

There’s another way… a middle path, a moving beyond the cycle of resignation and fix it.What are the small daily habits that shape you – your body, your character, your life?  This isn’t about feeling bad about yourself, not at all.  But if you aren’t living the life you want to live, then not looking has you missing out on opportunity.  Being real, truly acknowledging what is, is the first step toward something new and better.  For example, in tree pose, do you hold on until you fall out?  This habit pattern shows up on the mat and off, such as pushing to the point of collapse.  Another example: do you use lots of extra effort, strain, and muscles to do a pose?  Do you brace?  Do you make things harder than they need to be?

Actions that we do over and over become our character, the distinctive qualities that make us, well, us.  

What qualities show up in your daily oft-repeated actions?  Are your daily habits ones that support this life you want? Habits of breath, movement, nourishment, sleep, pleasure, etc.  Even thoughts follow habits – are thoughts scattered or focused, angry or compassionate, fearful or hopeful, oriented to scarcity or abundance?  This is not a time to be hard on yourself nor to make excuses, but to reflect and choose.Research shows again and again that lasting change comes from macro goals you REALLY care about married to small daily steps that add up.  Progress comes from taking small steps, seeing the results, then repeating those small steps, daily, until they become new habit patterns.

“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”  Mark Twain

We work this way in class, on our mats, and then can take the process to our lives.  This fall each student has set an intention for themselves, some modest but meaningful goal to improve their function, to improve their life.  Together we are holding all our intentions.The people I see who make the fastest and most lasting progress are the ones who do a little bit every (or most) days.  They see their own actions and choices making a difference, they are motivated to enjoy life more, and they are transforming before my eyes, and before the eyes of their friends, family, and co-workers.  It’s exciting and gratifying!


  1. Be real: what is real now, no reasons, stories, or excuses.

  2. Choose one small action step to do in the moment toward the life and outcomes you long for.

  3. Notice your results.

By our thoughts, desires, and habits, we either ascend to the full divine dignity of our nature, or we descend to suffer and learn.”  J. Todd Ferrier

PS – while we are experimenting with goals and baby steps in classes this fall, we’ll explore this topic directly, learning how to live “above the line” more often and out of the cycle of resignation / fix it, in the January Saturday Series Workshop.  Stay tuned!

Kicheri Recipe (2 servings)

1-2 tbs. Ghee  (clarified butter); 2 tsp.  Fresh Ginger Root-Minced; pinch hing (asafetida); 1 tsp.  Cumin Seeds; .5  tsp. Mustard Seeds; .25+ tsp. Turmeric; .5-1 tsp Dried Kombu or dulse  (or other Seaweed); .25 c. Split Moong dal; .5  c.  White Basmati Rice; 2 c. Chopped vegetables/greens; about 4 c. Water; .25 tsp.  Curry Powder; 1 tsp.  Coriander Powder; .5 tsp. Cumin Powder; 1 tsp.     Salt  (stir in after cooking is done)

On medium heat melt Ghee, then add hing and ginger,(let roast about 1 min) then seeds, and cook until seeds start to pop and ginger golden.  About 2 to 4 minutes.  Add tumeric.  Stir in beans and rice to coat and roast for about 2 min.  Add veggies (general guideline: 1 cup of one root veggie like beet OR sweet potato and one cup a green like spinach or kale).  Stir to coat and absorb spices.  Add water, salt, seaweed and rest of spices.  Note water amount varies with cooker size and how “soupy” you want it.  Let whistle/cook at pressure for 7-8 minutes in a “normal” pressure cooker (or whatever your instructions say for cooking lentils for example).  And if you let the pressure come down slowly on its own, it will cook a bit more.Garnish with plain yogurt and fresh chopped cilantro. (can vary with basil)

Variations:Barley & adukiMillet  & red lentils

NOTE FOR ON-THE-GO COOKING: after roasting initial spices, can add everything else, return to boil, wrap in a towel and place in a cooler (to insulate) throw it in the car as you run out the door and in 2-3 hours it’s perfect and fresh!!  NEVER eat kicheri left over the next day!