Elf or Grinch? Holiday Stress Reduction

Whether you love, tolerate or dislike the holiday season, I am 100% convinced that it is crucial to keep your energy replenished and directed. Most people can acknowledge that, regardless of their feelings about the holidays, this time of year can be draining, especially if you are the type of person who is a caretaker and puts the needs of others first. To compound the seasonal frenzy, I believe that current events here in the U.S. are impacting us in ways that are even more pressured and exhausting. One friend said that she has never felt less like celebrating at the end of the year than now.

What can you do to “pivot to positive”?

 

So what do you typically experience during the holiday season? Is this year feeling different to you.

December 30: Nourish the Flame: From Resolutions to Results in 2017Coming together in community is more important than ever. Gather together to  build the qi it takes to live our values and empower our actions.

Author and Founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, Vicki Dello Joio is a transformational speaker, life-changing workshop leader and show-stopping theater performer whose brand of brilliance is motivating people to claim their birthright of Joy. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

The Courage to Let Go: Autumn Tale with Qigong

 

Autumn treeMetaphors for Autumn: Pruning, releasing, letting go, balancing, contraction, discernment, self-regulation, making space, inner listening, remembering your core. — Way of Joy

Coming to the core is the theme for this season. What is the essence of who You are?  Remembering the themes for autumn as well as this Taoist story (and qigong practice) helps.

NEW!! Pivot to Positive: On-line Jumpstart Program: Access “quick pivot” energy tools online to bring you back to center — no matter where you are, no matter what challenges you are facing.

Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, is a teacher, speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to increase awareness, transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of JoyCD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

Boundaries Dissolve Barriers (revisted)

WeimQiFor me, boundaries have always been my “weakest link”. I used to think that setting a boundary meant I had to create a barrier that would isolate me from other people, which was not something I ever wanted. As an empath, I value connection, compassion and love. But how I acted that out was by merging with others and losing myself in the process. Then I would end up feeling depleted and drained.

When you don’t have boundaries, you end up either having so much empathy for another that you lose touch with your own wisdom, as I did. Alternately you might erect barriers to “protect your space,” or ”take care of yourself” and end up being isolated or disconnected. This is the burden of the “lone wolf” or the “I am a rock, I am an island” mentality — also draining and maybe a little depressing.

Over my years of practice with energetic and martial arts, I discovered that in very concrete and literal ways, healthy boundaries are actually a key to true intimacy and connection —whether in personal close relationships or in work or business contexts.  When those boundaries are clear, clean and energetic, you can truly connect with others in authentic ways. Then true synergy kicks in with an enormous amount of vitality — the kind of empowerment that gets you up and out to do the things you know you are meant to do in your life.

Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, is a teacher, speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to increase awareness, transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of JoyCD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

Nourish the Flame: From Resolutions to Results

burn-love-flames-fireMy mother and I have a long tradition of going to the movies on Christmas Day. This year, because Mama didn’t feel up to going out, she, my wife Sherry, and I stayed home and watched a DVD of the Woody Allen’s movie, “Midnight in Paris”. 

As is true in so many of his films, this one was a combination of comedy and wrestling with philosophical differences about the meaning of life. A writer finds himself traveling back in time to the Paris of Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein and others — what he imagines is the “Golden Age” only to find the people there longing for a different “Golden Age”. He eventually realizes that he wants to live in the present, not the past.

The movie made me think about what it means to embrace the “now”, to follow through on truly owning the present. For me that includes looking at our beliefs, usually called resolutions at this time of year, and bringing them to life in Real Time. Yet, so many people I know have given up on making New Year’s Resolutions – they tend to dissipate so quickly and who needs more disappointment in their lives – especially in ourselves? 

I think that is why I first began to offer my annual Nourish the Flame: From Resolutions to Results event. I believe that setting intentions, seeing our big visions, and feeling the excitement of what might be possible allows those intentions to lodge in our unconscious. This, in turn, transforms the present into something we want.

Given that science is now proving that much of the experiences we have and the choices we make is governed by this “underground” part of ourselves, I think it is crucial that we have tools to reprogram those settings for success. That’s why I’m so motivated to share with you some of the tried-and-true-tested methods I have used to help my clients (and myself) transform past and future dreams into current reality again and again.

AND have fun at the same time.

The qi (energy) practices you are going to learn are powerful in themselves. But when you have a large number of folks moving qi together on this day, you’ll feel how you’re going to blow the roof (and your glass ceiling) off 2016. If you can’t imagine what I mean, check out this video.

Registrations are still open, with new people signing up every day, so be sure to grab your seat soon. After all, if planning ahead is one of your resolutions for the New Year, you can start TODAY by clicking here. 😉 Ready to set 2016 on fire? 

“Renegade-Woo” Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, brings together East Coast Attitude and West Coast energy consciousness as a master teacher, transformative speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

A Seasonal Gift for You

P1010013This is one of my favorite practices to do, especially at this time of year, during the winter season. In fact, I always incorporate it into my annual Nourish the Flame: From Resolutions to Results because it makes such a synergistic contribution to the practices and tools I share.

My wish for you, as we move into the New Year, is vision and sustainability. This little practice might do the trick

 

Please tell me what happens after you have tried this for 1 day. And it’s not too late to register for Nourish the Flame. If you are coming, do go ahead and begin this water exercise today and support your qi field to maximize the benefits of what we will be doing together on Dec. 30.

