Friday, August 16, 2013

Falling Off The Wagon

My family recently moved and I feel as though my whole life changed (because it did).  I went from a vegetarian who only drank green smoothies and juices before noon to a person who eats bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast.   I went from someone who has had a daily yoga and meditation practice to someone who hasn't done any physical activity for weeks.   I went from someone who read inspirational daily quotes and worked at inspiring others to enhance their health, to someone who can't "fix" my own life.

As a health coach and yoga teacher I tend to put more pressure on myself to do the "healthy" things that are expected of me.    I sometimes forget that my health and wellness can come only from my own desire to be healthy... not from some outside expectation.   We are all vulnerable to the same societal pressures and we oftentimes place more emphasis on that than on our own needs or perceptions of our health.   Sometimes it's good to fall off the wagon.   It gives us time to step back and reevaluate what is important to us.

My hiatus from yoga and everything I deemed "healthy" has given me more insight into whats important to me and to look at who I am serving by buying into societal expectations of what a health coach should be eating or how buff a yoga teacher should look.  I have been given the opportunity to recommit to my own journey in life.  The incentive to begin on the wellness path (or any path) has to come from your heart... Losing weight and/or sticking to a health regime has nothing to do with your commitment level or your willpower, it has everything to do with your heart.

Making healthy transformations comes from an emotional place.   A place of listening to our bodies and heart and minimizing our attention to the mind.   Coming from the heart we are able to make changes in a compassionate and loving way.   The minute the mind is in charge we begin to judge and  become unloving, moving us farther from our hearts and our true nature.

My hiatus has been a gift and has allowed me to renew my commitment to my healthy lifestyle.   I have begun listening to my heart more and am better able to choose the things that serve me on my wellness/life path.  Whether you are beginning on the path of wellness or have fallen off the wagon, know that you are not alone and simply see it as an opportunity to engage with your heart.   Resist the overwhelming challenge of making multiple changes and begin with just one simple change.   Once that is mastered, add another.   Taking one step at a time not only works with health transformations, but with any lifestyle change.

As a health coach, I have been asked many times if there is a "magic pill" that can fix __________ (fill in the blank).  There is no magic pill, just a commitment to our hearts and our path.  Not a sexy, exciting answer, I know, but it is the truth.  So, listen to your heart today and make one simple change that serves you.  You will be surprised by the snowball effect it can have on your life.

(By the way... when you fall off the wagon, which you may, by all means just get back up and let go of the berating, negative self talk and move forward, leading with your heart).

Suzanne Nicklas, RN, E-RYT, HHC, is founder of Shanti Yoga Studio in Troy, NY and is a Registered Nurse, Registered Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach.  She holds workshops on wellness and stress management and also offers corporate classes and workshops.  You may contact her at or through Pink Lotus Wellness, at


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