For 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.
The 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.
I 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.
To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe. I call it stillness, but it is a jewel with many facets: that stillness is also joy, and it is love. —Eckhart Tolle
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is a time associated with the metal element, which includes the theme of letting go, grief, and coming back to core in the way of trees losing their leaves. At the same time, for many of us in Western cultures, it is a time when we are ramping up, getting back to work after summer.
Do you find you get overwhelmed with “So much stuff to do!” at the same time, you want to resist, maybe curl up and rest as the days grow shorter, nights longer?
That’s been the main repeating mutter in my brain this last week. While I absolutely love (and choose) everything I’m working on, I’ve had abundant opportunities to work on the stress of overwhelm.
So today, I decided to “practice what I teach” and take some time to remember the first of the Way of Joy Laws, Within Motion, Stillness, Within Stillness, Motion. “To experience stillness in your life does not require shutting down your senses or building a barrier to the chaos of an energetic, alive and unpredictable world. Through the power of your breath and attention, you can sustain an awareness of that inner space of quiet constancy, the peaceful Observer, while the world around you spins and twirls.” (excerpt from The Way of Joy).
This is one of my favorite methods to embed this intention in your body, to live it from the inside out.
What do you experience when you’re in that place of inner calm?
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.is a transformative speaker, life changing workshop leader 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 Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.
Jungian psychologist and story-teller Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes once wrote “In some way, regardless of gender, locale, age, marital status, everyone is a mother.”
I love this idea, especially these days as I’ve been thinking about how so many people on the planet right now — regardless of gender identity — are birthing a new paradigm shift, a renewed and refreshed movement towards balance, wholeness, respect for all beings.
Given that Spring is a birthing season, what better time of year to celebrate Mothers, and the acts of nurturing, rearing, promoting growth? After all, now is the time that any seeds of dreams, ideas or projects you have been gestating through the winter, are ready to come out. That is why I think of this time of year to be a time of “emergenc-y”, when, just like a women in labor, your life force is pushing to be come out into the world.
For me, as I “mother” the system of healing and living that has become The Way of Joy, I bow my head in gratitude to my own beautiful and courageous mama who taught me well the importance of letting things bloom in their own timing. Even now, at the age of 91, she continues to be a model of unconditional love in my life. I am so grateful.
One of my latest “birthings” is a powerful virtual program to optimize the power of this season. I have gathered some of my best information and tools in a Seed to Blossom Starter Pack to give you a quick shot of energetic fuel to make this Spring the best one yet. And there are a couple spaces left in the Live VIP workshop on May 22. Contact me directly
“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