“Renegade-Woo” Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, brings together East Coast Attitude and West Coast energy consciousness as a master teacher, transformative speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

Facing Fears with Winter Qigong

SNowflakeThe season of Winter calls on the wisdom of the Water element, in its myriad of forms from raging rivers to delicate crystalline snowflakes. In the same way, you can cultivate your ability to adapt and flow as you move into the hush of the season.

Associated in Traditional Chinese Medicine with the kidneys, winter is the season to nourish and support this important organ, which regulates and balances water and fluids in your body.

The seat of the adrenal glands, which produce the fight / flight response, the kidneys are associated with the emotion of fear. Whether that fear has to do with growing fully into your own power or wrestling with your “inner critics” or external challenges, this is a perfect time of year to turn and face those voices, while keeping the inner flame of your consciousness alight to sustain your vision of where you want to go.

For example: Registrations have been pouring in for my upcoming New Year’s event Nourish the Flame: From Resolutions to Results. A number of participants from last year’s event have been reporting some amazing results they manifested this past year because of their experience in that one short afternoon. One participant even told me that this is her VERY FAVORITE event of the year. All Great Stuff, right? Yet I find myself still needing to call on my commitment not to get bogged down by my own old fears and limiting beliefs. Guess it’s time to nourish my kidneys, get over it and get On with it. You in?

SAVE THE DATE! DEC 30 Nourish the Flame: A FREE Winter Workshop to Transform Ideas into Reality and Resolutions into Results. Bring in the Joy for 2016!

“Renegade-Woo” Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, brings together East Coast Attitude and West Coast energy consciousness as a master teacher, transformative speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

Relaxing into Acceleration: De-Stress for the Holidays

12-28-09 ornaments118.jpgI don’t know about you, but I think this time of year is complex. Invitations pour in to be “out, about, and social” while, at the same time, the days are shorter and the Natural World is reminding us that this is a time for conservation, hibernation and retreat.

One of the ways I ride these contradictions as the holiday season catapults us towards the end of the year is a qigong form called the Crystal Generator, which is a featured practice I offer annually at my Nourish the Flame event. Although I can’t offer the whole thing here, I think if you take about 3 minutes to try out this excerpt, you may find, as I do, that it will become a key sustaining tool to thrive through the season.

Nourish the Flame: A Winter Workshop to Transform resolutions into Real-Time Results

Author and Founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, Vicki Dello Joio is a transformational speaker, life-changing workshop leader and show-stopping theater performer whose brand of brilliance is motivating people to claim their birthright of Joy. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

Drinking Tea with Demons (revisited)

Vladamir Horowitz: A force of nature!

Vladamir Horowitz: A force of nature!

“I believe every time we make a fundamental shift of consciousness that opens a circle into a spiral, we face a kind of death. Sensing this impending death, we move through a period of fear, facing our demons. Like gargoyles, these demons are the protectors of the gates of transition.”    The Way of Joy (excerpt)

I recently had an opportunity to tell a story on a live stage. about Milarepa, the great Tibetan hermit, singer, teacher who, it’s been said, lived a thousand years ago So I am reposting an older video blog of this story today for your enjoyment.

As a kid, I grew up with some heavy-hitters from the arts world hanging out in my family’s living room. The classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz (Volodya to friends) played the piano in the living room of our summer house when he was too nervous to go home during a thunderstorm; Frank Loesser, humorist extraordinaire and composer/lyricist of shows like Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying, used to try to convince my younger brothers and me to chop up my composer father’s piano with a hatchet; and Martha Graham listened to my young dreams to become an actress and looked directly into my eyes and told me I must always follow my dreams.

I think that one of the most important things I learned from being around these “big names” in my daily life was that being a star does not mean being protected from our inner demons. I learned very quickly that uncertainty, those nagging inner nay-sayers and crazy-makers, are constant companions in our journeys both in our successes and our failures.

Tip o’ the camera to one of my treasured friends, the brilliant playwright, theater performer, and teacher, Jean-Claude van Itallie, who first introduced me to this tale.

What ways do you cope with those inner gremlin voices?

Author and Founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, Vicki Dello Joio is a transformational speaker, life-changing workshop leader and show-stopping theater performer whose brand of brilliance is motivating people to claim their birthright of Joy. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

Elf or Grinch? Holiday Stress Reduction

7172179_sWhether you love, tolerate or dislike the holidays, it is important to keep your energy replenished.  Most people can acknowledge that, regardless of their feelings about the holidays, this time of year can be draining, especially if you are the type of person who is a caretaker and puts the needs of others first. What can you do to “pivot to positive”?


So what do you typically experience during the holiday season?

Free Teleclass: Bring Back the Joy: 3 Quick Tips to De-stress your Holidays

Author and Founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, Vicki Dello Joio is a transformational speaker, life-changing workshop leader and show-stopping theater performer whose brand of brilliance is motivating people to claim their birthright of Joy. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.

The Farmer and his Son: A Daoist Tale

Stress-ZebraStripesDo you ever have days when you find yourself railing against things that Just Don’t Feel Fair? —where it feels like the universe is conspiring in a Job-like way to keep you from doing what you want to do? How can you follow your passion when you hit the roadblocks, the nay-sayers or the voices of self-doubt that appear to drag you down? But is all that appears to be bad really bad?

When have you seen an undesired situation transform from a challenge into something that ended up being a gift?

NEW!! Pivot to Positive: On-line Jumpstart Program: Access “quick pivot” energy tools online to bring you back to center — no matter where you are, no matter what challenges you are facing.

Author and Founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, Vicki Dello Joio is a transformational speaker, life-changing workshop leader and show-stopping theater performer whose brand of brilliance is motivating people to claim their birthright of Joy. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.