Marina Lombardo, LCSW
Within Every Challenge...

...Are the Seeds of Opportunity


In This Issue...

Feature Article
What's New
Feedback from Readers

Marina Lombardo
Psychotherapy, Counseling & Personal Coaching
Lake Bennet Medical Center
1151 Blackwood Avenue, Suite 120
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 615-0848

Keeping Your Best Intentions

Welcome Everyone!

What kind of year do you intend to have? Most of us don’t realize that we actually have the power to consciously create our life in the New Year. I’m not talking about resolutions here, but intentions…and there’s a big difference!

First, let’s talk about resolutions. How many of you have started off enthusiastically on January 1st, determined that this year will be different? And how many of you have already given up? Have you ever scratched your head, puzzled about why that happens? Well, this year, in each of my quarterly newsletters, we’ll explore effective ways to make those “best intentions” a reality. So, for answers, as well as solutions, read on…


Feature Article

Head vs. Heart

If you think about most New Year’s resolutions, they’re usually head decisions, or things you think you should do. For example, let’s look at the most common New Year’s resolution: losing weight. Most people want to lose weight because they don’t feel good about the way they look, or they’re concerned about their health. So, the emotions that drive the resolution are guilt and fear: you feel guilty about having gained weight and are afraid that unless you take action, it’ll get worse. So, you embark on a plan of healthy eating, and after a few days, lo and behold, you start to feel better. That’s great… except, what happens to the fear and guilt? Well, because you’ve taken steps to address the issue, they diminish too. And as these emotions fade, so does the emotional energy that was moving you forward. Result? You fall off the wagon!

Intentions are different because they come from the heart, rather than the head. Rather than getting tossed aside as do so many resolutions, intentions are held close to the heart, and nurtured every day. An intention addresses the whole of you, rather than just the part. It uses the energy of love, rather than fear and guilt. And it moves you toward what you want to create, rather than away from what you don’t.

What’s Stopping You?

Perhaps you already find yourself struggling with your resolution for the New Year. Or maybe you didn’t make one at all. If that’s the case, you can choose to start fresh and make today the beginning of your new year (it is your prerogative, you know!) But that means that first, you need to make space for what you want to create by discovering what’s holding you back.

Start by taking some time and thinking about what particular intention you’d like to set for yourself. Then, rather than just stopping there, think about how your life will be different when you achieve that intention. What would you have? How would you feel? What would your relationships, with yourself and others, be like? Immerse yourself in visualizing your world as you would like it to be…see it, feel it, experience it. Then notice….is there any resistance? Any fear? Any door that might open once your goal is achieved that stops you dead in your tracks?

When my client Tricia did this exercise, she was quite surprised. Like many, she had been struggling with her weight, and her goal was to finally get healthy in the New Year. But when she did this exercise, she discovered that the issue was about much more. As she visualized herself at her perfect weight, she experienced herself as confident enough to move into the leadership position she desired at work. And, almost immediately she realized how afraid she was to take this step! Even though she knew she was capable, she became aware that she would constantly diminish herself at work, and find excuses not to volunteer for tasks she knew would advance her career. And, she realized, she used her weight as a way to hide and avoid taking risks!

Out With The Old…

So, do this exercise as a way of discovering if your have any resistance to making the positive change you desire. What is the present situation, unchanged, allowing you to do? What is it letting you avoid? Once you make the change, what circumstances or relationships in your life would also shift? How do you feel about this? What you’re doing here is acknowledging the things that are holding you back, rather than letting them creep up and sabotage you. This also allows you to put words to your fears so that you can let them go.

I learned about a wonderful way to do this from a client who attended a local Unity church. Every year, she told me, on the first Sunday in January, they have what they call a “burning bowl ceremony.” Each person writes down on a piece of paper what fear, or what aspect of themselves they would like to let go of in the upcoming year. Then, each member files up and tosses the paper into a burning bowl, with the intention of releasing it.

So, go ahead and have your own “burning bowl ceremony,” and start off your year by letting go of any old, outmoded ways of being that no longer serve you, and the life you intend to create!

…and In With The New

Now that you’ve cleared some space, let’s talk about some new habits that will nurture your intention this year. First, let’s go back to the visualization you did. You want to keep that vision of yourself alive, and the best way to do that is to keep reinforcing it. As soon as you wake up in the morning, and just before you go to sleep at night, imagine yourself having already achieved your intention. Feel the feelings, and see and hear the sights and sounds of satisfied accomplishment, in as much detail as possible. Be sure to also acknowledge and breathe into any resistance, or fear, that may still be there. The more you do this, the more natural this new state of being will become.

Remember: everything we achieve starts with our thoughts, and what you are doing is beginning this process by consciously growing the seeds to your new way of being.

Until next time…
Be well!


What's New

Watch for my new book, "I Am More Than My Infertility: Seven Proven Steps to Reclaiming Your Life," to be in bookstores in 2007.


Feedback from Readers

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